What version of Windows is best for gaming? That’s a question we wanted to know, as it depends on several factors…

Overall though, which is best? That would undoubtedly be Windows 10 Pro. Windows 10 has DirectX 12 while other older Windows do not support DX12.

If you want to be able to play all the new games as well as the old ones, you’re going to need DX12 at some point. Not all the newest games require it, however, you’ll undoubtedly end up wanting to play the game that does require it. So if you’re wanting to play newer games, Windows 10 is an absolute must.

However, if you don’t really give a monkey about the newest games out there and you’re more interested in overall performance then let’s take a look at what you need to know.

What’s Your PC Spec?

One really important element to knowing what the best windows is for your own gaming experience – knowing your specs.

First of all, anyone using 8GB of RAM or more, you need to purchase an X64 version of Windows. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, all you need to know is that X32 is for <8GB RAM. Since those are the two options, it's simple to remember.If you're running a lower spec PC in general, say anything <$800 then you're probably going to be choosing either a better CPU or a better GPU for your unit rather than mid-range options for both. Some people are even running cheap gaming PCs for low-end games that utilize integrated graphics, usually on an Intel chipset.As a rule of thumb, most new operating systems in the history of Microsoft have become more power hungry. There are things that you can do to optimize your Windows install for gaming. That being said though, you will get better gains out of optimizing an older version of Windows that’s less resource hungry in the first place.

The great thing about knowing your specs when choosing the best OS for gaming is that you really don’t need to be an expert. You just need to keep in mind the couple of hints we’ve provided above to avoid any major issues.

Of course, if you’re using a really low capacity SSD in your system, make sure that you have enough space to install your desired version of Windows as well as the games you want to play. They vary a little, so it’s smart to just check out the size of the different operating systems as well as the specific edition of that operating system before installing.

Higher spec people need to keep in mind that the newest drivers are going to most likely be developed exclusively for Windows 10. So if you’re dropping thousands on hardware, you may as well just grab Windows 10 and save yourself an inevitable headache you’ll face with finding stable drivers for your hardware on something like Windows 7 or 8.1.

Best Windows Operating Systems For Gaming:

Windows 7 – has always been very stable for gaming, whether you’re using Home, Pro or Ultimate.

Windows XP – RIP. A lot of people say there are ways to get DX12 onto XP systems. We’re not saying it isn’t possible, but the issue with XP is that it’s no longer supported by Microsoft and this means there’s going to be a lot of glaring security issues with the OS nowadays. In our opinion, you’re just better off avoiding it now.

Vista – Come on, you’re joking right?

Windows 8.1 – The bastard child. Actually, this is said with love and affection. While in our opinion after the days of XP it wasn’t until Win 7 that we got a truly great OS for gaming out of Microsoft, Windows 8.1 did have its moments where it was actually quite stable. Unfortunately, people often forget that and so we see it as the bastard child that never really got to sit on the throne.

Windows 10 – As good as Windows 7 except it has DX12. The newest hardware will also require the newest drivers, and not all the most up to date drivers are going to be compatible with Windows 7. So it’s another thing to keep in mind.

Basically, these being the only Windows Operating Systems that people really use today on the PC. It’s got to be a straight-up contest between Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Windows 10 vs Windows 7 For Gaming – Which Is Best

When Windows 10 was first released there was a bunch of issues with the OS. Let’s just call them teething problems, and it put a lot of gamers off. Salt was salted.

Fast-forward to 2018 and Windows 10 is actually pretty damn stable now, and as said already in the article, the ideal choice for those who just don’t want a headache.

However, for the older games is there a difference?

We found a fairly recent (2017) benchmark video on YouTube that you can check out below. Testing GTA V and some other games in there.

If you checked out the video, you’ll see that Windows 10 performed almost across the board better in terms of performance. What you might not have noticed, is that it’s utilizing much more power on that particular benchmarking system in Windows 10 vs Windows 7.

So for those mid-range specs as we’ve already said, Windows 7 is a lot resource friendlier. A lot of the mid-range and low-end gamers want a more stable build and in this sense you’re not really going to go wrong with Windows 7, assuming you’re not expecting to play the more recent triple-A games. Windows is pulling support for Windows 7 in 2020 though, so that’s realistically only 2 years of peace of mind that you’re going to get out of the OS.

The Winner

Without a doubt The Best Windows For Gaming is Windows 10.

Windows 7 is still a viable alternative, however even compared to 2 years ago it’s no longer as good of an alternative option.

Our recommendation is to forget about anything other than Windows 10 because it’s pretty stable now, and it’s going to allow you to play basically any game you want to. On top of that it’s extremely cheap now to buy compared to a few years ago as well.