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I have a MacBook Pro and here are the specs:
Since Windows 8 just came out, I wondering what is the best OS to get for gaming with my current laptop. I was thinking Windows 8, but I am not sure.
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As of today I would not recommend Win8. Not for the main reason everyone seems to jump on with the metro system (which I am not a fan of). More so that I generally would not recommend any new OS in the first 6 months or a year. Need to give it time to breath a bit, see if there are any major security loopholes. Give developers some time to ensure their software works as intended and such. I would say wait for SP1 or so with W8.
Now that said, in theory and early application W8 is better optimized than its predecessors. In my limited testing at work (so no gaming applications) I see a 10%-15% improvement in available resources with our basic work load (windows, network security sweet, messenger, emails, and such). Now once I start using anything that requires much processing the difference is miniscule.
What is happening is if your computer has the proper resources to handle what it needs to do the OS should use up somewhere around 10%-30% of those resources. Now if that 10%-30% is improved by 25% you are only going to see an literal improvement of 2.5%-7.25%. What this tells me is the lower the specs of your device are the better Win8 is as on OS choice. If you only have 1.5ghz dual core processor with 2 gigs of ram W8 will have a far greater impact than say a 3ghz quadcore with 12 gigs of ram. It is somewhat as many of us have feared but this OS is best used on devices like phones, tablets and such.
My concerns go even deeper and I am digressing a bit here. I dont think W8 will be around for very long. I believe this for 2 reasons. You have more than a small part of the personal consumer sector that are not interested in it. For reasons like the Metro UI, plus Win7 is a very good OS...why upgrade. But my bigger fear is that the business and government sector are going to skip it. Many, many, many of these companies and such that have hundreds if not thousands of computers are just now upgrading from XP to Win7, this includes companies and government agencies like Northrup Grumman, Lockheed, DOD, USDA, and so on. I also work with 6 different Universities here in VA and all of them are either in the process of converting over to Win7 or only did so in the last few years. If these companies that buy up licenses by the thousands at a time plus a large chunk of the civilian sector are skipping Win8 I just dont see Msoft getting the sales they want. There may be 1 major saving grace for Win8. If it turns out to be far more secure than Win7. If it's network security is a substantial step up than the business sector will adopt it and it will do well.
I know none of that actually answered your question...sorry just wasting some time here till I can call it a weekend. If I was you looking at the specs of your laptop...they fairly good. The one slight nock would be the gpu and Win8 will not boost its performance. Because of this I would go with win7. This way you have an established OS where most everything works. You wont need to go through the growing pains with Win8 as people work out the bugs. Or wait for Win8 SP1 if you are not in a rush.
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Palor brings up some very good points. I have W8 on my laptop and W7 on my desktop. I also think that W7 would be the best for right now. W8 really needs time for the drivers and everything to mature, though, according to the benchmarks I've seen, it performs pretty close to W7 in those regards anyway.
In all honesty, it's really just either/or. If you are accustomed to older Windows, then W7. If you like W8, then there's that. One might have slightly less performance then the other, but it's not a crippling experience, so neither would be a bad choice. I'd just give the edge to W7 because of its age.
Windows 7 x64 (64-bit) Home Premium is where you would want to start at, and depending upon what other features you want/need you may want to go with Professional or Ultimate instead of Home Premium. I personally use Windows 7 x64 Ultimate on all my PCs and laptops, and have used it since the open beta of Windows 7.
If it was not at the end of its life cycle I would also have recommended recommend Windows XP x64 Professional, as Windows XP is way lighter of an O/S than Windows 7. But like I said, it is at its life-cycle, actually its life-cycle had ended in like 2010 with support ending in 2014.
Like others have stated Windows 8 is too new, and the GUI can make for a horrible experience on a desktop/laptop. Windows 8 is more suitable for tablet PCs and hand-held devices with touch-screen capabilities.
Windows XP doesn't support latest DirectX.
Windows 8 is too new, may have graphics card driver problems.
Once SP1 comes out for Win 8 it should be better. Might as well get it since their is nothing wrong with it. The only problems that come up are problems that don't matter to most people put forth by people unwilling to accept a new interface. Unless you're a complete tard it's not hard to figure out.
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That may be true. Sadly it may be a year or so before we see SP1. I am still very luke warm towards W8. I have not tried to use it for gaming, using a copy on a computer at work for testing. Absolutely I have been able to get it to do everything I need, a few small hiccups that I resolved in a few minutes or found a work around.
My hesitation is that whenever I use it my first instinct is to always go back to the traditional desktop. I even went so far and purchased the task bar app from Starock for $5. So my thought process is if I am going to constantly be trying to use Win8 as Win7..why not just save the money and use Win7 which I already own. The performance gains of Win8 would be nice but as of right now my home computers, especially my gaming rig dont need the extra CPU and memory used by Win7.
