This article is outdated, see this article: Windows 7 vs Windows 8 RTM: Gaming Performance
Every gamer asks himself every now and then this question: Which is the best operating system for gaming? I’m here to answer that question.
The real battle is between Windows XP and Windows 7 but if you ask me there is no “best operating system”. Every gamer has different needs that can’t be satisfied by a single operating system. We have to compromise and choose the best that fits our needs as an individual.
Depending on what are our requirements the “best operating system” can be any version of Windows. If you want to play DirectX 9 games then the best choice is probably Windows XP but if you want DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 you must choose a newer operating system, Windows 7. But new isn’t always better, see Vista.
Many people say that Windows XP is dying or dead and I like to tell them that more than 30% of PC users still use it. Even though Microsoft recently stopped supporting Windows XP this doesn’t mean that it’s completely dead.
As you can see, against popular believe, Windows 7 is actually better than Windows XP in DirectX 9 thus better for gaming! This time around new seems to be better. Windows 7 runs well even with older hardware making it king over other operating systems.
When it comes to DirectX 10 and 11 games there is absolutely no competition whatsoever. Because Windows XP only has support for DirectX 9 there is clearly one winner: Windows 7.
Further more, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP thus making Windows 7 prone to improvements…
If you’re not sure what architecture of Windows 7 to choose, x64 or x86, read this: Most hardcore gamers choose the 64bit version of Windows because it supports more than 3 GB of ram and is more stable / reliable.
40% of gamers on Steam use Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and more users make the move to x64 every day. In contrast, only 20% of Steam users have Windows XP x32/x64 installed.
All we can hope is that Windows 8 will take 7’s throne on release date but something tells me that Windows 7 will be the best operating system for many years to come or until DirectX 12 is released.
Best Operating System for Gaming is: Windows 7 x64
All details on the games that were included in this roundup can be found here: BenchmarK3D.com/benchmarks
I will continue to add games so the graph above is not final.
Here is a list of included games:
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)
3.3 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings disabled, Turbo Boost disabled.
|Motherboard||MSI P67-C43-B3, Intel P67 Chipset|
|Memory||2 x 2 GB DDR3 1600MHZ|
|Hard Drive||WD 500 GB SATA III|
|Graphics Card||Sapphire HD6950 1 GB|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX 650 W|
|System Software And Drivers|
Windows XP SP3 x32
Windows XP SP2 x64
Windows 7 SP1 x32
Windows 7 SP1 x64
Windows 8 x32 build 7955
Windows 8 x64 build 7989
|Graphics Driver||AMD Catalyst 11.x WHQL|
Last Updated: September 15 2011