Windows 8 versus Windows 7: gaming performance

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Steven L. Ken

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Page 1: Windows 8 versus Windows 7: gaming performance

In an interview Gabe stated that Windows 8 has a terrible interface and that with the new operating system everything is much more complicated. To his credit, we have to say that we have been using the Windows 8 RTM for some time and we partly agree with his analysis, as far as desktop PCs are concerned, but certainly we don't see the new interface as a sign of the Apocalypse.

Sweeping away the desktop / icon paradigm can seem like a cheeky move, and that doesn't appeal to many. However, we are also led to think that the audience of fans is quite adaptable to the news and it will not take long to understand how to start games from Steam. After some time everyone will become familiar with Windows 8. What is important is that, at least for the moment, the world of gaming has no setbacks, unless there are compatibility problems.

We believe Gabe's problem with Windows 8 is the new Windows Store. It is the Microsoft equivalent of the Apple App store. The main concern is that Microsoft may be preventing some software from running on their operating system. Is Windows becoming a gated platform like Apple's? The developer community is rightly afraid of the possible path that Microsoft might take. And while it is clear that the company will exercise control over what will be distributed in its store, no one is sure of what will happen outside. So Newell is willing to spend - or at least threaten to spend - a lot of money on Linux development.

As far as we know at the moment, Microsoft has done nothing to fence off Windows 8. Steam can be installed without problems alongside other older applications. Different story for Windows RT, which is limited to applications available through the Windows Store. As a result, it will be harder for Valve to make a lot of money from Windows RT devices, and developers are worried that Microsoft could take a similar path with Windows 8 as well, forfeiting a stake on every sale.

So for now, apart from learning how to use the new interface, the main concern you have is how your favorite titles work on the new operating system. Windows 8 updates DirectX to version 11.1 (Direct3D 11.1, DXGI 1.2, WDDM 1.2, etc), but at least for the moment, we're not expecting a big difference. We wanted to check if the frame rate or compatibility have been negatively affected by the change of operating system. And so we compared ten of our favorite titles on both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Windows 8 versus Windows 7: gaming performance

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