#1 Edited by djames216 (353 posts) -

Hi guys.

So here's the thing. Up until now I have been using Windows XP x64 on my dedicated gaming PC. It's only relatively recently that I've been seeing certain big releases (that interest me) that don't support XP (Dishonored, XCOM, Sleeping Dogs, the upcoming Bioshock: Infinite). I was recently given a PC World gift card and thought I would put it towards buying Windows 7, but PC World apparently no longer sell it (not in-store anyway). I can't use the gift cards online, I can only use them in-store and they of course stock Windows 8. I've tried to research Windows 8 online but I find conflicting opinions about it. It's difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.

So basically, my only Windows option from PC World is Windows 8. Is this a good choice for PC Gaming? Does anyone else already use Windows 8? What have your experiences with it been like?

Obviously if Windows 8 isn't worth bothering with I'll just get something completely different.

#2 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

Windows 8 is very similar to 7 and it has been very fast. It starts up basically instantly.

Give it a try. There are about to be a ton of posts that say "Oh Windows 8 sucks dude" below here but I think if you actually use it you'd find it's quite similar to 7.

#3 Edited by MikkaQ (10264 posts) -

It's fine, it works. I liked 7 better but now that I've upgraded there's no point in going back. The interface is going to be quite different if you're going from XP, but you get used to it. It's fine for games.

#4 Posted by Dolphin_Butter (1913 posts) -

I've been using Windows 8 since release and I've had no major issues so far. I find that most people's complaints about the OS stem from the Metro/Modern interface, but it's not that big of a deal, honestly. Performance has been great, and crashes have been extremely rare--about once every two months due to general bugs and glitches from games that affect every OS.

#5 Edited by EXTomar (4453 posts) -

XP64 was always the red headed step-child of Windows where I'm surprised you could keep it running as long as you could.

I would never recommend upgrading a machine that is functional today but in this case there are some compatibility issues with sticking with XP64. How old is the hardware? One drawback with going with the latest and greatest (in this case Win8) is that older harder often has spotty driver support which may be a serious hurdle.

Why do you feel you need the upgrade this machine anyway? You might want to just take the money and put it towards an entirely new system that that is built for Win8 instead.

#6 Posted by djou (850 posts) -

I use W8 and run the four games you mentioned without a problem. Overall, the OS does little to nothing for gaming, positive or negative. However, I started a new PC with W8. If you're upgrading I would follow @extomar advice. I find that MS does a crappy job at supporting older hardware in their OSs. At minimum if you do plan to upgrade, back up your system.

#7 Posted by djames216 (353 posts) -

@extomar said:

XP64 was always the red headed step-child of Windows where I'm surprised you could keep it running as long as you could.

I would never recommend upgrading a machine that is functional today but in this case there are some compatibility issues with sticking with XP64. How old is the hardware? One drawback with going with the latest and greatest (in this case Win8) is that older harder often has spotty driver support which may be a serious hurdle.

Why do you feel you need the upgrade this machine anyway? You might want to just take the money and put it towards an entirely new system that that is built for Win8 instead.

I would never recommend upgrading a functional machine either but the main reason for upgrading is to play games that don't support XP. Apologies if that wasn't clear in my original post.

As for hardware, I have an Abit IN9 32X-MAX motherboard that uses the nVidia 680i chipset. I've looked up the nForce drivers on nVidia's site but no Win8 drivers are listed which isn't a great surprise but makes me seriously doubt that I will even get Win8 now. Not much point if there are no drivers to properly support the motherboard. They do have Win7 drivers though. I guess I will use the gift card for something else and get Win7 at some point instead.

Thanks for the response, I don't know why hardware drivers didn't occur to me. I'm glad you put that thought in my head. I would not have been happy had I bought Win8 only to find it didn't like my motherboard.

#8 Posted by lanerobertlane (135 posts) -

I've had 8 since launch, the first month was a bit rocky when playing older games on steam (bioshock, simcity 4) which would lead to the new "cute" BSOD through graphics stuff, but that also could have just been my set up. Now everything runs fine, and I've got used to the metro start menu which i rarely ever use.

I'd say go for it, it runs faster than any previous windows OS i've had and is effectively windows 7 with a new start menu to me. Plus, if you're a gamerscore kinda duder then there's all the games in the windows store with Xbox achievements including Minesweeper and Solitaire.

#9 Edited by jozzy (2041 posts) -

Been using it for a couple of months, and I think it's perfectly functional. It takes a little getting used to but it works, just think of the metro screen as an oversized startmenu and it's a pretty normal windows experience. All games I have played on it work fine, sometimes you have to use compatibility mode but that was the case in Windows 7 too.

#10 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

All in all Windows 8 is a fine operating system. Personally i'm not a fan of the metro menu and the special "apps" are all pretty useless for an actual computer, but in the end it is just a faster, sleeker Windows 7 that just happens to be missing the start button.

#11 Edited by EXTomar (4453 posts) -

I have a nForce 680i SLI mother board in a machine that used to be my main gaming machine but that was retrofitted into my Linux workstation many years ago.

I would start saving for a replacement since the core components of that machine are at least 5 years old and latest chipsets and mother board are generations ahead and faster. I don't know your budget but I would start saving for a new system now while keeping that machine as is. If something happens like a catastrophic hard drive failure (which is what killed my 680i as a windows machine) then see if you can find an OEM copy of Win7 for cheap as a backup plan.

As for Win8, the big issue has always been the dubious choices made in the interface. It seems to have "dissociative disorder" where parts of it are touch oriented only, parts of it are "classic", and some force the wrong one when it should have done the other. Along with ignoring or abandoning some really useful desktop paradigms for no good reasons. Stuff like: You can run as many apps as you like but can only look at one. Not to mention, work flow itself benefits from having apps in states other than maximized or minimized.

