Vista - 32 or 64 bit?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Zwhaler, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I know this is a weird question to ask here, but I kinda want to know what would be better for (I own a 64 bit iMac) the 32 or 64 bit edition of Windows Vista? I want it so I can play my numerous PC games that can barely run on my old PC. Thanks. By the way, I wont be doing anything advanced, just games, so I am wondering which edition will run faster, or what the advantages are.
  2. jim.arrows macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2006

    I'd say it's probably too soon to know, and is completely dependent upon Apple and/or Parallels intentions as to which they'll support with drivers (likely 32-bit, but only they know). But given the reason you state for wanting Windows, I'd say your best bet for game compatibility is 32-bit XP, which will do more with less resources than either Vista variant.
  3. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2007
    Digital World
    Even though I dislike Windows, I would say choose the 32-bit version because it has more drivers than the 64-bit version and most games today aren't programmed in 64-bit.
  4. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    If your playing games, don't use vista at all. I belive source games can use the 64bit but I do not know about other games.
  5. Shackler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2007
    behind you!
  6. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    errr.. I do think XP is a better choice for gamer, currently, but eventually, all games will opt for vista.

    for OP, Im not sure if 32/64 difference will affect games.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Always use the OS that runs the applications best. Likely for what you want to run that would be XP. Do any of your games require Vista? I doubt it.
  8. zephead macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2006
    in your pants
    I also suggest buying 32-bit XP. Vista's not worth the hassle.
  9. Yoursh macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    Of the reviews of Vista I've read, most have said that you should only run the 64-bit version if you have specific applications that would benefit from that version. Due to all the driver/compatibility issues, it's not worth using if you don't have to.
  10. Zwhaler thread starter macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Ok thanks for the replies. So it sounds like I should either get 32-bit Vista or 32-bit XP. I would like Vista just because I would rather have Vista than XP, but do older games (my oldest games are 3 years or so old, all run on XP) run ok on Vista? I most likely wont be buying newer games, I just want to be able to use my older ones.
  11. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    I don't think anyone here can answer your question specifically. Since every game varies in its support for vista, I am also not sure if Vista provides any backward compatibility (A virtual environment maybe) for older games. You better choice is to check game producers' website or google for them. one by one.
  12. elbruelsio macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2007
    1. There aren't a lot of 64-bit applications out there. So if you need to run a specific 64-bit app then go with 64-bit vista, otherwise, why do you want it?

    2. Vista requires signed WHQL certified drivers. It won't even let you install drivers that aren't signed. So make sure you can get a signed driver for the hardware you wish to run on.

    3. If you are going with 64-bit Vista you really should go with 4 GB of RAM, even more if your motherboard supports it.

    4. Vista should run most XP games provided they don't have hardware drivers for content protection. These kinds of hardware drivers are kernel level drivers and therefore are not Vista compatible. For more specifics on this I suggest you watch Loyd Case on DL.TV Episode 135
  13. Mozze macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2007
    You are going to want to go XP home or pro.
    Here's why.
    Vista in either 32 or 64 flavors will not be a good choice for you. the minimum requirements for vista might be too much for your mac, and optimal requirements are 2gb ram (no more is needed) 256mb graphics card (to run vista's Aero) also a quick note Vista 64 will run 32 bit applications without a problem only thing is it really isn't so backwards compatible not as much as you would think. The other thing is for games windows vista has been optimized for for direct X10 and not DX9. every game for XP was made in either DX8 or DX9 XP just executes DX9 better. also can anyone confirm that vista will even install on an intel mac? in either flavor
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Did you actually look at the specs of the OP's Mac before you posted this? :rolleyes:
  15. acoustics940 macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2006
    I would just get XP just to play games. Have you looked to see if any play on mac?? I play Warcraft III on mac and it runs fine. Sounds to me you want to waste money to get Vista just to get it if you like Pc that much get it if you just want to play games you just need XP
  16. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    Ok... first of all you don't have a clue!

    Second of all you only need 128MB of ram to run Aero, and all Intel Mac's support running Aero.

    Thirdly there is no data to support your argument that XP runs DX9 better than Vista.

    Fourthly, hundreds of people (at least) have installed Vista on their macs. If you had done a simple google search you would have found lots of sites talking about Vista on a Mac.

