"old" macbook pro: XP vs vista(not another one!)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by barniclecrusher, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. barniclecrusher macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2008
    Sorry for another XP vs Vista thread, but this one is a little more specific to me.

    Just purchased an "old" macbook pro refurb(2.4Ghz,256MB 8600 GT)
    and am planning on upgrading it to 4GB of ram. My question is this:

    XP 32, XP 64, Vista 32, or Vista 64?

    There are a lot of different opinions on the forums but my main concerns are this:

    - Can XP support over 2GB of ram?
    - is vista a lot less efficient than XP
    - is my graphics card even dx10? if so does that make vista a must?
    - whats the deal with the driver issues I'm hearing about with XP(seen a lot of different opinions on this)

    ill mostly be doing some light gaming / some Windows apps with bootcamp /vmware fusion.
    Thanks in advance for your opinions and advice.
  2. TheCakeIsALie macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    XP 32-bit for sure. light gaming/some windows apps definitely don't require a x64 system, and for the x86 versions, xp >> vista. 32-bit system will recognize 3 to 3.5gb of memory, which is more than enough to do what you need. plus, dx10 is useless with a 8600m gt, enable it in any supported game will yield unplayable framerate (it doesn't look much different from dx9 anyway, from what I've seen on my gaming desktop pc).
  3. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    32 bit

    the 32 bit windows will not use all the ram it caps at about 3 gb. service pack 3 xp and sp1 vista change the way it registers ram so it will show 4 gb but will only use 3. 64 bit will show and use all 4 gig. i would recommend xp 64 it does not use as much system resources as vista.
  4. Markov macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    Oh no!!! God forbid you use XP 64 bit!!!!!!! I'm just being a sarcastic a**, many people on this forum have a fit if you even mention using XP 64 bit.

    My personal experience on XP 64 bit: Works just fine with all of my apps / games, but most of them run in Legacy mode, which almost defeats the purpose of 64 bit to begin with (Vista will have the same problem) ... [Legacy mode = 32-bit mode in a 64-bit environment].

    If you're absolutely upgrading to 4 GB of ram, why waste it by using an OS that only addresses 3.3 GB at the most? However if you decide against it, go for a 32-bit OS (either XP or Vista).

    If you use Vista-64 bit, you're running head on into a wall of >>**POSSIBLE**<< compatibility issues... which is just a pain in the a** if you want everything to work flawlessly [and face it, who doesn't?] :D

    Why let us decide? Try out Vista 64-bit and XP 64-bit and decide what YOU like better [and it really IS ok to use Xp 64-bit, f*** the naysayers and use what you want].

    I only have 2 GB of ram, therefore I am sticking with XP 32-bit for the time being, but when I upgrade to 4 GB much like yourself, I plan on using Vista 64-bit (unless it really gives me hell).
  5. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    I prefer Vista 64-bit. XP 64-bit is not an option for you with boot camp. There are no drivers available for the Macbook Pro for XP 64-bit (and no, they can't use XP 32-bit drivers, you need 64-bit drivers). Vista's memory management is very much like that of Mac OS X's. XP's memory management sucks. Its memory management is catered to older computers, since it was designed with those computers in mind (think about it, it was released in 2001). Yes, SPs were released, but none of them changed XP's kernel. It's basically a bunch of patches/updates/ect rolled into one with a few other things thrown in.

    Anyway. Vista's memory management will use your free memory to cache programs. When a program needs the memory, Vista releases it. It's called super fetch. Leopard does the same thing. Vista's actually got a search function built in that's worth a crap, although there is a Windows Search 4.0 update for XP, but it's just "tacked on." It doesn't integrate into explorer. It's similar to google's desktop search. If you have 4 gigs of RAM (which you do), Vista will run fine on it. SP1 fixed many of Vista's problems and hardware manufacturers have drivers out for Vista that don't suck. Vista's been out for a year and a half, and it's approaching 2 years since it's been completed.

    Yes. It supports 4 gigs of system memory, or address space. All 32-bit operating systems do. However, video card memory uses this address space, input/output port space uses this address space, virtual memory (although I believe they now have it so that virtual memory is mapped outside the main address space), and there are many more.

    the big ones though is video card memory and "everything else."

    Because of this, whatever is left over after the video card's taken a chunk out of the address space, and "everything else," will determine how much RAM is available.

    So basically, under 4 gigs of RAM will be available. Between 3 and 3.5 gigs will be available to you with a 32-bit OS. Vista 64-bit will solve this (as it has a much larger address space, 2^64 to be exact).

    I personally feel that XP is less efficient than Vista. Nowadays, any OS that just lets your RAM sit idle and do NOTHING is not efficient. It's a waste. Unused RAM is wasted RAM. Vista also moves desktop rendering to the video card (it used to be done by the CPU under XP), like what Mac OS X uses.

    Yes, it is DX10. No, you don't need Vista. If you play a game that is DX10 and supports DX9, you will play it under DX9. DX10 "features," might be able to be enabled depending on the game.

    Don't know. I think it was mainly people with the new MBPs.
  6. barniclecrusher thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2008
    Thanks for the input everyone. This basically sums up what I've read been reading on the forums for the past week or so, which is basically that everyone has there own opinion/preference. Seems like every time i decide on XP people like Flashing Fi and Markov change my mind ;).

    One of the big bonuses of XP for me was that i have it on all my PC's currently(the tried and true factor) and have never sat down with vista for more than 10 minutes(and has gotten much hate from all my friends with windows laptops, 35% ram usage for a OS??)

    but apparently the fixes with sp1 worked, and the ram usage is a definite plus, vista is sounding more reasonable(better than xp)
  7. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    I've had 50-60% of my RAM in use (and I only have 2 gigs of RAM). The computer still seemed fast to me, game performance was as expected, and everything worked fine. As mundane as this sounds, as long as those are accomplished (fast/responsive OS, good performance, and stability), then I'm a happy camper.

    Someone posted this in another forum that I frequent, and I found it after I made my post to you. You may find it interesting:


    Basically, it's a couple of benchmarks of Vista SP1 vs XP SP3. Both operating systems perform pretty much the same. The differences are nothing "significant." You can see for yourself. A few games Vista SP1 has 1 FPS over XP SP3, but all in all, they're not really statistically significant enough to say that there's a difference.

    Another thing. If you do file sharing between your computers, Vista has no problems sharing with XP and XP has not problems sharing with Vista (at least I haven't run into any problems). If you don't, then it doesn't matter.
  8. RRutter macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Not sure.. I would say XP 32, or 64. I only used Vista because I loved the theme. Than I got back to XP cause Vista sucks, and found out how I could add the Vista Theme onto XP, and it runs great on VMWare Fusion on my MacBook + 1 GB ram.

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