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Impressions of Windows 8 RTM

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Last response: in Windows 8
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How do you feel about win8 RTM?

Total: 57 votes (15 blank votes)

  • Its crap, give me back my start menu!!!!
  • 41 %
  • Its OK, but not worth upgrading
  • 22 %
  • Its good, considering upgrading
  • 10 %
  • Its a clear step forward, definately upgrading
  • 17 %
  • $40? Shut-up and take my money!
  • 12 %
August 16, 2012 4:41:37 AM

So, after playing with win8 RTM a little today I got a lot of opinions from volunteers at my work. Where I work we have a wide variety of nerds ranging from entry level to ridiculously high end geeks, and who use linux, windows and mac on a regular basis.

Generally speaking everyone who played with it said 3 things the same:
1) Without knowing keyboard shortcuts they would be lost
2) The new interface is interesting, but not sure if they liked it or not
3) That it was much faster than they expected considering the hardware it was running on

what are your impressions of this final build?
Anything you would change?
Any changes from RP that you particularly like?
Anything (other than the start menu) that you feel is missing?
a b * Windows 8
August 16, 2012 5:00:03 AM

Considering I can't use it because even the latest Intel chipset drivers won't let the Intel SATA controller on my Asus P9X79 Pro detect any drives, I currently think it's a big bag of poo. Once my drives are available again, that opinion will quickly change.
August 16, 2012 5:12:59 AM

I just want the option of disabling Metro and bringing back the start menu without having to resort to 3rd party software. If they would do that, I would definitely upgrade. But as it is right now, I am sticking with Win 7.

On a side note, this kind of relates to how apple is with software, they like to decide how you should use it and take away the option to change it. Basically it is removing customization in favor of a single work flow path. In the case of OS X, I don't want anything to do with their new saving features, but can I set it back to the old way that I am perfectly comfortable doing. Nope. I have liked both Windows and OS X in the past for their strengths, but I find myself disliking both equally now. Also, before the Linux guy chimes in, I do use Ubuntu as well, and I dislike Unity. I think the real problem is that the desktop OS has really hit a plateau over around the time Windows 7 and OS X Leopard came out. There aren't that many ways to really improve it in the way of features that will stand out to the ordinary user, most room for improvement lies in stuff the average user doesn't see. I think this has left them digging for ways to make visible "improvements" with the effect that they just make something harder to use (Ribbon anyone?), or force people to relearn something for no reason.

TL;DR I think Windows 8, OS X (Lion/Mountian Lion), and Unity (Ubuntu) all suck.
Related resources
August 16, 2012 3:37:25 PM

I played with it some back in march, and then not till I installed the RTM last night. It definently has a learning curve, but I've found myself navigating and getting to the apps much more quickly (including task switching) with the new hot corners and start screen. I'm really enjoying it so far and looking forward to where it will go. The biggest benefit I'm looking forward too is roaming profiles, since I have a PC, laptop and a tablet in the near future.

My only major concern with most changes like the Xbox 360 is the companies posture to sell me stuff. I don't have a problem at all with this for when it comes to apps, however when it comes to movies and music its more of an issue. I use XBMC to play most of my movies as a result because I have a file server with all my blu-rays backed up and I can easily play with the software.

What I really wished is they would supplement what I already have in a nice interface. Like on the 360, if I binged searched Batman, it would show all the movies I have stored on my server and then the ones I don't have it would offer me an option to rent or buy.

Really the software already does this but it forces you to use their store for everything, instead of my nice 1080P lossless rips with HD audio or Flac audio.

