What Version of Windows Is Best for Gaming?

Which version of Windows is best for gaming is a question that crops up often in Internet gaming forums, and those discussions can get heated! Typically, the argument involves two camps, each of which offers a number of advantages they see as essential:

  • The latest and greatest: Some gamers maintain that the latest version of Windows is always the best choice for a gaming PC because Microsoft typically adds support for the latest graphics cards, game controllers, and the like, as well as the latest version of DirectX. In the case of Windows 8, the operating system also boots and shuts down significantly faster.

  • The previous version of Windows: Naturally, gamers can't hang on to a specific older version of Windows indefinitely — for example, a number of the latest games won't run on Windows XP — but many gamers insist that previous versions of Windows require less system RAM and provide better performance on a new gaming PC.

    They also point out that game patches and updates may not be available or adequately tested for older titles running on the latest version of Windows.

This debate currently rests squarely between Windows 7 and Windows 8 because Windows Vista has been dropped from future DirectX support. Windows XP (although a dependable workhorse otherwise) shouldn't be considered at all for a gaming PC.

Which should you choose? Personal preference is king — currently, there are no games that demand Windows 8 as a requirement, so if you're comfortable running Windows 7, you should have a clear gaming horizon for some time to come.

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