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Windows 8...

post #1 of 197
Thread Starter 

Well let's start a thread about this.

 

I'll say that I used Windows 8 Dev Preview on my desktop and just plain hated it. Very hard to navigate, and have tabbed browsing etc. I heard that there are actual performance improvements too, so maybe there's a 3rd party thing to default to the regular desktop (and get start menu back, which there's already ways to do that)?

 

Hmm...to upgrade or not to upgrade...

post #2 of 197

I'm going to quote my posts on the original thread:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post


I've always been interested in Windows 8 purely from a performance perspective, as its kernel is very noticeably improved, but any people seem unable or unwilling to look past the presented UI.

While I respect people who enjoy Modern UI, I personally will leave it almost entirely disabled, and I say almost because a few Explorer features require partial Modern UI presence on the background. Modern UI doesn't bring anything new or useful for my workflow, but the core refinements are very much desirable up to the point an upgrade from Windows 7 SP1 to Windows 8 is recommended.

All in all, the worst case scenario I've seen is that Windows 8 performs like Windows 7, but on most apps it's higher performing.

Users that have purchased computers with Windows 7 preinstalled between July 2nd 2012 and January 31th 2013 are eligible for a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $15 (NA), €15 (EU) or £15 (UK). Users that have a Windows XP/Vista/7 license are eligible for a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $40 (NA), €40 (EU) or £40 (UK).

Windows 8 becomes available to the public at October 26th, both Retail, System Builder and Upgrade versions. Upgrade offers for preexisting clients is available here: http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

From a performance perspective, it's the opposite of bad. RTM is available since August 15th, and everything is smoother and more agile than on Windows 7. HDDs are especially better put to use, which is one of the most unexpected things, in part related to a far smarter cache management system.

 

There is only one stock UI that along DP, CP and RP has been "fused" with the OS up to the point where registry entries that could easily be tweaked to restore much of Windows Vista/7 UI features have been entirely removed. Luckily there are already enough (free) 3rd party products to fix that.
Windows 8 UI has its userbase on two opposite sides, the people who accept and embrace the new OS (I've known people that have become quite efficient at using Modern UI) and people who find forced changes to habits that date many years isn't the way to go and having said changes as optional would work best. The two prime examples of forced changes are the stock boot to Modern UI that relegates Explorer to a pseudo app state and the removal of the start menu.

Basically it's like this, Windows 8 is a logical upgrade from a performance standpoint, and for long time Windows users Modern UI does "get in the way" simply because it goes against many old habits that are very well rooted. Considering Microsoft is doing a platform unification move both now and on the coming years, there will be further usability issues on future OSes. But again, as long as I'm able to restore core mechanics from previous OSes, I'm set :)

 

About UI tweaks, DP and CP used to have easy access through simple registry keys, but from RP onwards it got fixed. So, currently there are two popular alternatives, Start8 and Classic Shell. Both work for the same purpose but differently.

post #3 of 197

Judging from consumer preview I can't say that I find Modern UI impossible to use, just from my limited time with it there seems to be a lot of doubling up - two different control panels (settings and control panel) illustrates these confusing instances of overlap.  Modern UI seems to work, just they don't seem to have found a way to adapt it to the typical workflows of windows power users, and instead there are messy coexistence of new and old tools and menus.  Personally installing a third party shell or UI is not an acceptable solution, I like to have as few services running as possible, as few programs to update, licences to expire etc.

 

This leads me onto my other problem with W8 - the DPC latency is much higher than W7, which is a no-no for pro audio.  For audio playback, som users have commented that W8 sounds more "solid/cohesive" than W7 - I'm not sure what to make of this, but I will definitely try the consumer preview (for sound quality) before I replace my existing W7 install to decide if there is any difference, and which I prefer.

 

Personally I care little for small differences in desktop performance if the user interface is not refined, and if the audio performance is unknown.  My system really needs a new OS licence installed at this point, I will have a hard time deciding which to buy at this point.  I think in the end sound quality (if there is a difference, and I expect there will be) will be the deciding factor.

post #4 of 197

First of all, there are more services disabled than the single app running on the background, and that translates into higher performance over stock settings.

Second, DPC latency seems higher due to an entirely different mechanism used on Windows 8 by default, and current measurement tools don't take that in account. Only legacy DAWs might have issues with the new mechanism, and that can be reverted to what is used on Vista/7 through a single CLI command.

Third, performance differences are significant, even on HDD-based systems.

Basically, despite the stock UI that isn't usable for my way of doing things, it's customizable enough to become exactly what it needs to be, a more stable and higher performing Windows 7.

And like I wrote above, upgrade licenses are so inexpensive that price isn't really an obstacle at all.

post #5 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

First of all, there are more services disabled than the single app running on the background, and that translates into higher performance over stock settings.

Second, DPC latency seems higher due to an entirely different mechanism used on Windows 8 by default, and current measurement tools don't take that in account. Only legacy DAWs might have issues with the new mechanism, and that can be reverted to what is used on Vista/7 through a single CLI command.

