Very confused - what version of windows for bootcamp gaming?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by student_trap, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #1
    hey guys, isn't the windows world so confusing!;)

    basically, i want to do some bootcamped gaming on my soon to be shipped mac pro, and wonder what version of windows I should get...firstly should it be vista or xp, and then, what version (home, professional etc) should it be, and finally is it better to get 32 or 64 bit versions?

    Id like to play both modern and older games (id like to give crysis a go for example, while also play a little bit of soldier of fortune 2 - the last time i gamed on windows was with sof 1 on a 550mhz pentium 3!!!:eek:)

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

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    Aug 7, 2006
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    Australia
    #2
    You are better with 32bit version of windows. Compatible with more apps.

    XP or Vista? At this point I think it is a personal choice. Vista is still quite new and shiny and XP is tried and tested.
     
  3. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #3
    First things first. You have a Mac Pro therefore you are limited to the editions of Windows that allow you to use all the cores in your machine.

    Only the following support dual processor machines :
    XP Pro 32bit / 64bit
    Vista Business 32bit / 64bit
    Vista Ultimate 32bit / 64bit.

    Personally I went with Vista Ultimate 64bit and find it is perfectlty good for gaming.
     
  4. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #4
    thanks for the advice. I have also been hearing about computability issues between different games and xp/vista. I assume that the new games will be vista only, am i wrong?
     
  5. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #6
    No that is not what I said. Any version of Windows can address any number of cores as long as the cores are only on one CPU. Because the Mac Pros have two CPUs and 4 cores on each CPU then they need to use the versions I listed above in order to get the most from their machine in Windows.
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    Very few games are vista only. The only few Vista only got poor reviews for bad game play.

    99.9% of games are available for XP.

    I suggest
    XP Pro or Xp C0rp.
     
  8. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

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    Kentucky
    #8
    Some of those older games might not be compatible with Vista. One of my all time favorite games is SimCity 3000 Unlimited and I've read quite a few forums on the internet where people can't get it to run in Vista, as the game was designed for Windows 95 and 98.
     
  9. Supaklaw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    As far as I know only Halo 2 is designed as a Vista exclusive... and there is an XP hack for it so you don't really need it. Besides Halo2 is pretty much only worth it if you have an XBL account to sign into.

    Secondly, you need to install XP SP2... not SP1... I had an older version of XP and bootcamp won't install it. Well it tries and then gives you an error.
     
  10. Delegator macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    #10
    XP is still the gaming platform for Windows

    Vista is a performance hog (still seeing 10-15% degradation on benchmarks versus Windows XP), and most Vista-only games are built to take advantage of DirectX 10. For Bootcamp gaming I'd stick with Windows XP at least for the next 6-9 months.

    And yes, SP2 is mandatory. That service pack has been out for a long time now and is the de facto standard in the XP world.
     
  11. Chone macrumors 65816

    Chone

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    Aug 11, 2006
    #11
    What most people don't realize is that when you buy Windows Vista you buy BOTH the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of the OS, you just have to order your discs from Microsoft and they'll charge you 5 bucks for shipping. So at least you won't have to worry about the 32-bit/64-bit decision if you do go with Vista, as far as I know this doesn't apply to XP.

    If you are only using it for gaming then you would get the best performance out of XP but Vista is also more secure, easier to manage and has DX10 which only matters if you have an 8800GT in your Mac Pro.
     
  12. hankolerd macrumors 6502

    hankolerd

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    So far it looks like if you want to play DX10 games using DX10 drivers you will need Vista, though I am sure someone will make DX10 available for XP someday. At first Microsoft looked like it was going to have a big push to make all new released games(at least the Microsoft ones) Vista only, but it seems now that they realized very few people are switching, that they can't do that.

    I currently am using Vista business, and it works ok, the only thing I wish I had xp for is the fact that it uses less hard drive space. I think it is only about 5Gb or maybe even less, but when I only have 65Gb set aside for it, it is alot. As far as Vista being a resource hog as most people will tell you, that is kinda untrue. Vista can use alot of resources if you have all the stupid options turned on, mostly the translucent menus and being able to stack windows and scroll through them(whatever Microsoft calls that). But you can turn that off, as well you can turn off all the annoying pop ups that come up everytime you touch a key asking if it is ok for the system to run a process.

    Also the translucent menu bar option, I think it is called 3d something or another, can cause some old games to not play well, for example Diablo 2 would take about 3-5 minutes to launch, and then the colors would all be messed up once it did launch, but if you turn it off then everything goes back to normal.

    Though 64-bit sounds nice, and runs faster, it has never seen much support from Microsoft except being released. They don't update it very often, and it is not well supported by other companies. Though the only real experience I have had with 64-bit was a couple years ago.

    I hope some of this is useful.:apple:
     
  13. rittchard macrumors 6502

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    Aug 12, 2007
    #13
    At this point in time, I'd recommend sticking with XP 32-bit (Home or Professional both OK), which will give you the best all around compatibility and performance for games overall. As mentioned, Vista tends to be a resource hog and so a lot of people have avoided it. Also there are some older games that don't cooperate well with Vista.

    Presently for gamers, the only real up side to Vista is DirectX10, which gives you access to some new and fairly attractive graphics tricks. Obviously for future-proofing, it may be worthwhile to consider it. The one game right now that really takes advantage of DX10 is Crysis, so if that was your primary interest, Vista may be worth a second look. Keep in mind that so far in games like Hellgate London, performance is generally worse in DX10 than in DX9 mode, so that may also be something to consider given you are on a laptop. In other words, performance considerations for the most demanding games may be more important than additional eye candy.
     
