Boot Camp- Windows XP or 7?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by TallManNY, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I'm considering taking the plunge to do Boot Camp so I can play PC games. I don't particularly want to spend $200 on Windows 7. Can I save money by buying XP and still be able to run modern games? Or should I just go with 7 to make things easier on myself?

    I use 7 at work and I know it is an improvement over XP, but I would not be using Windows at home for anything but gaming (when I work from home, I log into a work virtual machine, so I have access through work to Windows productivity programs).

    I'd also like to make this process as easy as possible. Should I just go the 7 route as it might have the more updated drivers and stuff like that? What about Vista?
  2. David085 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    Probably go with XP and wait it out for the next operating system which is Windows 8 don't spend alot of money right now Windows 8 is around the corner I know is still awhile but probably windows 8 will be out sometime this yr is my guess don't take me serious because I not really sure when Windows 8 will be ready to buy
  3. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    For simply gaming I would guess XP. Though, I am using Windows 7.

    I would never recommend Vista to anyone.
  4. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Old Mac= XP
    New Mac= Windows 7

    Developers still support XP but the amount of games that require Vista/7 is increasing.
  5. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I've got a 2011 iMac, so still less than a year old.
    I definitely don't want too much of a hassle dealing with incompatibility if I'm going to go down this road. Amazon sells 7 for $180, but Vista is still available and it can be bought used for $50.
  6. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    I recommend windows 7, IMO it is a better operating system. The latest versions of Direct X are not officially supported on Xp to my knowledge. With a modern Mac as pointed out theres no reason to use XP these days and I think you may miss out on some games in the future that may only support 7.

    I use Xp in Virtualbox for generic use of MS Office, it was the OEM version I believe.
  7. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    I use WinXP and have for years, but I say go with Win7. There's so much more to be had and endless years of support in comparison to WinXP - unless you wanted to do the get XP and wait for 8 scenario (which really might not be all that bad).

    Maybe try on eBay or Amazon for an OEM version - it's what I did, got XP for really cheap from a respected seller.
  8. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Okay, I will go with the 7. The only downside is the price. Paying over $180 to Microsoft will hurt for this Mac Fanboy, but it will only hurt once. I'm suspect I will save myself some frustration down the road.

    I know I can get the System Builder version of Windows 7 for $100, but I don't want to go through the hassle of finding drivers on the internet and downloading that stuff and not having any tech support. I really don't want my windows experience to be that realistic!

    Thanks for the advice all.
  9. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    What features of 7 do you need, unless you need active directory integration the home edition should be enough for you. There is really no reason to use XP anymore especially if your not currently using it. Nothing wrong with the system builders version. Windows 7 is very good about finding drivers on its own and bootcamp will take care of any apple specific ones. Vista would work and is pretty much windows 7 when in SP2 form. All the drivers for 7 are the same as vistas but it seems that apple installer is hardcoded to not install on vista as of the bootcamp, not sure why makes no sense.
  10. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I don't really need any features of 7 except the ability to boot video games on my desktop. I will do all my networking with OSX. I was just thinking about saving some money by going with XP, but I think I'd rather have the support of 7 and the comparatively lesser amount of hassle. Maybe I should save a bit by doing system builder version, but I'm not sure. I've read that you don't even have the ability to connect to internet off of the initial system builder build until you get the first couple of drivers installed.

    I'm not sure what you meant by Apple Installer being hardcoded not to install on Vista, but that doesn't sound good.

    I've bit the bullet and ordered 7 home premium. I wanted to make this a weekend project, so I needed to get order in today for free two day delivery to get to me on Saturday.
  11. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    you have to find drivers anyways... and tech support is basically nothing for any version unless you pay extra... I don't see any reason to pay more than you have to.
  12. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    The system builder build of windows is identical to the retail. The only difference is the packaging and the serial number. All windows 7 disks of the same type (32 or 64bit) are the same. This is different from xp which had seperate disks for the different editions.
  13. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Ahh, maybe i thought these were different because of the way they were in XP or Vista. There were definitely some reviews on Amazon saying people had some problems with the system build, but maybe at that point I was looking at the XP. Darn. I probably wasted $80. Microsoft! Does everything about you have to be confusing!

    Well, I guess if I still want to bootcamp on my next computer, I can transfer the Windows 7 build that I ordered as it won't be linked to my computer. Right? There is some value advantage to the regular version?

