Which Boot Camp OS to use?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by barryd, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. barryd macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2006
    Here are my options:

    1. Vista Business 32-Bit
    2. XP Pro 64-Bit

    Because of student deals, I am able to get either of these OSs for basically nothing. I tried to get Vista Business 64-bit but "that's not covered by this promotion."
    So my question is, which of these two OSs would be best for gaming on? I will be buying either the 24" iMac with the high-end Nvidia card or the stock octo Mac Pro with the 8800.

    I don't know if this matters, but the XP Pro would be a clean install and the VIsta Business would be an upgrade disc onto a current XP Home installation.

    Please share any suggestions on which of the two machines I should pick as well. I'll use it for mainly Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, Office and code development on the Mac side and some coding work, but mainly gaming on the Boot Camp partition. I don't play Crysis and FPS stuff like that. I'm a MMORPG guy who would like to run Flight Simulator X as well.

  2. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Personally I always prefer a clean install to an upgrade, esp. where Windows is concerned. XP Pro is a proven os that has been around for quite a while and is quite stable at this point, although the 64-bit version can pose a problem for drivers; do you have specific reasons for wanting the 64-bit XP? OTOH, Vista is still quite new and unstable at this point, and offers few if any advantages for most things (plus it is an upgrade which has always tended to cause problems for Windows). I don't know how you intend to install the new os, but Bootcamp itself does not support upgrades, so you may be out of luck to begin with on this one; normally only full install discs can be used with the Bootcamp installer, because it does not provide a method to switch out the discs.
  3. barryd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2006
    Well, I thought i would be able to load XP Home onto a partition with Boot Camp and once that was installed start the upgrade to Vista Business. So this is not possible? Ugh. That would not be good.

    As far as the 64-bit question, I thought that would benefit everything -- game-wise. Is this not the case? Does it not make any difference in relation to gaming whether you use 32-bit or 64-bit?

    Good grief I feel like such a noob right now.
  4. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Perhaps somebody better qualified could answer your questions. I have not been much of a gamer for several years now, and never used 64-bit XP. I only know the headaches it can cause in a business environment.
  5. txflip2012 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2008
    XP vs Vista and Mac Pro vs iMac

    I'm running an 2.5Gz intel imac 24" w/ 4GB Ram and in my experience w/ using bootcamp:

    1. if you're machine will have 4+GB of RAM, then 32-bit versions of windows will only see 3-3.5GB of it.

    2. the drivers tend to be a little better for the 32-bit versions as far a gaming goes

    3. if you do decide to go w/ 64-bit, make sure you download the latest bootcamp drivers (although the ones that come with your install disc will be relatively new).

    4. if you want to be able to access your mac partition(s) from windows, you'll need a program such as MacDrive. (which doesn't have a 64-bit version).

    Overall, I suggest 32-bit Windows XP Pro with SP3. I have 4GB of RAM and it only reads 3.5GB of it, but it runs faster than all the other versions i tried (Vista-64 Ultimate, V64 Premium, V32 Ult, XP-64, Win 2k). I realize that this was not listed among your options so I guess you can just weigh the pros and cons. Out of your two choices, i would probably recommend Vista 32 due to the lack of 64-bit MacDrive support (IF you wanted to access your mac partition from windows).

    As far as your choice of machines goes, either option will suffice for the work you plan on doing. I use photoshop, after effects, flash, motion, and final cut, on my imac and it works decently but the multi-video layer projects of after effects would probably render much faster on a mac pro. Unless your work dabbles into video or 3d rendering often (or unless you plan on running "Crysis-caliber" games), I'd say get the iMac and save yourself some desktop space (or legroom).

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