General Question

timtrueman's avatar

Windows 7. Which version should I get?

Asked by timtrueman (5765points) February 27th, 2010

Yes, it’s confusing even for me. I’ve googled the hell out of it and can’t figure it out.

I have Windows XP (pre-SP1, won’t even boot on my computer) and a valid serial key.

I have Windows 7 RC installed (which will start auto-shutting down every two hours starting March 1).

Can I purchase an upgrade or do I need the full version?

The RC is essentially Ultimate edition as I understand it. Is this correct?

Which edition should I get? I don’t really need BitLocker and I really just run apps on it. Can I get the most basic version or would you recommend a higher level edition for a power user like me? (I’m a power user, right?)

In case it’s handy, here’s mainly what I use the PC for:
* Modern Warfare 2 and Counter-Strike: Source (yeah, yeah—it’s not too often)
* VMs (this is the primary usage)
* X-Plane and Python development
* Windows browsers for testing and web development
* Any Windows-only programs I have to run since I hate doing VMs on a laptop

Also, is there any way to just purchase the license and not have to reinstall?

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27 Answers

Sarcasm's avatar

omg noob get a mac~

I suggest checking this, it’s a comparison chart of all the different versions. (Whoa! I can have 192gb of ram? Holy crap.)
I’d guess Home Premium may do just fine for you. But check the features and see if it is.

njnyjobs's avatar

Why do you need to run Win7 . . . Get yourself WinXP pro SP3… there are lots of them available. It will run better on your machine than a Win7 OS…

timtrueman's avatar

@njnyjobs I have more than 4GB of RAM and 64-bit Windows XP has been horribly unstable for me. Windows 7 is rock solid. Note to future answerers: this issue isn’t up for debate in this question—I’m buying Windows 7.

njnyjobs's avatar

@timtrueman that being said, then you need Win7 Ultimate… but you got to realize that 4GB in memory is like entry level memory for this OS…. You got to run 6GBs or more for a pleasant performance.

jaytkay's avatar

I’d go for Home Premium. Most of the additional Professional or Ultimate features can be had with free 3rd party software.

@njnyjobs Specifically what is the need for Ultimate? And it runs fine with 4GB. Unless you are running something like 3d animation or HD video editing.

njnyjobs's avatar

@jaytkay didn’t you read the post and the apps listed?

patg7590's avatar

Get blue edition

timtrueman's avatar

@candide I already have a Mac that I use for 90% of my daily computing. Please stick to the question. The question is which edition of Windows 7 should I get.

jaytkay's avatar

@njnyjobs Yes, I read the list. What is the “need” for Ultimate? Provide specifics.

candide's avatar

@timtrueman sorry you did not understand my answer. YOU asked the question, and my answer is “don’t get Windows 7; it’s got problems”

timtrueman's avatar

@candide I understood your answer. Whether I get Windows 7 or not isn’t part of the question. Please don’t answer questions if you’re going to be totally unhelpful.

candide's avatar

please don’t ask questions on fluther if you’re going to get testy when people contribute

jaytkay's avatar

@timtrueman is using Windows 7 Release Candidate and is happy with it and would like some comparisons between editions. “Get a Mac” and “it’s got problems” are not useful comments.

candide's avatar

then you can just both ignore them – for heaven’s sake

for the record, I have two pcs, both with different versions of Win7, both have had many problems after putting it on, such as overheating, trouble with flash files, web design software updating, etc., so I speak from my own experience when I answer that I would not put windows 7 in any version on a machine until they get some problems with compatibility worked out – I can answer as I please and if you don’t like it then don’t bloody ask the question, you gits

BhacSsylan's avatar

I agree with @Jaykat, i don’t see the need for anything higher then Home, though I admit I’m not up on X-Plane or such, but the only thing I could see that would make Ultimate necessary is the VM, and that only needs it if you want the Microsoft XP-mode VM (and then you only need pro). You can still run VM with any other software on home, unless I am sorely mistaken. So I say home.

Another question I haven’t seen answered: You can purchase the upgrade. You need to do a clean install over an old XP install, but it works just fine otherwise (and is cheaper. Yay!). I had XP can now 7, so I can vouch that it works.

