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Steam Gamers Upgrading to 64-bit Win 7 Quickly

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

Intel and Nvidia hardware still leading the pack on Steam.

Each month, Steam collects data about what kinds of computer hardware its users are running. Besides just being interesting to us, the incredibly helpful to game developers in providing a picture of what its target audience is using as well as their upgrade habits.

While memory typically grows along with better and faster CPUs and GPUs, the numbers for January 2010 presented a notable milestone for Microsoft. Although Windows XP is still the predominant choice of operating system for Steam gamers, Windows 7 uptake amongst the group was so fast that the 64-bit of the new OS is now the second most popular on the system.

Windows XP is used by 42.15 percent of those on Steam, with Windows 7 64-bit at 19.2 percent, shooting past both versions of Windows Vista (32-bit at 19.09 percent and 64-bit at 8.82 percent). The 32-bit version of Windows 7 held 9.03 percent.

As usual, Nvidia and Intel held the majority of hardware parts at 65 percent and 69 percent, respectively.

Check out the latest numbers here.

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  • 0 Hide
    padlius , 11 February 2010 04:29
    I am Win 7 32-bit, least popular choice eh? I wish now I had 64-bit, but was worried about compatibility issues.
  • -1 Hide
    alphadogg123 , 11 February 2010 05:17
    over the last few years pc gaming has really fallen apart, mostly due to the ps3 and 360 being as good as high end £1000 pc's.

    but high performance graphics cards are getting cheaper as better ones come out. and slowly we are begining to see some advantages to playing on a pc.

    windows 7 will hopefully bring better experiences such as dirt 2 at 60fps with directx 11.
    windows 7 is also the only windows release i can remember getting good reviews and good feedback from across the board.
    hopefully steam will sort out there slow annoying interface and make it run faster
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 11 February 2010 13:22
    64bit does not force you to use signed drivers, i`m always using beta drivers to try them out, and it`s been over 2 years since i had a compatibility issue with 64bit
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Herr_Koos , 11 February 2010 14:49
    @Rab1d-BDGR: How do you get past the problem of 16bit installers not working on Win7 x64? And yes, this is crucial. I need to play C&C 95 ...
  • 0 Hide
    waxdart , 11 February 2010 15:48
    Herr_Koos@Rab1d-BDGR: How do you get past the problem of 16bit installers not working on Win7 x64? And yes, this is crucial. I need to play C&C 95

    @Rab1d-BDGR - Ubuntu and wine might sort that out :) 
    Use dosbox for much older "dos" games.

  • 0 Hide
    Herr_Koos , 11 February 2010 15:54
    C&C 95 is not a DOS game. Neither is Red Alert. Both use 16bit installers and refuse to install on Win7 x64. I did manage to get C&C working under Win 7 x32 though.
  • 0 Hide
    kyzar , 11 February 2010 18:18
    Funnily enough it's sort of Steam that is one of the reasons that I haven't upgraded my main PC yet - all the UFO series I have, not sure about Bloodrayne - there's probably 20+ games in my Steam collection that will be questionable in '7.

    Quote:
    over the last few years pc gaming has really fallen apart, mostly due to the ps3 and 360 being as good as high end £1000 pc's.

    but high performance graphics cards are getting cheaper as better ones come out. and slowly we are begining to see some advantages to playing on a pc.

    windows 7 will hopefully bring better experiences such as dirt 2 at 60fps with directx 11.
    windows 7 is also the only windows release i can remember getting good reviews and good feedback from across the board.
    hopefully steam will sort out there slow annoying interface and make it run faster


    Funny, I always thought a gi-huge gfx card would bring 60fps, not merely an install of '7...

    Even as a PS3 fan - as good as a £1000 PC? Well I have a £800ish main PC and it is light-years beyond the PS3 and I have to have a PC hooked up to my TV because the PS3 cries when asked to play films over 4gb, even over the network.

    NT, NT Server and 2003 all had great reviews.

    Steam is only as fast as the 'tinternet connection it is run on.

    I gave up smoking today - it's not made me irritable at all... ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    codefuapprentice , 11 February 2010 18:35
    £1000?....for a PC?
    T'yeah....when all you go for is Intel i7s.
    I know people keep saying the Phenom II 955 & 965 can't compare to the i7s(Triple channel memory controller), but i'm personally thinking otherwise when Games are concerned, as there's just not much that between the i7 920 and the 955/965 to justify that extra £90 for the i7, and compared to the C2Q, the Phenom II is still ahead of them.
    (and who would want to pay £90 for an extra few frames)
  • 1 Hide
    yslen , 11 February 2010 18:45
    Rab1d-BDGRNot had any compatibility issues with games that couldn't be solves with changing a setting or downloading a patch. The ONLY downside to 64-bit is that they force signed drivers. LOL wut? PS3 has basically got a Geforce 7 GPU. Sure the Cell is nice, shame nobody can fuigure out how to use it properly...They struggled to publish any games above 720p, and even then they ahad poor AF and no AA.


    I've been using Vista x64 for a couple of years and never had a problem with signed drivers - even rivatuner works, because someone signed it for them. I imagine windows 7 x64 is even better.