Anyways thats my little rant, I guess it goes more along the lines with the 360 but also works for win8 because of the movie/tv/music store integration they have going.
August 16, 2012 5:48:46 PM

@hvdynamo
I am with you on the 'walled garden' aspect. Thankfully in win8 all the good 'ol x86 applicaitons work fine, my real fear is that if win9 takes the walled garden approach a step further and really makes stuff unusable and cuts back on software source options.
a b * Windows 8
August 16, 2012 11:19:32 PM

Issue from above fixed. Had to reinstall Windows 8, but I was only about 30 minutes into moving all of my data back to the boot drive, so it wasn't a big deal. Loving it now!
August 17, 2012 12:05:11 AM

@Prophecy
Glad to hear it! I am having my own issues installing win8 on my netbook via USB drive right now (boots from flash drive fine, but installer cannot see my HDD, but BIOS says it is there)

anywho, I just made another thread for that issue
a b * Windows 8
August 17, 2012 12:28:02 AM

The_Prophecy said:
Issue from above fixed. Had to reinstall Windows 8, but I was only about 30 minutes into moving all of my data back to the boot drive, so it wasn't a big deal. Loving it now!


Have you updated your P9X79 to the new .CAP firmware format?
August 17, 2012 1:04:51 AM

I have to learn Windows 8 for my job, and I hate it with a vengeance. Has anyone else had problems with the video drivers like I have?
August 17, 2012 1:37:48 AM

what gpu are you using?
a b * Windows 8
August 17, 2012 1:58:36 AM

Pinhedd said:
Have you updated your P9X79 to the new .CAP firmware format?


Yes. The update to the .CAP format is done, and there has actually been one more update beyond the shift to that format which I have also done.
August 17, 2012 3:44:25 AM

OK, so I finally figured out the issue I was having with the netbook (HDD was messed up, all fixed now). So here are my impressions for the 32bit version running on 1GB of ram and a duel core Atom 1.66GHz:

Win8 is really not meant to run on this hardware.
1) 1GB of ram is simply not enough! Previous versions of win8 on this unit idled at ~250MB ram usage and everything ran relatively smooth. Someone at MS obviously decided that Ram is cheap enough that we should all upgrade because it idled at ~750MB, and would quickly jump into virtural memory once you open a few programs. I will throw in a 2GB stick tomorrow and see if that improves things
2) Atoms are not exactly power-house machines, but the CPU seems to keep up pretty well (for what it is). Running music in the background, and browsing the web had me at ~30-60% usage, so it is good enough for the simple tasks that it was meant for. Also, metro apps (like minesweeper and weather), which could barely run before, now seem to run OK.
3) GMA2150 sucks (this is no secret), and something better is apparently needed. All-in-all I think it runs faster than win7 did on it for things like video playback and such, but still quite rough. I bet this would work much better with my other netbook which is nearly identical except that it has DDR3 and a touch screen (sadly it is 2000 miles from here out on extended loan).
4) I like the mouse/touchpad features in RTM, much improved. My win7 mouse drivers installed properly, and so I was able to pinch-zoom and scroll with gestures. I wish win8 could natively add some sort of swipe in for the charms menu! That would really make things easier! My understanding is that most current devices and future devices will have drivers that allow for such functionality, but my little netbook is too old to get such support.
In addition to scrolling, you can now move the mouse 'past' the screen to scroll, which works well (especially when moving links around on the start screen), and use the arrow keys.
5) native resolution on the netbook is 1024x600, which is simply not enough for metro apps. Thankfully you can go into regedit, search for "Display1_DownScalingSupported" and change it from 0 to 1. This lets you run things in stretched mode 1024x768 (and at a higher resolution than GMA was meant to run at) so things will function properly in Metro, but everything looks a little squat and fat. Oddly, with this version (or maybe because I bothered to install the mouse driver), the mouse looked normal on top of the stretched interface.
6) everything feels more polished; From the way the programs interact, to the consistency of the interfaces now, it feels like a real OS, which is good.

Overall I think I like it. Hopefully adding some ram (and faster ram) will help move things along better. But for a netbook it seems to run well enough to consider the upgrade.

Tomorrow I will be getting my 2nd SSD (first attempt at RAID0 :D  should be fun!), so once I get that installed I will put win8 on my real rig (i7 4.2GHz, 16GB of ram, GTX570, 2x240GB SSD RAID0 system drive). I am sure it will run smoothly, but I will get a much better feel for what issues are of the OS, and what issues were just my little netbook being a netbook.
August 17, 2012 6:51:05 AM

Quote:
what gpu are you using?


