I've been a life long console gamer and now I'm just building my first PC. One of the big things that attracted me to PC was the legacy. I've never played Monkey Island, Alone in the Dark, or Half Life. Or any games that were broken on Playstation eg Skyrim or Fallout 3.
I'm really worried about a lot of games not being natively supported on either Windows 7 or 8 (I'm going to get 8 for future proofing). Fallout 3 for instance isn't on GOG and its Steam version only has support for XP/Vista.
So... if I install Windows 8 and want to play these games, what do I do? I looked in the Retro gaming forum hoping to find a conversation about this, but didn't see one.
Build here http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sqzhvK
Fallout 3 and TES Oblibion work fine on my Windows 7. If you run into issues, you can try running those games in compatibility mode for Vista, but I highly doubt you're going to run into problems related to the OS being too new. If you run super-retro games, there is always DOS Box.
There was a time before GoG, and we had some fiddle with some black magic to get those games working. Mostly edit a config file, or disable certain visual effects. Nothing major, but still a nuisance, especially if you can't pin point the exact cause of the problem right away.
So would you say this is generally not an issue and it's easy to deal with? I wouldn't know, having never used a PC for gaming before. I haven't even used Windows for several years since switching to linux.
I personally would love to see Linux to take off; I personally use Linux on another hard drive for my Laptop. However, there are some very nice things about Windows. It just plain works on any machine you through it on (within specs), and that it has a standardized directory.
You will have no problem playing games like Fallout 3 on Windows 7 most likely Windows 8. I have played a bit of Boulder's Gate on my Windows 7 and that is a very old game. On another note I would drop in Windows 7 on your new computer. Skip the evil satanic OS that is Windows 8 even if it is less resource hungry.
By the way you can buy a physical copy Fallout 3 game of the year on Amazon for a cheaper price than on Seam and it is DRM free. Though beware you will need to insert the disc if you want to play; though you can solve this by adding it to Steam anyway. In general, though any newer game that you buy physical will be SteamWorks which means it installs through Steam.
One more thing stay away from dual boot Linux/Windows 7 on one hard drive if you are planing to put it on your desktop.
Oh. Why? On my current laptop (from 2009, cheap, used for work, originally came with Win 7) I dual boot Linux. I was planning to do that with my new PC.
On reddit /r/buildapc which I generally used for build advice, most folks seemed to agree that Windows 8.1 had fixed issues and now should be recommended over 7 for new builds.
You recommend I go with 7?
I generally just follow the advice of my local computer engineer. He was the one that put together my parts for when I built my PC. Windows 8 wasn't out by then but he still to this day puts Windows 7 first on builds of his own. My laptop is an example; it is custom and was only made just a year ago with Windows 7 on it. He even worked on helping to fix Windows 8 for the updates (he's one of those guys that has been in the industry for a long as time).
I do see that it would necessarily be hard to take my word for especially with the fact I can't give you any details on why, but if you want to get Windows 8 go ahead just know that in my opinion it seems like the inferior experience and windows 7 is at this point the most stable it has ever been. And it still recieves updates till 2020. I am basically of the camp of skip Windows 8, get Windows 7, see what Windows 9 has to offer, wait a year for it to develop, then upgrade it it is good.
As for the dual boot I had one for my Laptop that was Window 7/Linux Mint 17. Recently though I found that it crashed and as my computer engineer guy said it made a bad memory call. The computer would not boot with that specific stick of RAM and had to get a new one. I have since gotten rid of the dual boot and switched to a separate hard drive. What I am trying to say is that Linux has hardware compatibility issues and when you through a dual boot in when ideally a hard drive should probably hold only one OS. You start making your system unstable. If you want Linux I suggest you get a separate hard drive to put it on. That way it will have the least chance of screwing up with the shiny new i5 if there are compatibility issues..