Can't decide on Windows 7 or 8

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Thalin, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Thalin macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #1
    I am in need of a Windows OS primarily for gaming on my early 2013 rMBP. I am used to Windows 7 and I tried it on there and it worked fine, I then tried Windows 8 and hated it, and i'm pretty sure I noticed my FPS drop in Skyrim very slightly.

    After installing ClassicShell I found the interface in 8 a lot more useable, and I hear it is a good OS once you get past the bad metro design. I hated the restricted access you have though even as an administrator, I seemed to be locked out of so many things and had to change so many settings to bypass it. The thing that is pointing me in the direction of Windows 8 though is that i'm guessing it will be better for the retina. I didn't notice much difference between the screen on 7 and 8 when I tried them but i'm guessing as 8 is updated more it will handle the retina display better, am I right?

    Also, I have a key for XP and Vista sitting away on broken laptops so I figure I may as well go the upgrade copy route, making the prices of 7 and 8 pretty much the same. I've been reading about doing clean installs from the upgrade versions online as this is the route I will want to go, and probably need to go as the XP and Vista versions I just mentioned are all 32 bit and as far as I know this won't be possible in Bootcamp? I'm hoping the methods i've read about for doing the clean install and changing the registry afterward to allow you to activate Windows with the genuine key will work...
     
  2. KdParker macrumors 601

    KdParker

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    Everywhere
    #2
    Windows 8. Nothing in Windows 7 that make me feel I need to stay there.
     
  3. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2012
    #3
    Right now the best value is the Windows 8 Pro upgrade version, and you can probably get it for less than $60 if you shop around. Once you have the retail product key, just follow this thread to download the Win 8.1 ISO and do a clean install using the generic Win 8.1 key mentioned in post 53, then use your Win 8 retail key to activate after the 8.1 install, and completely bypass any Win 8 install or registry hack.
     
  4. Thalin, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    Thalin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the assistance. I downloaded the Windows 8 Pro CD image from a Microsoft Repository Website - http://softicle.com/ which looked rather trustworthy, and installed it through Bootcamp with the generic key. Also purchased the Windows 8 upgrade and it should arrive tomorrow, so I can *hopefully* activate it successfully then. It is allowing me to install the 8.1 upgrade but i'm going to hold off until I activate Windows tomorrow as i'm not sure if it will make the process of activating it even more tricky, perhaps preventing the registry method etc. I'm a little concerned it won't allow me to activate though with the upgrade key, as surely then anyone could just use this method of buying the cheaper upgrade version as opposed to the full version?

    I did download the Windows 8.1 ISO with your method but the file size was considerable smaller than the ISO I downloaded from the above website, so I went the above route. I did notice that doing a clean install of Mavericks the other day left me a considerable amount more space on my hard drive than upgrading from the previous OS that came installed on the rMBP because it didn't have all the useless apps still installed, i'm hoping this isn't the case with Windows too, otherwise maybe I should have gone that route instead :confused: Basically i'm asking if doing a clean install of 8.1 is any more streamlined than upgrading from 8 to 8.1. Knowing Microsoft they still cram all the useless crap into both versions though despite whether or not you need it all.
    Last time I tried installing 8.1 over 8 it did clear a lot of space so it should be alright.

    I was scammed by an Ebay seller selling an apparent genuine full version Pro key which Microsoft confirmed via live chat is a student MSDN license key. Of course the seller denies knowledge of this. I'm hoping the case that has now been elevated to Ebay works in my favor, if it doesn't then it will be utterly ridiculous.
    The copy I have just purchased however seems a lot more legitimate and is sold by a proper company.
     
  5. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2012
    #5
    Here's what I got, the official Win 8 64-bit Install DVD shows 3.33GB and the Win 8.1 64-bit ISO download indicates 3.05GB. If your numbers are similar, then they are legit. Both ISO could do either upgrade or clean install even though the Win 8 ISO/DVD is officially an upgrade version, which means a registry hack is required for clean install, but not Win 8.1 which is a full version. Since Microsoft is about to abandon Win 8 in 2 years, there is no point to install Win 8 and then go through the trouble to upgrade to 8.1. But if you don't trust what so many people have already done without any problems, then do whatever is best for you.
     
  6. Mac32 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #6
    If you like to game, and play more than the very newest titles, definitely get Windows 7. Windows 8 is a big frustration of compatibility issues and more...
     
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    UK
    #7
    0 issues on my Windows 8 gaming rig. And since it is much faster than Windows 7 and comes with DirectX 11.2, I'd defiantly choose 8 over 7. Especially for gaming.
     
  8. Thalin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #8
    Whoa nelly, hold on! I meant no disrespect. I went the the route I mentioned because I already had it on a bootable drive ready to go, i've nothing against going the Microsoft ISO route using their upgrader/installer, I might even have to if the activation doesn't go well! What do you by them abandoning it in 2 years I didn't understand.

    On the plus side, i'm actually quite liking Windows 8!
     