I am using the Nvidia 9600 which is the only graphics card I have with Windows 8 drivers as I am not a gamer. I think that maybe my card is not compatible with Windows 8 although it works fine in Windows 7 with the standard Nvidia drivers.
The symptoms are when I run a graphics intensive app it crashes to the metro (desktop) further more some apps that previously worked before the crash also start to crash until I do a restart. The default Windows graphics driver works a bit better with fewer apps crashing. Looks like I will have to get another graphics card to run Windows 8 or wait and see if Nvidia releases better drivers.
August 17, 2012 12:31:23 PM

hmmm I used an nvidia 9600 with no issues on one of the first builds. Perhaps try using the win7 driver and see if that clears things up (win8/7/Vista share the same driver model, so it should work fine).
Also, be sure to check your temps. It could be that win8 is running more through the GPU than win7 did, so the card may be getting warm (something they were known for lol, mine has an aftermarket heatsink on it).

Otherwise, do you have an onboard graphics option? or money to throw $50 at a more modern GPU? (nothing like spending corp money on products :D , but they are the ones who wanted you to get it to work!)
a b * Windows 8
August 17, 2012 12:44:48 PM

Great for Tablets, netbooks and laptops used for surfing the web, email and "garde verity" apps.

As it stands, DO NOT think it will be a big hit with corporate America.

Tried it for two days, deleted it and threw DVD in trash. - Primary reason is that when I booted Win 8 it it would affect my win 7 installation (Error message when reboot to win 7) on 2nd SSD - IT SHOULD NOT do this.
Note. Win 8 was installed with win 7 SSD disconnected and Used boot menu to boot to win8/win7 - Not a software boot menu.
August 17, 2012 4:19:17 PM

So, I made some changes to the netbook today, and it acts like a whole different machine:
Upgrades: 320GB WD Black HDD 7200rpm (was 160GB WD Blue 5400rpm), 2GB of DDR2 800 (was 1GB DDR2 667), and I installed the 64bit version instead of the 32bit

Everything is much faster (mostly because of not running into virtual memory anymore). Programs open and close much faster, scrolling is smoother, generally a much better experience overall.
With the 64bit version (like the 32bit I tried on it yesterday) Windows idles at ~700MB of ram in use just for the OS, so for both the 32 and 64bit version you should have a minimum of 2GB of ram (which is the max for my netbook lol) to run the final build.

This is very disappointing to me because the CP and all previous builds idled at ~250MB of usage, and something in me was hoping that the final build would be even less because of getting rid of more legacy code (like the start menu and Aero interface). But, now that I have 2GB in the system it is much faster than it was before, so I guess all that heavy pre-loading is being put to good use... just disappointing.
August 17, 2012 10:52:27 PM

Start button missing (we knew that)

WMC is there but it isn't, I managed to play music, but it can't play DVD's
(MP4 video/sound runs fine but NOT DVD's VOB files)

Using Media Player Classic to watch DVD's

I really don't like the tiles (whatever M$ calls them now) but on a "good note" is that 1 click on any of them take me instantly to the normal (almost Windows 7 "feeling") minus the START button.

I still not sure on what HOLE sis M$ put their HEADS on.
The lack of the START button make things way harder than they need to be.
a b * Windows 8
August 17, 2012 11:35:38 PM

drwho1 said:
Start button missing (we knew that)

WMC is there but it isn't, I managed to play music, but it can't play DVD's
(MP4 video/sound runs fine but NOT DVD's VOB files)

Using Media Player Classic to watch DVD's

I really don't like the tiles (whatever M$ calls them now) but on a "good note" is that 1 click on any of them take me instantly to the normal (almost Windows 7 "feeling") minus the START button.

I still not sure on what HOLE sis M$ put their HEADS on.
The lack of the START button make things way harder than they need to be.


