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Which OS?

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:29 pm
by Hawkeye
Hey all

Now that the new laptop has been sourced, I need to look at running an OS on it. Options are:

XP - stable and established, will run all legacy games including vgap & randmax, light OS, performance wise on dual core with 4gb RAM....?

Windows 7 Home edition 32 bit - should run all legacy games right?, heavier OS than XP...? performance on dual core with 4gb...?

Windows 7 Home edition 64 bit - hassle running older software, no performance issues, heavier OS than XP


So my question to the denizens of CM is - will XP run and take advantage of all the fancy tech in the new laptop (Core i5 processor, 4gb ram) such as hyperthreading, fully using both cores, turbo boost, getting full use of the 4gb, other stuff not mentioned...? How about Windows 7 32 bit...?

Cheers, H.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:33 pm
by Havok
XP will not... If your new machine came with Win7 64bit keep it.

You will need to install XP as a virtual OS or use a program like DosBox for VGAP. I've used both methods and they both work flawlessly. Another option would be a client like PCC or JVC.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:14 pm
by Raven2
Agree with Havok. I use Sun VirtualBox to run a virtual 32-bit version of XP on my 64-bit laptop. Works like a charm.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:19 pm
by Rimstalker
a 32 bit Windows OS will never use 4 GB of Ram, iirc it'll use about 3.4 or so at the max.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:27 pm
by Havok
Correct. Win XP (32bit) can only see 3 GB of RAM.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:07 pm
by Gavan
Something to remember about a 64-bit Windows OS is that it uses 1.5 times the amount of memory to run a 32-bit app on a 64-bit platform. (and 90% of software is still 32-bit) This means you will get 2.5 GB worth of 32-bit apps running while using 3.75 gig memory on a 64-bit OS. (So one should have 6 GB of memory installed on a 64-bit machine to get 4 GB of 32-bit apps to run)

I run the 32-bit version of Windows 7 with 4 GB installed because it is nice and simple to use Winplan (no virtual machines required) and I get more usable memory this way.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:28 pm
by Hawkeye
Cool. Memory issues aside, does anyone know about the other features like using both cores, hyperthreading, new chip tech etc?

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:32 pm
by Mika
I just bought a new computer myself and have more or less the same question. AFAIK now I have the 64bit version of windows 7 and don't intend to change that. So my only choices are running vpl on my old laptop or using some kind of simulator?

I used dosbox some years ago but never tried that simulating xp thing. What way is the more comfortable one? Always remember that my knowledge about computers is more or less the same as of crocheting and paleobotany.

So the easiest way is the most appreciated one for me.

Thanks
Mika

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:34 pm
by Havok
Hawkeye wrote:Cool. Memory issues aside, does anyone know about the other features like using both cores, hyperthreading, new chip tech etc?
The multi-core cpu is what allows the 64bit architecture to work. (that's the simplest way of saying it.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:46 pm
by Gavan
I run a multi-core i5 without problems on my 32-bit version of windows 7.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:58 pm
by albatross
Mika wrote:.. I used dosbox some years ago but never tried that simulating xp thing. What way is the more comfortable one? Always remember that my knowledge about computers is more or less the same as of crocheting and paleobotany. ...
Most emulating software is very user friendly with wizards and stuff, wouldn't worry about that.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:09 pm
by Havok
Mika wrote:I just bought a new computer myself and have more or less the same question. AFAIK now I have the 64bit version of windows 7 and don't intend to change that. So my only choices are running vpl on my old laptop or using some kind of simulator?

I used dosbox some years ago but never tried that simulating xp thing. What way is the more comfortable one? Always remember that my knowledge about computers is more or less the same as of crocheting and paleobotany.

So the easiest way is the most appreciated one for me.

Thanks
Mika
The two easiest ways to install XP on a Win7 machine would be VMWARE Player or Virtual Box, each program is good (and free) and will most likely boil down to personal preference. Once you have the emulator setup, you use it's wizard to install any OS you want virtually.

VMWARE Player

VirtualBox

Last but not least if you have a version of Windows 7 that listed as Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate you can install the free copy of XP Mode made available from MS via it's Virtual PC software. It doesn't feel right to me though. I prefer the setting provided by the first 2 I listed.

XP Mode

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:46 am
by BitMask
I also run Windows 7 32bit with 4Gb RAM like Gaven. Works perfect.
I disabled UAC and then there are no apps that does not work or install.

Don't go XP as the main OS. It's not supported anymore and your notebook should already have Win 7 installed. If you disable the Aero theme you can make Win 7 run faster than XP ever did.

And XP still come with IE6 which drive us website developers nuts! Think of switching to Chrome, Firefox or at least IE8 (or 9)

PS. Something interesting about the 32bit memory limit. It's the Total Memory limit so that include your graphics card memory also.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_GB_barrier

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:37 am
by Hawkeye
Ah thanks Bitmask - this is the sort of thing I'm after. I think I'll go for Win7 32 bit version first and see how that goes. I'd rather not faff about with emulators and the like if I can avoid it, and with any luck, Win7 32 bit version will have all the bells and whistles to make use of the core i5 architecture

As for the 3GB limit, surely I can get around that by using PAE, no?

Cheers, H.

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:30 am
by Gavan
Hawkeye wrote:
As for the 3GB limit, surely I can get around that by using PAE, no?

Cheers, H.
Yes you can but for the life of me I am not sure what applications you would be running on a Desktop OS that would be PAE aware and would need more memory than 3.5 or 5 GB.