    As for the console vs PC comment... (@alphadogg) phaw! don't make me laugh! A £1000 PC even on the PS3 release day would have given better performance, plus higher resolutions. The consoles are still the same level they were, while PC hardware has improved. The PC is much better value if you do it properly because of the upgradability, the cost of the games, the cost of a monitor vs an equivalent TV (which has to be huge to offset the sofa-tv distance vs sitting at a desk), the ease of replacing parts when something breaks, the reliability vs. consoles (have you SEEN the 360 hardware failure rate?!) and the fact that these days, most people who can afford a games console also need an office-spec PC for other things. This means the true cost of PC gaming is limited to the difference between a generic pc and a gaming-spec one.
  • 1 Hide
    yslen , 11 February 2010 18:49
    codefuapprentice£1000?....for a PC?T'yeah....when all you go for is Intel i7s.I know people keep saying the Phenom II 955 & 965 can't compare to the i7s(Triple channel memory controller), but i'm personally thinking otherwise when Games are concerned, as there's just not much that between the i7 920 and the 955/965 to justify that extra £90 for the i7, and compared to the C2Q, the Phenom II is still ahead of them.(and who would want to pay £90 for an extra few frames)


    Agree - I paid all of £85 for a Phenom II X3 and it's never anywhere near max load in any of my games. Before that I was running an athlon X2 5000+, which cost a whopping £40 and only caused a bottleneck with GTA IV. Still managed 30+ fps with better draw distances than the consoles though.
  • 0 Hide
    Kraynor , 11 February 2010 19:02
    I upgraded all 4 of my systems to Windows 7 64-bit Beta 7000 the day it was available, and when the OS went on sale I picked up 4 copies of it. Don't regret the decision one bit.

    The sooner the majority of people switch over to a 64-bit DX11-capable OS, the sooner developers will produce products that fully utilise the hardware available.
  • 0 Hide
    Kraynor , 11 February 2010 19:04
    padliusI am Win 7 32-bit, least popular choice eh? I wish now I had 64-bit, but was worried about compatibility issues.


    Every copy of Win7 comes with 2 DVDs - one 32-bit, one 64-bit, and the same serial works for both. Get upgrading ;) 

    As for 16-bit installers, if you NEED to use older software, there are emulators out there, not to mention the Windows XP virtualisation built-in that'd do the job quite nicely.
  • 0 Hide
    Herr_Koos , 11 February 2010 19:07
    Fair, XP Mode should work for older games, as long as it doesn't require 3D acceleration. I have yet to test it for gaming though. Also, XP Mode is only available on 7 Professional and above.
  • 0 Hide
    Kraynor , 11 February 2010 19:10
    Every game I've come across that has a 16-bit installer is from a time before hardware accelerators were common - they had the option, but software was also an option, and current day CPUs will have no problem running them with software acceleration.

    I always forget which version has what features, I got a good pre-order deal on Ultimate (was priced between Home Premium and Professional) so just got 4 of those.
  • 0 Hide
    Pailin , 11 February 2010 19:50
    Control interface.

    no fast precise movements on a console. Will never go there. + later in consoles life - outdated GFx etc.

    PC gets Great game deals on older games - like Far Cry 2 for £7.49 the other day off Steam :D 

    To me consoles are like a loan system for people a little short on cash which make you pay more in the end with over priced games - to offset the underpriced consoles which are sold t a loss. Then you pay and pay and pay till the next gen + then pay again or a return to the PC...

    Besides PC's now turn on pretty quick - at least as fast as consoles now especially with an SSD --- main reason my bro got his PS2 and PS3.
  • 0 Hide
    malphas , 11 February 2010 21:19
    Herr_KoosC&C 95 is not a DOS game. Neither is Red Alert. Both use 16bit installers and refuse to install on Win7 x64. I did manage to get C&C working under Win 7 x32 though.

    DOSBox will still run C&C 95 and similar titles. It's not as straightforward as running a pure DOS game though.

    See guide: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=8466

    You could also create a Windows 9x install within DOSBOX and run your games in that: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/1725

    Alternatively, just use XP mode. I'm running a lot of old games in 64-bit Windows 7, with no issues whatsoever. I'd suggest anyone that is thinking of playing it safe and installing the 32bit version give 64bit a try first and see if there actually are any problems that can't be resolved.
  • -1 Hide
    yslen , 12 February 2010 02:28
    malphasDOSBox will still run C&C 95 and similar titles. It's not as straightforward as running a pure DOS game though.See guide: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=8466You could also create a Windows 9x install within DOSBOX and run your games in that: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/1725Alternatively, just use XP mode. I'm running a lot of old games in 64-bit Windows 7, with no issues whatsoever. I'd suggest anyone that is thinking of playing it safe and installing the 32bit version give 64bit a try first and see if there actually are any problems that can't be resolved.


    Never heard of boot up time as an argument against PCs before! TBH I'd rather have the 30 seconds extra booting up my PC than be limited to a couple of hours play at a time before my 360 melts itself...
  • 0 Hide
    Herr_Koos , 12 February 2010 13:43
    Quote:
    DOSBox will still run C&C 95 and similar titles. It's not as straightforward as running a pure DOS game though.

    See guide: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=8466

    You could also create a Windows 9x install within DOSBOX and run your games in that: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/1725

    Alternatively, just use XP mode. I'm running a lot of old games in 64-bit Windows 7, with no issues whatsoever. I'd suggest anyone that is thinking of playing it safe and installing the 32bit version give 64bit a try first and see if there actually are any problems that can't be resolved.



    Thanks for the tip, I'll look into it.
  • 0 Hide
    Herr_Koos , 15 February 2010 13:35
    I've played stuff like Strike Commander, Wing Commander, TIE Fighter, Dune II, etc via DosBox, and it works brilliantly. The problematic ones are the early Windows 95 games that don't run via DOS but are too old to work properly in Windows 7.
  • 0 Hide
    Herr_Koos , 15 February 2010 15:50
    I'm still busy testing. C&C 95 was tricky but I've managed to get it working under Win7 32bit via a patch from EA plus compatibility mode settings. Next up will be Red Alert.

    More concerning to me is the news that Homeworld 2 apparently doesn't run under 7 either.
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