@candide The problem here is that he was very specific as to what he wanted to know in the question: What version of WIn7, not what OS. And in his first response he clearly stated that he didn’t that debate. As the OP he should be allowed to say what he wants answered: it is his question.

That being said, you’re right in that we are not required to read your responses. But, seeing as this silly fight is now taking time away from the question he wants answered, can we all just call it quits? That would be nice.

That being said, I also did the Win7 RC until a few months ago when I bought the upgrade. Likewise rock steady, in both incarnations. And if you have problems with overheating, you probably need a better cooling setup.

timtrueman's avatar

@BhacSsylan So in order to do the upgrade I need to wipe and install from my old Windows XP disc? My problem is it’s a pre-SP1 disc and won’t boot on my computer—my graphics card is too new for it. So I’m thinking the OEM version is what I should get given that I could legitimately purchase the upgrade but can’t really do that for technical reasons.

I suppose I could borrow someone’s slightly newer disc and use my serial but that’s a bit of a hassle.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Well, as far as I know you do need the XP install on the disk, as my friend wiped and tried to upgrae and had to re-install XP before he could. However, I’m not sure it’s required that you actually load the XP, simply that it exists on the partition to be installed on.

However, it may require an activated version of XP, which would require loading it. So, I guess I don’t know >.<. You could always try and contact a Microsoft tech, but a full version will be certain to work, so * shrug *

And a graphics card won’t let it load? Didn’t realize that was an issue.

EDIT: I’ll see if I can contact my friend who did the XP reinstall before upgrading, to see if he had to activate or not.

Sarcasm's avatar

@candide Overheating shouldn’t be a W7 issue at all, get better ventilation inside of your computer, and/or a more powerful heatsink.
I haven’t had any issues with W7 so far. Sounds like our anecdotes kind of negate each other.
One person’s issues do not mean it’s a shit OS. And one person’s lack of issues does not mean it’s a perfect OS.

For the record, I didn’t have to reformat when I upgraded from XP to W7 (Ultimate). During the installation process, it was like “All of your old files will be moved to C:\Windows.old\” and I was like “Kay, thanks computer.”

timtrueman's avatar

@BhacSsylan The bootable CD doesn’t know how to talk to my graphics card properly. Updated drivers that support it are on the Windows XP cd for SP1 and later. This is what happens when you release an OS in 2002 and buy a graphics card in 2008.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@timtrueman Aha, so if you could install, it would work. But you can’t install. Makes more sense. Okay. According to my friend, you don’t need to load XP, just install. However, as you said installing would still require another person’s disk, so now it’s simply an issue of if you’d rather pay more or have more hassle. However, it will give you trouble if you try to install over a clean slate. There are ways around it, but now you’re probably editing the disk files, which is almost certain to be messy.

@Sarcasm Oh, cool. I was already prepared for a clean install, so I may have simply ignored that bit. I do think I remember the option now. Handy. I had just got myself a shiny new terabyte external at the time, though, so I just used that :-p

jaytkay's avatar

You can make a new bootable XP install CD from your old one, with the drivers (and SP3) included. Nlite makes it pretty easy.
Probably unnecessary once you move to Win 7, but there’s the option.

One advantage of Professional and Ultimate 7 is that you can download a free licensed copy of XP for XP Mode. But since you have an XP license, the only advantage of XP Mode is it integrates apps in the VM with Win 7. Meaning, “Internet Explorer 6” could be in your Win 7 start menu. XP Mode is simply a streamlined interface for Virtual PC.

plethora's avatar

After 19 years on a PC….or should I say a series of PCs, because they all finally crash and burn, I bought a MAC. (My son runs PC networks, and his advice was to buy a Mac). A Mac is computer Heaven. Windows (all versions) is an incredibly crappy product. If it weren’t so well-known, I’d think it was something they sell at 2am on infomercials. Get a Mac. You’ll love it.

njnyjobs's avatar

@timtrueman hopefully this helps…. you can do an upgrade if you can install your Win XP as a fresh install, otherwise, you’ll need a full Win 7 install.

As far as edition, you’ll need atleast Professional (blue), but for $20 more, I would go with Ultimate (black)

BhacSsylan's avatar

@timtrueman facepalm indeed. @plethora I know you’re trying to help, but really, try reading the thread before you post.

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