Third, performance differences are significant, even on HDD-based systems.

Basically, despite the stock UI that isn't usable for my way of doing things, it's customizable enough to become exactly what it needs to be, a more stable and higher performing Windows 7.

And like I wrote above, upgrade licenses are so inexpensive that price isn't really an obstacle at all.

This is getting me interested...

post #6 of 197

Will I install it on my Asus Eee PC 1201N? Probably not. I have every intention to upgrade to the Microsoft Surface ( Win Pro 8 ver. ) when it comes out. However, if they end up being around a grand, maybe I'll give that first statement some reconsideration.

post #7 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Pocalypse View Post

Will I install it on my Asus Eee PC 1201N? Probably not. I have every intention to upgrade to the Microsoft Surface ( Win Pro 8 ver. ) when it comes out. However, if they end up being around a grand, maybe I'll give that first statement some reconsideration.

 

Keep in mind Windows 8 uses less resources than Windows 7, so if you are running Windows 7, there won't be any issues regarding performance by upgrading. There are lower performance netbooks that became more usable by going from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and considering their architectures are fully supported on Windows 8 (including proper WDDM 1.0 drivers), compatibility isn't something one needs to concern over.

 

An slightly unrelated, it's a shame the PCIe width limits the first generation ION platforms, as they are quite capable (I find them to be among the best hardware for netbooks) and could easily have their current bandwidth issues solved by a simple x2 support.

post #8 of 197

I'm interested myself in upgrading to Windows 8, but I will wait until iTunes becomes available and usable for it.

post #9 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

First of all, there are more services disabled than the single app running on the background, and that translates into higher performance over stock settings.

Second, DPC latency seems higher due to an entirely different mechanism used on Windows 8 by default, and current measurement tools don't take that in account. Only legacy DAWs might have issues with the new mechanism, and that can be reverted to what is used on Vista/7 through a single CLI command.

Third, performance differences are significant, even on HDD-based systems.

Basically, despite the stock UI that isn't usable for my way of doing things, it's customizable enough to become exactly what it needs to be, a more stable and higher performing Windows 7.

And like I wrote above, upgrade licenses are so inexpensive that price isn't really an obstacle at all.

 

I'm not sure I understand the differences between W7 and W8 scheduling, nor how latency checking tools measure the performance, but how does this work?

 

My other concern is the disconnection and overlapping that is occurring between the new Modern UI and traditional desktop UI, I have read on the internets that if you install a program from Modern UI that it wont show on the desktop Programs and Features tool but I have not tested this personally.  From a usability perspective this is very worrying - specifically that we will end up with two user interfaces, one with missing features (desktop), and the other with limited functionality and usability (Modern UI.)

 

Regarding services, Ideally I would prefer not to run the Metro UI as well as a third party start menu UI mostly for simplicity's sake.  My bet is I would need a truckload of workarounds to get the level of functionality using my existing habits from W7.  At this point though I will probably just install the W8 upgrade and try to clean up all the stillborn Windows installs that plague my boot session, a remnant of a problematic upgrade from XP to W7 while trying to maintain productivity on my system.  hopefully I have learnt a thing or two since then.

post #10 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

 

I'm not sure I understand the differences between W7 and W8 scheduling, nor how latency checking tools measure the performance, but how does this work?

 

My other concern is the disconnection and overlapping that is occurring between the new Modern UI and traditional desktop UI, I have read on the internets that if you install a program from Modern UI that it wont show on the desktop Programs and Features tool but I have not tested this personally.  From a usability perspective this is very worrying - specifically that we will end up with two user interfaces, one with missing features (desktop), and the other with limited functionality and usability (Modern UI.)

 

Regarding services, Ideally I would prefer not to run the Metro UI as well as a third party start menu UI mostly for simplicity's sake.  My bet is I would need a truckload of workarounds to get the level of functionality using my existing habits from W7.  At this point though I will probably just install the W8 upgrade and try to clean up all the stillborn Windows installs that plague my boot session, a remnant of a problematic upgrade from XP to W7 while trying to maintain productivity on my system.  hopefully I have learnt a thing or two since then.

 

Well, Windows 7 system timers work on a relatively static and controller manner, which tends to yield low latency but with some variation, even on very optimized systems. Windows 8 on the other hand has an unlimited system timer that doesn't remain within a low clock interval, which makes latency seemingly higher but almost static and with no variation, something that's very much desirable for audio production environments.

The main issue I find with Modern UI (which is for all intents and purposes the main UI) is that it doesn't blend naturally with Classic UI, making users go back and forth between both UIs, something that's simply a bad design choice. Also, users will have a harder time if they choose to use the current UI implementation since going back and forth between UIs is a bit cumbersome (some might find this debatable), but keep in mind Modern UI is mainly made for content consumption, not creation, which is why I find that most users would greatly benefit from simply bypassing most Modern UI features (most, due to Modern UI being requires for some of the new file management features), booting straight to Classic UI and restoring the start menu. With that done, usability is once again returned, and system shortcuts can be made for anything misplaced from Windows 7.