I don't know, the only faults I see are faults that come from an IT viewpoint.... problems most people won't encounter.... mainly having to open up two folders to get to command prompt, and the interface ("start menu") which I actually think is cool but really isn't functional in the work place, multitasking isn't great, and a few other things.... but that's really it. For home use I don't see any fault other than it being designed for touch, but from everything I've seen using a mouse to navigate is simple, and leaves me questioning the animosity I've seen on some forums, and reviews.
I'll probably adopt Win 8 the next time I upgrade my Motherboard, but not before.... so probably in March when I move from AMD to Intel. I just think if you're getting a new PC/Laptop it's probably better to just get Win 8 since it's newer, unless you're getting it for work, then you should get Win 7.
@SupaKoopa Win 8 doesn't have any Graphics Card driver issues. Nvidia and AMD already had driver support for Win 8 months before it was released.
My biggest issue with Win8 in terms of work is how it tries to force me to have a single window all the time. With Win7 I will on regular occasion have excel open on 1/2 my screen and outlook on the other 1/2. I cant do this on Win8 unless I use multiple monitors...well I can see like 1/3 of the 2nd applications but it just doesn't work in an easily usable manor. I dont remember where I read it but it made me laugh because it was so true but someone said something to the fact that it should be called Window 8 and not Windows 8.
I have gotten over Metro or whatever they want to call it now. I still think it is overly busy the way they designed it. I can delete most everything out of it but then what is the point? It does seem like there is a lot of negativity just because it is the cool thing right now, or people dont want to learn the new system. I would ignore most this negativity except some of it is coming from more reputable sources like CNet, PCworld, engadget, etc. My take away has been this, there is nothing wrong with Windows 8. It does what it is designed to do and does that well. Yet for me as someone that is still very happy with Win7 and would constantly try and use it as Win7 there is no reason to upgrade.
I went against what I said, and just ended up downloading and installing it today. I'm not actually having that issue of only seeing 1/3 of a second window. They're both open at 50% of the screen.... at least chrome is. Don't have Excel and Outlook on my home PC so can't say if it's just certain applications that are affected but having two folders open is still an equal split for me. Odd.
So far I'm liking the experience but I've only been messing around with it for about a 1/2 hour.
@VampireRobot Really full driver support for my hardware? If so I may get Win8 after the holidays.
well, as for now Win7, but many devs are creating games for "supporting" (or any word related by that) Win8 --
Vamp, how are you feeling about Win8 now? More so do you think it is a smart purchase?
I am still torn I dont want to hate on the OS. I just cant bring myself to buy it for home use if I am going to spend 85% of the time using it like Win7.
There are some annoyances with apps and how they need to be closed. It took me a while to figure out you can just pull the app down to the bottom of the screen to close it. Updating windows at first gave me a headache... I had to to fix windows update so it wouldn't crash... which is odd.
There's an issue when messing with nVidia graphics settings, where the PC settings menu get's blacked out. I'm not entirely sure what setting that I changed is causing that, but at default there's no issue. I can't figure it out now because the mini hdmi adapter for my 560ti is broken and i'm waiting on a new one. Using a 6750 right now until UPS gets my new adapter to me..
One thing I love about 8 is the task manager. Hands down that thing is awesome. It's a huge improvement over 7. It's intuitive and just really nice.... yeah... not much else to say..
Network options are really nice as well. Being able to track your data usage is a huge plus. Though not important for me since comcast doesn't restrict my usage, but nice for others. I can check through task manager how my network is performing in real time. It let's me now how many mbps i'm getting.... nice.
Win 8 is considerably faster. Though I'm sure i'm not reaping the full benefits since my motherboard doesn't support the new boot style ( I think it's called tap), and I haven't gotten an SSD yet which will improve boot times as well. So by the end of the year when I finally do get an SSD my boot times will be much faster, though in order to get those extremely fast boot times I'll need to wait until march when I update my build to Intel and get a MOBO that supports the new boot style.
As for the UI... I like it. Having the apps pinned there is actually really nice .I really don't see myself using Win 8 as Win 7 that much. I really haven't had much of a need to go to desktop. I've been won over by the Start Menu... it works for me. Not too mention with Win 7 I always brought up the start menu to get to things. I kept my desktop clear of everything except the recycle bin and my itunes short cut. For me it's better just booting into the start menu since that's where I keep everything anyway, and there's an added bonus of being able to put what I want there and in what order.
Overall I think Win 8 is great for home use. It may have been built with touch in mind, but really I don't have any problems using a kb/m. $40 well spent in my opinion.
Even if you're using it like Win 7, the new features and optimization are worth making the leap. It's not a risk either at $40. I say if you're on the fence you've got nothing to lose, and if you don't like it you can always re-install win 7. You don't even need to purchase the upgrade right away, you can use it for 30 days before burying a key. I say give it a try.