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
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    #14
    This is only true if you buy the retail version. The OEM version is either 32 bit or 64 bit and you purchase the edition that you want.
     
  15. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #15
    Thanks for all the great responses guys!:)

    I ordered the mac pro with this card. what differences can direct x10 offer?

    For clarification purposes, i think that it is important for me to state that gaming will be the least important thing that gets done on my mac pro, but i do however love playing them (I have always been more of a console guy until now!). For me therefore, I know that the machine I have bought (and am waiting for:() is more powerful than any computer i have ever owned (and by a large margin too!), and as such i'd love to see, even if for a while, what its like to game on such a powerful machine, if that makes sense!:)

    Furthermore, what sort of graphics capabilities does this really have? are we talking ps3 style? or better of worse?

    [edit] the mac pro i have ordered will have the 8800 and 8 gigs of ram
     
  16. luffytubby macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

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    Jan 22, 2008
    #16
    is it true that the 32 bit versions of vista home premium can only adress 2 gig of ram? do you need the 64 bit version to take advantage of 4 gig ram?

    (asking in the context of an Imac...)
     
  17. RichardI macrumors 6502a

    RichardI

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    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    #17
    The 32 bit version of windows can address 4 GB or RAM - TOTAL. That's including video RAM. So, if you have say 512 MB of video ram (.5 GB), Windows will show 3 1/2 MB in System Info (a little less, actually). 4 GB - .5 GB = 3 1/2 GB. And so on.
    I have an iMac and I have XP Home 32 bit installed under Bootcamp and it works great. It will run any game you want, including most that will also run under DX10. There are no games I know of (that doesn't mean there aren't any) that will only run under DX10. DX10 aint all that great anyway. Check Google and compare. Besides, to run DX10 you must have a DX10 video card.

    Rich :cool:
     
  18. Chone macrumors 65816

    Chone

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    Aug 11, 2006
    #18
    Direct3D 10 can spruce up some games but it's not really a deal breaker for XP, some games like HG:L benefit inmensely by it but others like Bioshock add a few effects and even worse some like Lost Planet become unplayable for just a few meaningless effects, others like CoH play quite well actually in DX10.

    I would actually recommend Vista, it's just a better system, sure there is a little bit of overhead but the performance difference between it and XP is small and you won't be affected by it with your 8800GT. Vista has the games manager, a better updater, DX10 support and SP1 on the way which will probably improve performance. Also, if you are a newbie at Windows then Vista will be much easier to set-up and get running without any issues, XP is a pain in the ass to install and configure.

    Unless you want the ABSOLUTE best performance then get XP but I don't think the extra bit of performance is worth it. Your Mac Pro compared to a PS3 will be MUCH better graphically, you'll be stunned when you give Crysis a go.
     
  19. Heliconsoul macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #19
    I installed Vista Ultimate 32-bit onto my new Mac Pro (with 8800GT) and couldn't be happier.

    Running Crysis at 1650x1080 - All settings v high (shaders and shadow on medium, no AA, as they're the biggest resource hogs) and it's an amazing sight. DX10 adds a lot of lighting tricks and stuff like motion blur, which while seeming like nothing really adds up to a great experience.

    Also HL2:EP2, Portal and CoD4 all run completely maxed out smooth as silk :D

    As others have said, if you're looking to run really old games it could be a problem, but otherwise I'd go with Vista. It's no OSX but it's pretty decent if you ask me.
     
  20. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #20
    thanks a lot for the advice! I just looked at the sys requirements of vista however and it says that it needs 40 gigs of hard drive space and a further 15 gigs free:eek: On my mac pro I had planned to pick up a 500 gig samsung drive, partition it into ~ 200Gig and ~ 300Gig sections for windows and an osx scratch disc respectively.

    Is 200 gigs not a big enough partition for vista?
     
  21. Heliconsoul macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #21
    I have Vista on a 250GB WD Caviar SE.

    With Vista, Half-Life 2, HL2:EP1, HL2:EP2, Portal, Team Fortress 2, Crysis, 15GB of music and CoD4 I still have over 180GB left.

    200GB is plenty if you're just using if for gaming.
     
  22. JSchwage macrumors 6502a

    JSchwage

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    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #22
    XP, hands down. I'd recommend waiting another couple years before you start using Vista for games. There isn't a huge list of games that will work on Vista right now.
     
  23. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #23
    I have Vista 32 bits running on my Mac Pro (8 x 2.8 GHz), GeForce 8800GT, 2 GB RAM (will be 4 GB before end of week), and I still haven't really found out which is better for gaming:
    32 bits or 64 bits???

    I was under the impression 32 bits was more compatible with (especially older) games. And since non of the games I have played so far are RAM delimited (Crysis is definitely grfx card delimited) I thought Vista 32 Ultimate bits would be best for the Windows gamer on the Mac Pro.

    Any other ideas?
     
  24. twombles62 macrumors member

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    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #24
    I have vista ultimate 32 on my macbook, and it runs the three games i've installed so far: GTA vice city, UT2004 and Dungeon Siege 2. The frame rates aren't as good as expected though. I have to turn the settings down a bit to get 20+ frames. XP may be better, but I just had the Vista copy on me.
     
  25. sdschwendener macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    #25
    64-bit vista home basic on mac pro

    Im running vista 64-bit home basic on a 2.8 GHz mac pro 4gb ram 8800. I can run bioshock, call of duty 4, gears of war, ut3, cs source, pro street all at top settings.

    Crysis runs very well.

    Get steam and download Geometry Wars

    Run it all with a 360 controller for windows
     

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