Which Windows should I get?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jon08, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. jon08 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I'll be getting an early 2008 2.5 ghz MBP soon and I'm currently deciding on what kind of Windows I should get. I plan to do most of the work on a Mac OS, however, I'll be doing some gaming at times, and I guess for that purpose I'd use Boot Camp to run Windows in its full capacity. Additionally, when not playing games, I will most likely be using Fusion to run certain programs.

    1) Now, what would be the fastest, least memory-consuming and most stable version of Wins I could get?

    2) From what I understand most people would go with XP Pro with SP2? What about SP3? (I've heard lots of people saying SP3 was no good?)

    3) Should I go with 32 or 64 bit? (I've heard 32 bit could only use up to 1.9 GB RAM - is that enough tho?)
     
  2. cg165 macrumors regular

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    I would say upgrade your ram to 4gb which is cheap for ddr2 ram. If you have 4gb ram I would recommend vista 64 bit. You'll have the option to run games in directx10 and if they don't run well just run them in directx9.
    (get 64 bit home premium or ultimate)

    I uninstalled the video drivers that came with the bootcamp disc and installed laptopvideo.com latest drivers (get the drivers and modified inf, then replace the original with the Modified one and install). Also get smc fan control and up the fan speed before you restart into windows to play games. The fans will stay at that speed. Good luck! (you can find windows on newegg.com)
     
  3. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #3
    Get Vista Home Premium 64-bit. Works like a charm.
     
  4. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    But won't Vista clog the performance when run through Parallels/Fusion even if I have 4GB ram?

    Wouldn't XP be faster and more stable?
     
  5. sneezymarble macrumors 6502

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    Oct 1, 2008
    #5
    Not necessarily. It depends on what sorts of things you're doing when running a VM. In my experience it's a pretty bad idea to run any games in a VM regardless of whether you're using XP or Vista.
     
  6. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I will most likely be running a couple of light programs through Fusion, but at the same time want to sacrifice the least amount of memory for the sake of running Windows at the same time as Mac OS...

    So would Vista Ultimate x64 still be the best solution?
     
  7. sheebal macrumors newbie

    sheebal

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    #7
    Windows XP 32bit edition. Vista clogs up your RAM for nothing and only causes stress for your computer, which is bad in the long run.
     
  8. cg165 macrumors regular

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    The op is getting a mbp. It's hard to slow these machines down. Vista will run fine since you have the hardware for it. I like 64 bit and with 4gb memory I recommend it. Also get 4gb memory for it especially since you plan on running fusion or parallels.

    If you are paying for the os, why buy something that's really old? Even vista is coming down to the last year of being the latest and greatest since windows 7 will be out next year.

    Do you have any programs that you can't run in vista? List the programs you want to run and check to see if they're compatible. You should be good to go.
     
  9. upN0rth macrumors newbie

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    #9
    doesn't BootCamp only support 32-bit? when I went to install Vista on my new MacBook 2.4, it said 32-bit in the requirements.
     
  10. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    #10
    Spoken like someone who has never run Vista.


    No it runs Vista 64-bit just fine (I've been running it since SP1 was released). And yes, go with Vista 64. It's seriously like night and day from Vista 32-bit. Don't let the XP fanboys make you think otherwise. If you don't believe me, try asking people on a non-Mac forum which version of Windows to get (spoiler: they'll tell you Vista 64).

    You also mentioned you'd be doing gaming. Parallels/VMWare is terrible for gaming (good for productivity though).
     
  11. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Yeah, for gaming I'd use Boot Camp though...
     
  12. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #12
    I've never used Vista 32, but I use XP Pro at work all day. (Always a great relief to come home to my MacBook, I can say.) Comparing XP Pro to Vista 64 is no fun. Vista 64 wins, hands down. It's just as stable, but interface-wise it's just so much better. Takes better advantage of your hardware (it actually sees all of your 4GB of RAM) and erm... well, erm... it just looks prettier and works... erm... easier. Don't say that doesn't matter, because why are we all using a Mac then?

    No, really. Get Vista 64. It really does work like a charm. Besides, when doing gaming, you'll love DX10. For the games that support it. And when DX10 doesn't work, you can always fall back to DX9. And either Home Premium, Business or Ultimate will be fine. Ultimate is expensive, though, and not necessarily better than the other two versions.
     
  13. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    So how much memory does Win XP PRO actually see then?
     
  14. thewireman macrumors regular

    thewireman

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  15. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    #15
    You almost certainly do NOT want Vista Ultimate. It's basically just a combination of the features in Home Premium and Business...for the vast majority of people it's a waste of money. Home Premium is what you want most likely (Unless you need to log in to a corporate network's domain...I mean you can still use a corporate network with Home Premium just fine, but you can't log into the domain, which I woudln't want to do on my own computer anyway...)

    32-bit OSes can only address 4GB max, so depending on the system, you'll typically have roughly 3-3.5GB of useable RAM.

    64-bit Vista ups that to a full 4GB, BUT 64-bit OSes also need more RAM, so at 4GB it's kind of a wash.

    Vista is perfectly stable (assuming the drivers are fine). I personally would prefer a 32-bit version as there are still some things that don't work with 64-bit, and you're not really gaining anything from it. Gametap isn't fully 64-bit compatible, some other things fail because they use 16-bit installers (even though they're 32-bit programs) etc.

    And whatever you do, do NOT get 64-bit XP. It was kind of a testbed, not something most people would actually use. If you must go 64-bit, get Vista for sure.

    If you're buying a new copy, I'd get Vista...I mean I don't see a big reason to run an old OS on new hardware. Plus you'll have Direct X 10, which could be handy, it's more secure, will be supported longer, etc. But if you already own XP, you could always use that for the time being.

    So personally if you're buying it, I'd recommend probably Vista Home Premium, 32-bit version, which should run $100 for an OEM copy. The 64-bit version will probably be fine if you're not running older games, and not running Gametap.

    It sounds like you'll need to 'activate' twice-once in Boot Camp, once in VMWare.
     
  16. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    #16

    Indeed. Go for Home Premium. Ultimate is pretty stupid expensive though.
    Here's a break down chart of the different versions (the descriptions are pretty vague/comical though):

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-editions/default.aspx

    Also, you could get a system builders version for WAY cheaper than the retail versions (Vista Home Premium x64 for around $90). Unless you happen to like the fancy box and packaging.
     
  17. Supaklaw macrumors regular

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    #17
    XP Pro sees 4GB+. Trickiest to install via bootcamp but plays the nicest with all my games, which is only reason I use windows.
     
  18. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    #18
    XP Pro is the same as any other 32-bit OS-it can handle 4GB total, which results in 3GB+ that the OS can access.
     
  19. chris200x9 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    are you sure? I'm not doubting you but I'm just saying I have a linux machine I run 64 bit with 4gb ram I *briefly* (like 2 hours?) put winxp pro on and it only saw 2.85 gb ram?
     
  20. QueenZ macrumors 6502

    QueenZ

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    #20
    I would recommend Windows XP SP3 or Windows 7 Beta 1 when it comes out they're both great. About Vista.. I'm sorry but Vista is the reason i switched to Macs :D
     
  21. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    #21
    It varies by what hardware you have. Particularly if you've got a lot of hardware or have a lot of video RAM it can see less than 3GB, but normally it's in the 3-3.5GB range. 32-bit OSes can only address 4GB total, so the address space for hardware comes out of that.

    Windows 7 isn't appropriate as a functional OS for a lot of reasons, and Vista should be working just fine on modern hardware.
     

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