So yeah, people can learn to use Win8 like they learn to live with a stiff knee. You can live and work around the limitation but that doesn't make up for the loss.

#12 Posted by Shevar (134 posts) -

I build a PC just this pas winter and bought Windows 8 for it.

What I found out was that it came without a lot of the legacy Direct X dlls. After following steps that Microsoft provided I installed Direct X 9.0c and older releases, I could play anything.The lack of a start menu isn't worth bothering in my opinion because most people use shortcuts, you can still pin folder to you File Explorer icon and Steam is just the same Client.

If anything, I would recommend Windows 8 because I find it to be a bit 'snappier', for lack of a better term, than Windows 7. It boots faster, file transfer and general desktop work is quicker and best of all, it uses less resources than Windows 7 which leaves that bit more resources for your games.

#13 Posted by djames216 (353 posts) -

@extomar said:

I have a nForce 680i SLI mother board in a machine that used to be my main gaming machine but that was retrofitted into my Linux workstation many years ago.

I would start saving for a replacement since the core components of that machine are at least 5 years old and latest chipsets and mother board are generations ahead and faster. I don't know your budget but I would start saving for a new system now while keeping that machine as is. If something happens like a catastrophic hard drive failure (which is what killed my 680i as a windows machine) then see if you can find an OEM copy of Win7 for cheap as a backup plan.

As for Win8, the big issue has always been the dubious choices made in the interface. It seems to have "dissociative disorder" where parts of it are touch oriented only, parts of it are "classic", and some force the wrong one when it should have done the other. Along with ignoring or abandoning some really useful desktop paradigms for no good reasons. Stuff like: You can run as many apps as you like but can only look at one. Not to mention, work flow itself benefits from having apps in states other than maximized or minimized.

So yeah, people can learn to use Win8 like they learn to live with a stiff knee. You can live and work around the limitation but that doesn't make up for the loss.

Saving up isn't an option unfortunately because I am unemployed at the moment. I know that the motherboard is not as young as it used to be but it's still very functional and I'm not interested in (and certainly can't afford) upgrading the hardware. I'm not yearning for a faster PC, simply one that can continue to play new games coming out.

Catastrophic hard drive failure isn't a concern as the boot partition is backed up and I have a few spare hard drives knocking around should I need to restore the install to another hard drive. Worst case scenario: I re-install from scratch with the original Windows disc. I back up partitions for convenience and as a time-saver more than anything. It's nice to be able to restore a reasonably up-to-date Windows install with all its software and tweaks intact in a short space of time instead of spending a long time manually re-installing and updating everything.

If the dubious interface choices in Windows 8 was the only issue I had, it would not put me off getting it. I would just get to used to it over time. The PC it would have gone into is literally for gaming (usually via Steam, gog.com or retail discs) and nothing else. I have another PC that I use for everything else (browsing, music, video, etc.). I appreciate the points you make about how Windows 8 falls short with its interface though.

The more I think about it, the more that getting Windows 7 is the viable option for me.

Thanks for all the positive feedback everyone, you're awesome.

#14 Posted by JJWeatherman (14557 posts) -

I've had some compatibility issues since upgrading to 8 a little bit ago. Dark Souls took some work to get running. There were a couple other issues initially that I've already forgotten the details of. Overall I like 8, and I don't think you'll regret buying it.

#15 Posted by Subjugation (4716 posts) -

I didn't enjoy my stint with 8. I don't like the Metro interface and the absence of the traditional taskbar. It doesn't help that I ran into a slew of problems being able to do work on my university's network because 8 didn't play nice with their security protocols. The OS just didn't feel polished enough for me at the time I was using it (up until last December). I'll be sticking with 64-bit Windows 7 until it is either no longer supported or something better comes along. I just don't believe 8 is a good successor.

The OS can be functional, but you may have to fight it a bit.

#16 Posted by HyperdrivePics (2 posts) -

I think you should be fine with Windows 8. If you're mainly using it to play games, the new interface shouldn't be a problem once you get the game started.

#17 Posted by Andorski (5179 posts) -

Get Windows 8 and download Classic Shell. Boom, you now have the Windows 7 UI that's even more configurable than stock Win7 plus all the benefits of Windows 8.

#18 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4138 posts) -

I use W8. Its fine. The Windows Blue update is coming out in like July.

50/50 side by side apps, 1/4 sized apps, extra large dekstop size. ~ Stuff.

#19 Posted by Devildoll (876 posts) -

windows 8 is pretty much, a tad faster windows 7, with a really neat taskmanager and file transfer rework.
but it also has a stupid tablet interface attatched to it, which you can disable, ive heard.. an install a 3rd party proper start menu.

#20 Edited by FistGrenade (8 posts) -
@andorski said:

Get Windows 8 and download Classic Shell. Boom, you now have the Windows 7 UI that's even more configurable than stock Win7 plus all the benefits of Windows 8.

That's what I did and I've had no problems with it since. I don't see why so many people are negative about it.

#21 Edited by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

I dual boot Windows 8 on my MacBook....it's not so bad. I like how it looks and functions better than any other version of Windows (still not on par with OS X if you ask me). Most of my games work with it, however I haven't been able to play GTA IV ever since upgrading to 8..... Other games crash here and there, but that's to be expected...it's Windows.

#22 Posted by TruthTellah (8423 posts) -

How is UI scaling in Windows 8?

One of my problems has been using a 1080p screen that's only 15.6in, and many applications on Windows 7 just don't seem to scale properly for me to be able to see them well. Considering Windows 8 is optimized for HD tablets, shouldn't it include more support for scaling UI elements and text to help readability on smaller high resolution screens?

If Windows 8 improves that, I'm on board.

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