    Fifthly... you don't have a clue!
  17. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    I bought a retail ultimate upgrade (got a good deal) and got both 64bit and 32 bit disks. You can change from one to the other (as long as you are not running both at the same time) if your requirements change, although this means reinstallation from scratch. Otherwise, games will still be written in 32bit for quite a while yet. If you buy OEM, you have to choose between 32bit or 64bit as you do not get both disks.

    Otherwise, here is a good place to start researching what works or doesn't in Vista.

    Vista Software Compatibility List

    FWIW, I am running mine on a MacbookPro and it runs much hotter than OS X. I found this utility invaluable on my laptop. It may of some use on an iMac as Bootcamp drivers are written for XP and not all work on Vista.

    Input Remapper
  18. carfac macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    I would also suggest the XP route.

    I have a media center PC (God I wish there was a Mac version of this, but that is another thread.) Anyway, I got a "free" upgrade to Vista. I set up a dual boot with my original XP and Vista. I LOVE having the latest and greatest, so I am NOT afraid of new technology.

    However, in a Media Center environment, I have compared Vista to XP for the same tasks. I have decided to stay with the XP install. The Vista looks nicer, but is slower. It also uses a TON more resources. XP can sit idle at 1-5% CPU usage; Vista NEVER gets below 25%. Even simple tasks get the fans spinning up to jet aircraft levels- things like just watching TV. For me, that makes it a non starter- I want to hear the TV NOT the fans!

    Also, in MY environment, I am concerned about all the DRM coded into Vista; but that is me. In gaming, I think you may not care, or it may not matter to you.

    But I think you should be concerned that the BASE CPU usage is 25% or so- so you are loosing 25% of your CPU just running Vista- this would be a concern, I think.

    FYI: I have a very Vista-capable computer- 3 Gig Intel, 256 Meg GPU, 2 Gig Mem- I just really think Vista is poorly coded and optimized. I would advice against it.

    Good Luck!

  19. Zwhaler thread starter macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Thanks for that link! It looks like I will need XP because some of the games I want to play arent supported. Now it comes down to which version of XP. Media Center or Home? Any input would be appreciated. Remember, I just want to run games. I would like to get Vista because it is nicer, but what about support for games? Any idea if or when there will be better support for games? Thanks.
  20. elbruelsio macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Go with XP Pro. I don't see you taking advantage of media center unless you plan on finding a media center extender that is compatible with your hardware in order to push content out to your tv. Any Home edition of windows I would just generally stay away from, its limited in functionality. Of course, this may not affect you as your primary OS will be OS X. So do a little research on the features of Home v. Pro and you'll find your answer.
  21. Mozze macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Aero needs 256 look anywhere online I am not saying it doesn't work with less but everything I have seen says 256 I my self run 2 256 sli cards so I havent tried it with less than 512 but again everything I have read has said 256 for aero. and yes their is page after page that says DX9 runs better on xp than Vista look it up. and no I didn't look at his mac's specs I said in my post MAYBE indicating that I had in fact not even glanced at his specs and lastly did I ever even say anything about him not being able to install vista dude read a whole post before you start just tossing BS that I didn't even say out their you might wanna put down the crack before you try and make a point
  22. Mozze macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2007
    I was looking at this too for dual boot and boot camp says not to do media center, I found that a little odd as I think the mac hardware would look amazing on media center
  23. johnmartin78 macrumors regular


    Feb 10, 2007
    If you're ever wondering if you need a 32 or 64 bit version of Windows,that usually means you need 32 bit.When you need 64 bit you know.
  24. Zwhaler thread starter macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Any idea why? I would like to get Media Center, but I don't want it if it wont work. Perhaps the full version of boot camp will handle it better.
  25. Mozze macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Honestly I can think of no reason other than Media center is a much prettier VR of windows it's like the ultimate home edition upgrade maybe mac doesn't want you to see the beautiful side of windows. as far as how it installs and what not it is the same for the most part, a few more updated drivers and a little more compatible with SATA. maybe it's because media center discs are hard to come by. I don't know but I think media center would be a really good 2nd OS for a mac. as far as boot camp being fully released I haven't heard anything about it but the I spoke to today said he thinks it will be a beta program for a long time but thats just one guys opinion.

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