    Of course my iMac is a 2011, so I'm probably three years away from getting a new computer.
  14. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2009
    Just buy a windows 7 upgrade disk, save some money. You can do a clean install with an upgrade disk and activate it fairly easy.
  15. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    I would think that I can't buy an upgrade disk because I don't have an underlying build of Windows to upgrade. I suppose I might be able to find a used cheap Vista, install it and then buy an upgrade disk.
  16. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Well that was a bitch. But the deed is done. Initially Mac wouldn't partition and I had to do disk repair due to some problems with my volume or something. So first I thought I needed to make a Lion Boot Disk. So I downloaded Lion again and tried to make a flash drive boot disk off the install. I tried a little program called Lion Diskmaker. That didn't work. And it took a long time last night to not really make a progress. But in the process I realized that I could use the new program Recovery HD, so I did that this morning. This meant figuring out when to hit command-r on my bluetooth keyboard so that it would recognize it (hint, don't hold the keys down until you hear the boot chime as you first need the keyboard to get recognized). Once that was done, the mac partitioned, windows loaded in about half an hour with all the drivers and stuff getting loaded off the disk that Bootcamp made at the start. I used a USB mouse but windows fairly quickly recognized the bluetooth keyboard and I was able to type in account and computer name. After the drivers were loaded, the trackpad started to work. I haven't loaded a game up yet. Though I got Skyrim and am looking forward to playing it.

    I ended up buying the full home premium, which was probably about an $80 mistake over the system builder version which presumably would have worked fine.

    Thanks for everyone's help and advice.
  17. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    If you want directx 10 or 11 you will need windows 7 as xp does not support. Newer games will require 7 or vista.
    Drivers should not be a problem, windows will install on its own.
    Get the OEM systems version.
  18. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    The system builder edition is tied to one system (or supposed to be). Thus eventually if you change the computer it might stop working. If you call MS they will tell you that it's tied to the previous computer and won't release the serial number. (Happened to me). But you tell them it's the same computer you're just replacing the Motherboard due to failure and they will then release the serial number to allow it to be re-installed.

    The full version allows you to reinstall it on new machines.

    (just too much of a pain in the ass if you ask me; but that's MS)
  19. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Exactly. This is why 7 is a better choice. Price wise $80 seems about right. I bought mine on ebay.
  20. VanZan macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2011
    What I'm missing in all those helpful answers is that if you're using Lion, Boot Camp will only support Windows 7!

    I'm coming from a Win XP PC and instead of buying a Win 7 PC, I bought a mac and now Apple forces me to buy Win 7 in order to use Boot Camp ... :rolleyes: :(

    3. Which versions of Windows work with Boot Camp 4.0?
    You can use Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, 
    or Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate with Boot Camp 4.0. Windows XP and Windows
    Vista are not supported with Boot Camp 4.0. 
    4. Are 64-bit versions of Windows 7 supported?
    Yes. Learn more about the Mac computers that support 64-bit versions of Windows 7.
  21. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Ha ha. That is a very good answer you have given there. Well I did go with Windows 7 for the reasons stated above, but I guess I never really had a choice. Even so, it was the right choice since I hope to use this build for the next three years. Personally, I don't think Windows 8 is going to work very well for at least the first year and it probably won't work well without a touch screen computer and finally, I'm skeptical about the functionality of touch screen desktops in any case due to ergonomic issues.
  22. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    After Windows 8 has been out a year or two, expect a new version of Bootcamp to drop support for Windows 7 though...
  23. Maverick513 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2011
    It is recommended to get the Windows 7 64bit, not 32bit. 64bit supports larger memory and some games can only perform well on 64bit.
  24. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Yeah, not just Lion, either. Even recent Snow Leopard machines may require Windows 7.

    I've been running XP w/bootcamp on my Early 2008 iMac (Snow Leopard) with no problem. When I tried to install XP onto my new Early 2011 MacBook Pro (which came with Snow Leopard), I was surprised and dismayed to find out Boot Camp wouldn't install XP and required 7. Both versions of Snow Leopard were the same. I'm guessing they just didn't want to make XP drivers for the newer hardware. Bummer for me.

    Maybe this will help someone else avoid making the same mistake -- excerpt from

  25. TallManNY thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Two days into using Windows 7 in Bootcamp, I checked out the Software Update program in control panel. I had earlier in the set up process selected automatic update. Boy was I surprised that I had 59 recommended updates to be installed. You would think they would have pushed those through during the installation process. So that was a fun hour or so of installation I had to do Sunday night before playing Skyrim.

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