  9. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2012
    #9
    See this link for more info.
    Microsoft is essentially treating Win 8.1 as a replacement of Win 8 and gives users 2 years to upgrade. That's why there is no point to stay with Win 8 especially in the future when clean or re-install is required. YMMV.
     
  10. Mac32, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    Mac32 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Care to back that up with specific benchmarks? Every benchmark I've seen (except for a couple one-offs) the difference is pretty much within the margin of error. IMO the risk of compatibility issues isn't worth it. Compatibility mode doesn't necessarily work either. D3Doverrider is the only program that deliver triple buffered vsync, and for that to work in Windows 8 you must run games in compatibility mode. That severely increased level loading times in several of my favourite games, to the point of being completely unbearable. IMO there's a lot of hyperbole going around about how Windows 8 is "much faster" for gaming, but the proof just isn't there. In the end I reinstalled Windows 7, and everything is running smoothly again. :)
    I doubt we'll see dx11.2 games anytime soon, also neither 680MX nor 780M fully support the new standard anyway.
     
  11. Thalin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #11

    My apologies, I thought you meant that they were abandoning Windows 8 completely, including all future versions of 8 itself, but you just meant 8.0! I have no intention with sticking with 8.0 anyway. I thought that would be a bit too quick for them! :eek:

    ----------

    This is what concerns me. I tried Windows 7 first and was very impressed with the performance in games. I then tried Windows 8 and I just have a feeling my FPS dropped a little, but I don't know whether this was because I was so impressed by the performance on my Macbook with Windows 7 that I just got carried away. There may be no difference at all between 7 and 8 and i'm imagining it.
    The reason why I purchased 8 over 7 is that I figured it would be better in the long run, as Microsoft would hopefully continue to provide support for the retina (obviously I know that's an Apple design but I mean high-res screens in general) with future versions of 8 and not 7. Also everything I read online told me that there was literally no difference in performance.

    However don't get me wrong, I am still impressed with the performance in games when using Windows 8, I just can't be sure if it was that little bit better in 7. To be honest now i've purchased 8 and really don't want to do yet another format and OS install to see whether what I was imagining is true, I will just stick with it!
     
  12. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Aug 24, 2009
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    UK
    #12
    There is no risk of compatibility. One of the big things of Windows 8 that Microsoft boasted about when it was released is that compatibility had been dramatically improved, hence the lack of XP mode since it isn't needed. The Apps just work. I haven't had a single problem with any app.

    But you're right about the benchmarks, it's close, but Windows 8 has the edge.

    [​IMG]

    The only disadvantages Windows 8 has is its appearance and layout changes that obviously confuse the users who are too used to their old Start Menu.
     
  13. Mac32 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #13
    That's a representative benchmark, thanks. However, I just gave a specific example of compatibility issues. There are also other issues with typically older games, can't remember which right now...google it if you want. Again, if you only play the latest (more or less) games then Windows 8 works great, if you like to also play older games (and use D3Doverrider - which is very important to me), definately stick with Windows 7.


     
  14. Thalin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #14
    Well I managed to get it up and running with the upgrade key. At first it told me the key was for upgrading only, so I changed the registry (should have done that step first, my bad) and after a necessary restart it said the key had been blocked. I panicked but it gave me the option to re-enter a different activation key, where I just entered the same key again and all seems well.

    I hope!

    Everything looks fine, key-wise, packaging-wise etc, but I was scammed earlier this week by another Ebay seller who sold me the same thing, but as a download. It was ridiculous that I did it, I will never fall for something so stupid again, i'm still trying to chase up my refund, the open case with the seller has just ended up being a back and forth argument, quite an interesting read if anyone wanted to read it!
    Anyway Microsoft confirmed the key this moron sold me was not legit via live chat, it was a student key which does activate at first before apparently expiring. I don't know whether I should contact Microsoft again and check this new key too, is it worth it? The packaging all looked genuine but you never know these days.

    I know you'd think 'well it works so why bother' but I could have said the exact same thing with the bad key, and I know where that's ended up.
     
  15. Sven11 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 25, 2010
    #15
    Retina MacBook Pro? Windows 8.1 wins hands down. It is just much better optimized for a Retina display than 7. Plus it's safer and faster. If you hate Metro just configure your system that it starts right to the desktop and install ClassicShell if you miss the start menu.
     
  16. Mac32 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #16
    Windows 8.1 is definitely superior in the way it can properly utilise the retina resolution unlike Windows 7. If you're like me though, just using the Windows partition for some occasional gaming, I would still get Windows 7. That's what you're going to use the Windows partition for anyway. That's my view though, but I must stress I haven't tested Windows 7 vs. 8.1 on a retina screen myself.
     
  17. Sven11 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 25, 2010
    #17
    I did. Windows 7 will use 150% DPI after you install your drivers, that's OK (aside from tons of applications with a messed up UI), but what you want is 200%. So you have to manually configure it that way. That will still result in messed up UIs and a pixeled, slow mouse cursor. Of course you can also choose 100%, but everything will look extremely small with that setting.

    Windows 8.1 still isn't perfect with handling a Retina display, but it does the job MUCH, MUCH better.
     

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