A full Modern UI disable will negate several useful features, such as the new Task Manager and the new file operation dialogs. Fortunately, a single app is enough to restore virtually all usability, and on the process automatically disabling services, so the usability restore actually improves performance over stock settings.

About your system, while Windows 8 does allow for OS upgrades on top of multiple OSes going as far back as Windows XP, each base OS has different data carried over to Windows 8. I recommend you to backup any important data to a separate partition/drive and do a clean install.

Here is a table with upgrade paths and respective data migration:

post #11 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

Well, Windows 7 system timers work on a relatively static and controller manner, which tends to yield low latency but with some variation, even on very optimized systems. Windows 8 on the other hand has an unlimited system timer that doesn't remain within a low clock interval, which makes latency seemingly higher but almost static and with no variation, something that's very much desirable for audio production environments.

The main issue I find with Modern UI (which is for all intents and purposes the main UI) is that it doesn't blend naturally with Classic UI, making users go back and forth between both UIs, something that's simply a bad design choice. Also, users will have a harder time if they choose to use the current UI implementation since going back and forth between UIs is a bit cumbersome (some might find this debatable), but keep in mind Modern UI is mainly made for content consumption, not creation, which is why I find that most users would greatly benefit from simply bypassing most Modern UI features (most, due to Modern UI being requires for some of the new file management features), booting straight to Classic UI and restoring the start menu. With that done, usability is once again returned, and system shortcuts can be made for anything misplaced from Windows 7.

A full Modern UI disable will negate several useful features, such as the new Task Manager and the new file operation dialogs. Fortunately, a single app is enough to restore virtually all usability, and on the process automatically disabling services, so the usability restore actually improves performance over stock settings.

About your system, while Windows 8 does allow for OS upgrades on top of multiple OSes going as far back as Windows XP, each base OS has different data carried over to Windows 8. I recommend you to backup any important data to a separate partition/drive and do a clean install.

Here is a table with upgrade paths and respective data migration:

 

Thanks for the information, it sounds like W8 should be very good for audio if the latency has less variation.

 

So the startbar replacements actually reduce the background I/O activity overall?  This sounds promising.  Maybe Microsoft will catch on...

 

I think I will do clean install on a new SSD, and just throw my old SSD back in if I have issues.  I think I will remove all other Windows install partitions/drives so that there is no strange parenting relationships like there is now and install with only new SSD plugged in (I cant remove one of my drives as it seems to be the parent install to my current one, no idea what is happening there)

post #12 of 197

I may do this as well. I hopefully, Win8P won't take up much more, if any space, when fully installed on a new drive as Win7HP did.. ( Not sure how much that was.. ) I wouldn't mind being able to suffice with a 64GB SSD in this ol' thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

I think I will do clean install on a new SSD, and just throw my old SSD back in if I have issues.

post #13 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

...and install with only new SSD plugged in (I cant remove one of my drives as it seems to be the parent install to my current one, no idea what is happening there)

 

What do you mean? What is your current drive configuration on your system?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Pocalypse View Post

I may do this as well. I hopefully, Win8P won't take up much more, if any space, when fully installed on a new drive as Win7HP did.. ( Not sure how much that was.. ) I wouldn't mind being able to suffice with a 64GB SSD in this ol' thing.

 

It takes slightly more space, but it's a small difference. And by striping unneeded system components, you can reduce its size. Still, even at stock, it will fit nicely on a 64GB drive, with enough room for many apps, though not for modern games.

post #14 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Pocalypse View Post

I may do this as well. I hopefully, Win8P won't take up much more, if any space, when fully installed on a new drive as Win7HP did.. ( Not sure how much that was.. ) I wouldn't mind being able to suffice with a 64GB SSD in this ol' thing.

 

Yeah just bought new SSD and and a storage HDD, can't really be bothered to change other components as Intel change their CPU socket every second damn year.  I think 64 GB should be plenty for the Win8 pro OS and a few important apps.  I think I will keep the old Win7 SSD as a backup in case the new one packs up (that way no downtime hopefully), I don't really want to run a second SSD.

post #15 of 197

I tried Windows 8 on my desktop and hated it as many others did, in the early release you could actually switch to a normal desktop complete with start menu.  Today I tried windows 8 out on some computers at a local bestbuy and had mixed reactions to all of them.  On an all in one desktop it was a bit odd despite the touchscreen and didn't feel natural so I tried out the laptop which was basically your typical HP laptop but had a touchscreen and felt really weird poking at a laptop screen and I definitely disliked it more than the all-in-one desktop as it felt like they had just shoe-horned windows 8 into a regular laptop and threw in a touchscreen, it just didn't work.  Then I tried a tablet and the whole OS just worked so well for it and I really enjoyed the experience and might even buy one if I can find some money between all these headphone purchases.  I like the OS in a tablet form factor but I feel as though it doesn't work well for the average computer, it is an OS built for a tablet and feels like a heavily skinned version of 7 as they didn't really add much to it beyond an interface IMO.

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