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All I do on windows that actually requires windows is play world of warcraft, diablo3 and use MS Office for school. That's not true, I also need silverlight to run labsims, and moonlight doesn't want to work with testout, so that's not an option. I've been experimenting with Fedora, openSUSE and various incarnations of Ubuntu trying to find what fits well and I think I'm almost ready to make the leap. Sadly, the world of warcraft has been the only thing holding me back. Everything I've read about wine makes me.. well, cringe.

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Assuming you already have a valid Win7 product key, virtualize the Linux distribution of your choice. Doing it the other way will probably invalidate your Win7 license, unless it's a full retail Win7. –  sawdust Aug 16 '12 at 5:33
    
MS Office should run fine on Wine. Not sure about your games though; check the Wine DB. –  Mechanical snail Aug 16 '12 at 5:49
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closed as not constructive by Canadian Luke, 8088, Nifle, techie007, Diogo Aug 16 '12 at 11:51

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3 Answers

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I recommend virtualizing Linux. Here's why:

Running WoW and D3 in Wine isn't really that big a deal for most people. You do take a performance hit which will be somewhat noticeable in your framerate, but it's not going to affect you much unless you're running 25-man Dragon Soul or are extremely picky.

From my personal experience running a Core i7 920 and GTX 460 I could do just about everything, but 25 man DS was too much for it. I was getting 6 FPS when lucky on Deathwing and most of the time freezing up for several seconds at a time, usually ending up dead and sometimes wiping the raid. Not good.

With the increased requirements for Mists, I expect no raiding at all, though I had no other real trouble in the beta. (Disclaimer: I help manage the WineHQ page for the MoP beta, which means I get to triage all the bug reports and "it worked for me" posts.)

Also at various points in the last couple of years I've run WoW PTR in VMware (Windows guest, this same Linux host). The performance was similar; 5 mans no problem, but forget raiding.

Diablo 3 wasn't a problem at all; I beta tested it on the very same Linux box and it was smooth and flawless. Ironically I haven't played D3 since release, though I have a copy from Annual Pass...

If I were still an active raider, I would build a separate machine. Linux is my primary OS and I won't dual boot (or give it up) just to game; Windows annoys me too much and just gets in the way of my day-to-day stuff. For anyone whose primary OS is Windows and who's just experimenting with Linux, virtualization is safer and much easier to get started with.

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I got my D3 from the annual pass too, I'm also leaning heavily toward letting go of wow as soon as my pass expires. Have you had any experience with star wars: the old republic? or better yet, an mmo with linux support that isn't horrible where I can get my fix? –  commodore fancypants Aug 16 '12 at 8:00
    
I haven't tried SW:TOR. Didn't feel like spending money on it. :) –  Michael Hampton Aug 16 '12 at 14:59
    
As time passes... I've since upgraded to a GTX 650 Ti BOOST which does much better in raiding on Linux, though still not nearly the performance seen in Windows. At least I'm not wiping raids anymore... –  Michael Hampton Dec 8 '13 at 22:22
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Why not just dual boot . Ether way your going to take a serious performance hit . Virtualize Linux though , since its far easier to do so and you don't have to worry about activating it and explaining to M$ tech support what your doing

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I've seen several (just-) windows games running on Wine well, sometimes even at better performance. As you can see here on WineHQ, Wine runs comparable games e.g. Guild Wars as well. This is a link to the WOW guides on WineHQ

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