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I'm making a media center out of old obsolete parts lying about my attic. I probably will however add a decent low profile graphics card to it capable of playing games on a decent res, As such I've ruled out Linux as I don't want hassle getting each and every game on the machine.

I'm going to XBMC for the media software on whatever OS.


  • 2.4 ghz single core Athlon 64
  • 2 GBs ddr 400
  • 250 GB hard drive

my question is Windows XP or Windows 7 32-bit for the OS?

Given the specs, I'm torn.

How much RAM does Windows 7 32-bit use when idle?

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Go with Windows 7. It's more secure and not as resource-intensive as you think. Plus it's newer. – user3463 Jun 3 '11 at 4:39
up vote 0 down vote accepted

XP uses less
The basic ram use on my windows 7 is 745-786 mb's leaving you about 1,262 mb's to play with.
on my xp-sp3 is 325-370 mb's leaving you about 1,678 mb's to play with.
It's up to your gaming requirements as to which system is best for you.

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I use Ubuntu on my HTPC, it runs XBMC and works a treat. You don't need to worry about virus infections (seeing as people come and go with their removable drives).

Why run games on the HTPC? Won't the desktop be better for those?

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