Which Windows 7? OEM? 64-Bit?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by netdog, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Two installs. One for a 2.8 MBP (current model) and one for a Early 2008 2.8 Mac Pro Octo.

    I own VMWare and Parallels, both in the previous versions but can easily upgrade the licences. Not sure which is better at this point.

    I don't see any reason that I should need boot camp.

    Now the real problems...

    1. What are key differences between the Windows 7 versions and what do you recommend? The Microsoft charts are pretty confusing
    2. Is 64-bit worthwhile?
    3. What about OEM versions? Will they work? Can they be upgraded later if a new version of Windows comes out?
    4. Ethics aside, if I want to run one version of Windows temporarily on 2 machines while I evaluate if I like the version selected, will there be any obstacles to installing one version on two machines apart from the EULA?
    5. Anything else to consider?

    I should add that I am not a gamer, and use XP primarily for playing backgammon online, analyzing those matches, and running a large homeopathic software program (none of which is 64-bit as I understand it).

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    1. The mainstream edition of Windows 7 is Home Premium. Nothing you have described indicates you need "Professional" or "Ultimate".
    2. 64 bit is not worth it for the use you have described (IMHO). It is worthwhile if you run Boot Camp on a machine with > 4GB of RAM or have 64 bit apps.
    3. OEM will work, but it is no licensed to end-users and the restrictions make it much less flexible (below)
    4. If you don't enter a product key during install, Windows will run just fine for 120 days in an evaluation mode. No ethical problems there.
    5. I prefer VMWare, and the latest version is well worth it.

    I no longer recommend OEM versions. Microsoft has clarified the license to be much clearer that it is not intended for end-users, that doesn't mean it won't work only that you are not in full compliance with the license if you use OEM at home. Even a Windows evangelist like Ed Bott finds it confusing http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=1561, even though he comes to the opposite conclusion as I. More importantly for Windows 7, the retail versions come with both 32 and 64 bit editions and includes transfer rights so you can move your install from one machine to another with ease. Just a bit of "future-proofing."

    B
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Visit Microsoft to see the major differences between the various flavors of windows. The professional version is more geared to dealing with domains and a business network. Ultimate as a few more bells and whistles.

    If you have a 64bit cpu, and over 4 Gig of ram, then yes its worthwhile. More so if you are planning on running windows in bootcamp instead of vmware/parallels. I think it makes little sense to install the 64bit flavor of windows in vmware. Takes more ram and resources and you get no benefit.


    OEM versions are ones that are included with new computers, unlike the retal version you have to purchase the 64 or 32bit. The retail version includes both 64 and 32bit. Plus its non-transferable, that is once its activated on the computer you cannot transfer the license. Support is not provided by MS as well.

    Only that when install windows that you deselect activation when you type in the license code. You will have 30 days to play with each copy then.

    Based on what you plan on running, I see little need for the 64bit flavor. Many people choose the 64bit version because they think bigger is better, but if you're machine has < 4 gig it makes little sense.
     
  4. netdog thread starter macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Don't know if this matters, but the MBP has 4GB and I may upgrade that, and the Mac Pro has 8 GB.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #5
    The 64bit version can access ram over 4gig which is why it may make a difference but will your backgammon game use several gig of ram, or your other application?
     
  6. netdog thread starter macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #6
    For sure they won't use anywhere near that in the near or medium term future.

    Thanks for clarifying where the 64-bit version excels regarding +4GB RAM.
     
  7. UnixNut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #7
    After two installs of 7-Pro, the only thing it has going for it, is its candy interface.

    1. Only win7-pro has built in compatibility with XP specific apps, win7-home doesn't (MS wants you to upgrade for $89). I have games that work on 7-pro, but not the home version. Go figure...

    2. (Administrative) Right click on the windows folder, select the security tab, you'll realize how little control you have over it from an administrators stand-point. (Needed to edit the hosts file and couldn't). This lead me to my second problem with it.

    3. (Second problem) Booted into safe mode to try and change permissions, which never fully booted. After restarting it, win7 went into an auto-check mode and reported it couldn't fix my problem. After that, only booted to auto check mode. (I have win7 on a second computer, the permissions under the security tab is across the board with all versions, not just Home version which XP falls prey to.)

    Went back to using XP...

    Oh well, just my two cents on win7.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    The XP compatibility mode is basically running windows XP in a virtual environment. I played with it and found it lacking in that MS failed to make it seamless. You basically have a second desktop, windows code tree and need to install your XP only applications in there. I was hoping for a more elegant solution but instead found it more or less kludgy.
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    You're running games in XP Mode? As maflynn points out that's just an XP install in a MS Virtual PC VM. Otherwise, all versions of Windows 7 offer the same compatibility settings outside XP Mode.

    B
     
  10. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    #10
    It's worth underlining that the Windows XP compatibility mode is only applicable for apps that only work in windows XP. The majority of mainstream apps will work natively in windows 7 directly, which offers a better user experience anyway - as people say, two separate desktops is kludgy.
     
  11. UnixNut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    Don't know whats going on, just know that Oblivion runs on my Pro setup and not Home, both systems are the same as far as hardware is concerned.
     

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