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Unread 11-29-2011, 10:20 PM   #1
Aldurin
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Tech Support "Windows never asked for this . . .", OS program-fuckery advice.

So I have a very sweet barebones kit with a powerful graphics card arriving in the mail sometime soon, and I want to make sure I go about installing this in the best way that suits me.

What suits me is basically, if all programs that ran on windows ran perfectly on Linux, I'd abandon windows forever and ever. Unfortunately that's not the case.

I will ultimately want both Windows 7 (probably Pro if that's what my college sells) and either Kubuntu or Ubuntu installed. Obvious option is a dual-boot, but it's inconvenient to reboot the computer to switch operating systems. I will take this path if the other options don't work though.

My plan that I'm researching is having Linux installed then having Windows 7 run in VirtualBox (I have reservations against the other way around because of how resource-demanding Windows is). This would optimally allow me to run steam and all of the games I have for it on Windows inside of Linux. My main obstacles are that I don't have any strong confirmation of stable graphics usage through virtualbox, since it requires some kind of driver modifications. Wine (the windows emulator for Linux) is mostly out of the question since it still seems very unstable to me.

Basically I want to know if my games on steam will perform as well through virtualbox Windows 7 as it would with standard-install Windows 7.

Here are the equipment specs, excluding an extra hard drive.

The barebones kit.

The graphics card.

Anyone have any advice on this?
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Unread 11-30-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
McTahr
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"Will my system work as well as if I took the same hardware and didn't channel it through needless processing and emulation via what is already understood to be an unconfirmed in performance and imperfect code?"

The more overhead you make it do, the worse any computer runs. Virtualization is a shit ton of overhead.

An emphatic "Go with dual-boot" from me. 3D passthrough for virtualization is still godawful at best, and even Wine is only particularly good at running older, lower demand* games.

*(Torchlight-esque graphics)

E- As of one year ago (most recent comparison my lazy googling found) FPS rates between native system and virtualized box were 10:1, so if you can theorycraft a system that'll rock 10x the FPS you consider playable at all times on good games, you may just have something. Otherwise, native is still tons better.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 01:04 AM   #3
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Default My VM is for, like, TIE Fighter and such.

I would not recommend running games** via virtualization when you can dual-boot. VirtualBox has 3D capabilities, and it's not that big a hoop to jump through. But then it's a virtual 3D card running on a virtual machine sitting on top of a layer of abstraction through which it communicates with your actual hardware. And VB's options, from what I recall, aren't so stellar when it comes to assigning video memory and the like.


** OK, modern games. I mean, you can get away with a lot when it's not current. DOS games, stuff from old generations of DirectX and back in the day of Voodoo cards, etc. will probably all be fine.


You could, if you felt like it, go through the games you plan on playing and see if there are success stories/guides/advice posts for wine or VB. My linux box runs a few games successfully through wine, though it is by no means my primary go-to (more for when folks are over or to supply another machine at a LAN). But if you just have one machine I'd recommend a dual-boot solution.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 02:35 AM   #4
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Damn.
The other two beat me to it :|
But yeah, gonna chime in a third vote of the 'no, just dual boot' sort.


Be a man's man, go arch Linux!
I kid, I kid.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 02:44 AM   #5
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