Gaming My Way

22 Mar

Operating Systems and Gaming

Most people who game on the PC know that Windows has more support for gaming than the alternatives of Mac OS X and Linux. Now, before anyone contradicts me, I know it’s possible to game using OS X or Linux, and there are a number of great games that can be played on both operating systems, but most of the games released are released on Windows. And yes, I use Windows because it’s what I was raised on, and it doesn’t seem worth the trouble to switch since I enjoy using my PC for gaming.

That said, I think Microsoft is moving in the wrong direction. I use Windows XP, and will continue using it until the successor to Vista comes out, and then I’ll see what their new OS is offering.

However, what Vista is offering is a way to use more system resources. Now, if I want to play games on my computer, what I don’t want is my OS using system resources that could be used to make my game run better. Yes, features for ease of use are good, but features that just use up an excess of memory or processing power aren’t necessary and just drag a computer down. This is especially important for me, as I game on a four year old laptop I bought for $800. Let me tell you, if you haven’t figured it out, that I don’t do much gaming with new games. My computer just can’t handle it.

Perhaps you might tell me I should just get a new computer with better equipment in it. And I agree, I should, and I’ll be doing just that as soon as I can afford to. At which point, Vista should be no problem, right?

Wrong! Sure, my computer would meet the system requirements, but I have no intention of letting a bloated OS siphon away computing power from the games I want to play just to keep the OS afloat, even if I have the power to spare. Because someday, that computer will be getting old. It won’t have power to spare anymore. It’ll be barely running what’s new, and I want a new computer to last as long as it can before I buy a new one. The fewer resources my operating system uses, the more it can use for the things I want the computer to do, and the longer it will be until I need more power.

I know that Vista does have support for more ram than XP, however, since I haven’t heard of a game I want to play yet that requires more than 3 GB of ram, I think I’m safe on that front. And everywhere else, XP wins out over Vista.

So you might wonder why Windows XP over Windows 98 for me then? One word: Stability. Yes, it requires more resources, but it’s stable. Compared to the countless times my computer locked up while I used 98, XP has locked up on me exactly once, and it was when I was pushing my computer to do something it wasn’t remotely capable of doing. If something is going to crash, I’d much rather crash to desktop than freeze. And while XP isn’t perfect, and crashes often enough to be irritating, it’s less often than 98 locked up, and also less irritating than having the computer lock up.

Of course these are my experiences, so your mileage my vary. But for me, in the end, XP wins PC gaming for now.

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