Still unsure about which windows...

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by acb2m, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. acb2m macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Hey, maybe this has been asked specifically but I've been looking through the forums and I see a lot of different opinions.
    I've got a 2.2 MBP that I want to put windows on for gaming and whatnot. Right now I have the standard 2gb of memory but I'm going to upgrade it to 4. In this sense should I look at getting a 64 bit version to take full advantage of it? Now apparently there's issues with drivers, how hard is it to find and install most of the drivers I would need?
    The other question is vista or xp? The consensus seems to be xp for games and stability. But if I plan on using this notebook for say 2-4 years would I be better off futureproofing myself by getting vista or will xp be sufficient? Any advice is appreciated as I'm not that computer savvy.
  2. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Recently switching from Windows to Mac as of August of last year, I would offer my opinion of XP. If your planning on adding 4g of memory, I would also suggest XP64 BUT BE WARNED, not a whole lot runs in XP 64 when compared to Vista 64.

    Vista is nice, but I think even in 2yrs there'll still be a lot of gamers still running XP.

    One thing to remember about Vista, is vista reserves a certain amount of RAM for itself. If say your running a game like BF2142 then that's already almost 2g of memory lost, so the speed will slow down. (theoretical example btw)

    That's just my 2 cents, bootcamp with XP, drivers are on the Leopard disk.
  3. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    Assuming your MBP is fairly new, Go with Vista 32 Bit, It'll recognize all 4 GBs, but keep the Aero turned off for better frame rates. I like XP, but sooner or later games and other software are going to exclude XP from the system requirements, leaving them Vista only.
  4. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    32bit Vista couldn't address the whole 4Gb last time I checked, only 3 and a bit I believe. Has something changed? :confused:
  5. webgoat macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2007
    Austin, TX
    yeah 32 bit vista only sees 3 gb of ram... i've searched and found claims that sp1 enables it to address the full ram but not sure if there's any truth in that
  6. acb2m thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. I talked to a friend of mine who's a cs major and knows a lot about windows and he told me to get vista premium 64. He said vista should be able to run basicly any game going back 6-8 years and he can find any drivers or updates I might need. He actually recommended the ultimate edition but I dont need all those features. Thanks again.
  7. OnePumpChump macrumors regular


    Nov 19, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Yes, I would recommend Ultimate, retail version. It has the 64 and 32 bit versions in there. If 64 doesn't work out for you, you can at least use the 32bit version, just not on the same drive.
    I went with Ultimate cuz I wanted vista to recognize all 10gigs in my macpro.
  8. JSchwage macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Any 32-bit version of Windows will only be able to see a maximum of 3 GB of memory. I'd recommend getting the 64-bit version of Windows XP since he 64-bit version of Vista can be quite a hassle at times.
  9. acb2m thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I should add that I'm getting the oem version because I'm a poor college student and it's 100-200 dollars cheaper, so i'm forced the pick the 32 or 64 bit version. As far as vista vs xp, I just bought my mbp in august so I plan on using it for at least 3 more years. My options right now look like this:
    a) buy xp 64 and hope it stays current enough for the next 3 years
    b) buy xp 64 and then buy vista 64 when xp is no longer good enough ($$)
    c) buy vista 64 and hope they fix all the bugs soon so im good to go
    d) dont buy either and wait for the compatibility issues to be resolved with vista
  10. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Dont go XP64. There will be even less options available to you when compared with Vista64.

    If your computer is not DX10 capable,then just stick with XP32bit. You might only get 3GB vs 4GB but if you're only using it for gaming then it doesnt matter. You dont have the video power for games heavy enough that require even more than 2GB RAM. Save the $$ and just get XP32 OEM.
  11. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I just bought XP Home 32bit. It takes up a lot less space than Vista (5GB vs 15GB), uses less ram (Vista reserves around 512 for itself alone), it runs amazingly faster than I've ever seen before and MS announced recently they will be releasing SP3 for it soon so it's going to be around for a while.
  12. erik.wahlstrom macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008

    XP64 was never intended for wide distribution. It is a very nitch product essentially for developers and other professionals. There is NO reason to run this on 99.99% of boxes. If you MUST run 64 bit only considder Win2K3 or Vista. There are far fewer drivers for XP64 than Vista64. Also, XP64 is very different than XP. Its a toatlly different kernel. It won't run your games the same way.

    I run Vista32 on a mac mini and it runs flawlessly. Including Aero. I would recommend it. As for only recognizing 3GB? Yes. Well sorta. I believe you can get a patch to bump it up to 3.5GB or so. Basically a 32bit machine can only address 4GB. Windows reserves some for devices on the motherboard.

    Only having 3GB will not be a problem unless you have a massive data set. Yes it sucks that you can't use all your memory.

    My recommendation. Go with Vista32. If/when you want to go 64bit, get the free upgrade from Microsoft.

  13. Galapp macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Vista takes sooo much from the computer... you need a lot more of space, it takes a lot of Ram, you cant run smoothly both Mac and Windows (with paralels)... XP is your best choise...
  14. acb2m thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I'm not too worried about disk space and i'll be using bootcamp not parallels. I guess the question is will I actually need all 4 gb of ram if I'm just gonna game with windows and the answer seems to be no, so going with 32 bit and 3-3.5gb of readable ram doesnt seem like a problem. As far as xp vs vista, it seems that xp is more compatible and stable, but wont these issues get resolved for vista too? I'm trying to think long term here and having to put up with a few months/a year of potential "instability" (though i've read many opinions saying its pretty stable) seems an ok trade off to having a futureproof os for the next 3 years. Is this just wishful thinking? I honestly dont know.
  15. erik.wahlstrom macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    Don't forget that in 64bit mode you NEED more ram. Everything willjust take up additional memory. Every pointer is 64bits rather than 32. Most every int will be 64 bits rather than 32. Hence every complied program will simply take up more space. I've seen estimated on the order of 20%. So that wasted 0.5-1GB of memory is still wasted under 64 bit. This is true for ANY 64 bit OS. OSX included.
  16. rffs macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2008

    im confused lol

    i have the newest macbook 2.6 4gb ram....

    i want to install xp sp2 to play bioshock

    good idea?
  17. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    What are you confused about? Install XP unless you want to install Vista. If you don't want to install Vista, you have XP, so install it.:rolleyes:
  18. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    I always get the OEM versions as I have only ever called MS support once (and that was installing 95). If you have a valid OEM disk you can get the 64 bit disk from MS for $10 here (
  19. rffs macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2008
    i can have both which one uses my config at full potential
  20. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    It's personal preference. People will direct you to XP, but Vista SP1 just came out and it's pretty good. Just go with what you want to use.

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