The lack of built in MPEG playback is well known. The necessary licences are free for non-commercial or freeware use which allows popular filters like FFDShow, VLC, MPC-HC, Google Chrome, and Firefox, to offer them in their free products. However, commercial use requires licencing and since Windows is purely a commercial product this would add massive additional licencing costs to Windows that could be avoided simply by pointing people to the free alternatives. Even commercial products which have limited free versions usually don't include h264 (although they usually do include h262)
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 12:42:54 AM

My poor X-FI does not work(I have a good reason for keeping it), but the with the CP it worked perfect(Without using the HDA drivers from MS and loosing all features).

Other then that, it works just like the CP. Strange with no Aero Glass look on programs, but I guess i will get use to it(I am using the Auto color to match wallpapers, Why the heck not.). If they are after clean lines, they did it.

I was extremely impressed with the RP, but this one looks more finishes, but broke my sound card.

I am not sure how much I like the new Xbox branding on everything.
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 12:46:15 AM

nukemaster said:
My poor X-FI does not work(I have a good reason for keeping it), but the with the CP it worked perfect(Without using the HDA drivers from MS and loosing all features).

Other then that, it works just like the CP. Strange with no Aero Glass look on programs, but I guess i will get use to it(I am using the Auto color to match wallpapers, Why the heck not.). If they are after clean lines, they did it.

I was extremely impressed with the RP, but this one looks more finishes, but broke my sound card.

I am not sure how much I like the new Xbox branding on everything.


You should probably blame Creative Labs for releasing new drivers only once a decade

EDIT: There's a new beta driver just for Windows 8

http://support.creative.com/downloads/download.aspx?nDo...
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 2:42:12 AM

Its just the win7 driver with a INF file for win8 :(  Tried all the drivers on the site and even the CD driver.

I would blame creative, but it worked on the Win8 CP.

Wonder if Daniel_K(Driver modder who fixed up many Audigy users with Vista and 7.) will release some Win8 Drivers :) 

If you just go swap to another mode(Entertainment/Game/Audio Creation), the sound comes right back.

Many users will not even know about this until they restart as a shut down is just a fancy hibernate.

Other then that, I do not see why SOO much negative feedback on Win8. It does everything I need it to(A "metro" version of Media Center would be nice).
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 2:46:50 AM

nukemaster said:
Its just the win7 driver with a INF file for win8 :(  Tried all the drivers on the site and even the CD driver.

I would blame creative, but it worked on the Win8 CP.

Wonder if Daniel_K(Driver modder who fixed up many Audigy users with Vista and 7.) will release some Win8 Drivers :) 

If you just go swap to another mode(Entertainment/Game/Audio Creation), the sound comes right back.

Many users will not even know about this until they restart as a shut down is just a fancy hibernate.

Other then that, I do not see why SOO much negative feedback on Win8. It does everything I need it to(A "metro" version of Media Center would be nice).


Oh okay. I haven't loaded Win 8 on the metal yet, just in a VM. I had a lot of problems with the modded Creative drivers for X-Fi so I just use the official beta ones
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 2:52:13 AM

nukemaster said:
(A "metro" version of Media Center would be nice).


Probably not going to happen. Since they decided to remove WMC and charge less up front, allowing users to buy it for an extra $10 or so if they really need it, I don't think they see doing a Metro version of it as a worthwhile investment.
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 2:58:54 AM

I get your point, but it was just the same Media Center from Vista/7.
It feels very out of place with the Metro theme they had going.

You are right, very few users use Media Center anyway.
August 18, 2012 3:21:33 AM

Ya, not a huge fan of media center, and I never understood why MS got so hyped up about it, and then turned it to nearly abandonware just a few months later. It was a neat idea (replacing TV and such)... just poor support from content providers.

