My first project tower is almost half-way done, and I've decided that the next item I'll purchase is Windows 7. Now, there are just a few things I'd like to get cleared up before I make any decisions.
1) In terms of speed or performance alone, is there any difference between the different versions of Windows 7?
This is purely a gaming tower, so I don't think I'll ever need any of those features in Pro or Ultimate. However, I remember that XP Pro was "faster" than XP Home (or the computer shop was lying to me), so I was going to purchase Ultimate, until I saw the prices. Keep in mind, the last OS I ever bought was XP Pro 64, and that was $80 OEM at the time, so this totally caught me off-guard. If there's no performance difference, that all the better for me, but $179.99 for just the OS...that really blows.
2) I have more than 3 towers and 2 notebooks at home, and I'm thinking about upgrading all of them (not with the upgrade disks, but with OEM disks).
I'm pretty sure about this already, but I just want to confirm. Do I need to buy a separate OEM disk for all of them? I heard there's a multi-pack; is there one for OEM? At my volume, are there any cheaper alternatives without sacrificing performance?
Thanks again, everyone. In my quest to learn about computers, I totally neglected to learn about the OS and licensing until now, and when I looked up stuff in Google...wow, lots of heated arguments in there. Hopefully it'll be more clear-cut in here =]
Basic info: The OEM Windows license expires when the original computer it was installed upon dies. Upgrade licenses allow you install it on one computer if you have another qualifying Windows OS - you could use this W7 license using your XP Pro, according to MS's site; the upgrade license also allows you to install it on a different computer, as long as it is only installed on ONE computer at a time. A full license a allows you to install the OS on one computer, but you can transfer it to a new computer as many times as you want, as long as it is only installed on one computer at a time.
Yeah, it's confusing, but MS did make it easier on the W7 licenses - you can use a previous OS OEM license for the W7 upgrade license.
From what I hear, the upgrade license is not ideal, especially for someone like me who regularly reformats their hard drives. But if it's different from before, and it actually comes with the OS disk as well as the product key, then I can consider it. Mainly, I'm trying to figure out the best cost-efficiency for the best performance, and then the cost-efficiency for the number of towers.
To add to treefrog07's post.
The family pack for 3 pc's is only available in the upgrade version, but it is a full version in the sense that you can boot from it and do a clean install.
There is a workaround for installing without a previous os present for those with a legal qualifying os to upgrade from which you have. The following link will help. http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/clean_install_upgrade_...
Re OEM pack:
•Although it is possible for an individual to buy a System Builder copy of Windows 7 and install it on a new PC, that scenario is specifically prohibited by the license agreement, which requires that the software be installed using the OPK and then resold to a non-related third party. (As I noted in a September 2008 post, Microsoft once allowed “hobbyists” to use OEM System Builder software to build their own PCs, but the company switched to a hard-line stance on this issue sometime after Vista shipped in early 2007.)
Referenced from http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/what-microsoft-wont-tell...