Personally I like XBMC when I have a dedicated media PC, but otherwise use WMP or VLC for most playback. I don't like the new metro 'video' and 'music' players (mostly because they seem to more interested in selling me content than playing what I want)... but they are much improved over their previous versions.
August 18, 2012 3:33:31 AM

So... I did the terrible deed and moved my wife over to win8 on her machine, and I was really suprised by her reaction.

When I first showed her the beta of win8 on my netbook (last December) she hated it, but when I loaded it on her computer this evening she instantly started using it like a pro once I showed her around a bit. She loves metro, and prefers it to the desktop! I mean... I'm a fan of win8 and all, but I use desktop pretty much whenever possible.

Interestingly, the big sell was Tripeaks in the solitare suite (woot! I loved that game back in the win 3.1 days!). On her first game she beat my high score and rubbed it in my face (I blame the pregnancy hormones on that one, she is not normally so competitive lol). So if any of you have lady-friends that you are going to force to move up... show them tri-peaks and 'let' them beat you ;) 

Oh, almost forgot,
Her rig is a C2Q OC'd to 3.4GHz, 4GB ram, 9800GT graphics (my old game card), 120GB Vertex3 system drive, and 500GB data drive. Only problem was that it would not allow for an 'upgrade' and I had to reformat the system drive. Thankfully (kinda), her old SSD failed recently, so she didn't have all her programs up and running yet, so it was just a matter of installing chrome and office to get her up and running.

... my new parts arrive Monday, and I will move my rig over then :D  can't wait to see how it flies on raid0 SSDs :D 
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 3:41:27 AM

CaedenV said:
Ya, not a huge fan of media center, and I never understood why MS got so hyped up about it, and then turned it to nearly abandonware just a few months later. It was a neat idea (replacing TV and such)... just poor support from content providers.

Personally I like XBMC when I have a dedicated media PC, but otherwise use WMP or VLC for most playback. I don't like the new metro 'video' and 'music' players (mostly because they seem to more interested in selling me content than playing what I want)... but they are much improved over their previous versions.


I can understand why Microsoft abandoned it. It's hard to sell a program when there are more convenient free alternatives available. Most consumers only want a media player that can play all of their pirated MKVs with as little fuss as possible. The licencing terms for the patents and relative maturity of the media industry make this easy for the community to support because it's not constantly evolving. There's really no need to spend money paying programmers to create a fancy product when someone else is fully capable of just wrapping FFMPEG into a pretty package on the side. Audio and video standards don't really lose support and they don't change over time, the same free filters that worked in 2008 still work today and have builtin support for codecs that went out of fashion in the mid 1990s.

Microsoft is thus faced with an interesting question. How do you compete with free? The best way to do this is add-value, but this is almost entirely fluff and no one will notice if it's missing. Then there's also the inherent problems with the DLNA protocols which make it irritating to use. A lot of users simply hook up an external receiver over HDMI and play media that way or use a HTPC/Media Player which can read the files off a network share.
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 4:23:00 AM

I only use Media Center for TV recording and watching(Sure beat the crap out of snapsteam's offering of the time because it started almost instantly even on older hardware). Some times I will toss a DVD in as well. For everything else its VLC :) 

I was more thinking of the Music/Video/TV/Netflix/Hulu Plus idea right in metro. It would generally make things very easy to use.

EDIT.

Ohh yeah built in USB3 is also a nice touch.
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 7:32:47 AM

nukemaster said:
EDIT.

Ohh yeah built in USB3 is also a nice touch.


One problem I noticed (at least on my Asus P9X79 Pro), was that while Microsoft did include native USB 3.0 support, it was limited to USB 2.0 speeds for some reason. When my install was u and running, I attempted to copy some ISO files from my Patriot Magnum drive (sustained reads at 210 megabytes per second), but found that the transfer speed wasn't getting above 33MBps, exactly the upper limit when factoring in overhead of USB 2.0. The fact that it picks up the controller is nice, but wouldn't it also make sense to have it running at full speed?

In any case, installing the driver from the Asus website for Windows 7 worked fine and the USB 3.0 ports now function at full speed.
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 7:40:50 AM

The_Prophecy said:
One problem I noticed (at least on my Asus P9X79 Pro), was that while Microsoft did include native USB 3.0 support, it was limited to USB 2.0 speeds for some reason. When my install was u and running, I attempted to copy some ISO files from my Patriot Magnum drive (sustained reads at 210 megabytes per second), but found that the transfer speed wasn't getting above 33MBps, exactly the upper limit when factoring in overhead of USB 2.0. The fact that it picks up the controller is nice, but wouldn't it also make sense to have it running at full speed?

In any case, installing the driver from the Asus website for Windows 7 worked fine and the USB 3.0 ports now function at full speed.


The native USB drivers have a similar goal as the native HD Audio drivers, native VGA drivers, native AHCI drivers, native Ethernet drivers, etc... they're designed to establish default device behaviour so that the device can be used until the point that the manufacturer's driver can be installed. Sure they can be used indefinitely in the default way but manufacturer specific components require manufacturer drivers. This is pretty typical of WDF driver development as it means that manufacturers only have to override relevant parts of the driver rather than write the whole thing from scratch.

I'm a little surprised that it only ran at 2.0 speeds though. Perhaps switching to 3.0 speed is non-standard
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 7:56:29 AM

Pinhedd said:
The native USB drivers have a similar goal as the native HD Audio drivers, native VGA drivers, native AHCI drivers, native Ethernet drivers, etc... they're designed to establish default device behaviour so that the device can be used until the point that the manufacturer's driver can be installed. Sure they can be used indefinitely in the default way but manufacturer specific components require manufacturer drivers. This is pretty typical of WDF driver development as it means that manufacturers only have to override relevant parts of the driver rather than write the whole thing from scratch.

I'm a little surprised that it only ran at 2.0 speeds though. Perhaps switching to 3.0 speed is non-standard


While your logic is certainly sound, I can't shake one seemingly obvious exception from the Audio, Video, AHCI and Ethernet examples you provided:

Why do (at least I believe they are) native Windows drivers for Gigabit LAN adapters immediately provide Gigabit ethernet speeds on new Windows installs? Looking at this purely from a speed perspective, would this line of thinking not suggest that native drivers program the LAN adapter to run at 100Mbit, and getting the Gigabit speed the adapter is capable of require a download from the manufacturers website?

I know this is almost never the case in reality, but thought I would point it out.
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 8:18:07 AM

The_Prophecy said:
While your logic is certainly sound, I can't shake one seemingly obvious exception from the Audio, Video, AHCI and Ethernet examples you provided:

Why do (at least I believe they are) native Windows drivers for Gigabit LAN adapters immediately provide Gigabit ethernet speeds on new Windows installs? Looking at this purely from a speed perspective, would this line of thinking not suggest that native drivers program the LAN adapter to run at 100Mbit, and getting the Gigabit speed the adapter is capable of require a download from the manufacturers website?

I know this is almost never the case in reality, but thought I would point it out.


That's a very good question. I don't have a definitive answer for you but I'll take a stab at what might explain it.

1000BASE-T has been standardized since at least 1999 and uses the exact same physical layer as 100BASE-T. The standard is very specific as to how 100/1000 devices operate so there's only a handful of ways that an 802.3 compliant PHY can differentiate itself from other PHYs. Ideally they will all observe either identical behaviour or predictable behaviour which allows for a common mature Ethernet driver to be used for many of them. Were the 1000BASE-T PHY behaviour somewhat more divergent I suspect that the default drivers would in fact only support 100BASE-T. There's also the matter that Ethernet devices do not have any authority or control over any devices that they are connected to.

There was also 7 years between the time 1000BASE-T was adopted and the time it got native support in the OS (with Vista I believe). There are still a number of motherboards and add-in cards that do not have their PHYs natively supported by Windows and some where the Windows drivers are problematic (such as the Intel Pro 1000 PM/PL on Windows Vista). USB 3.0 was only adopted a few years ago and didn't see widespread implementation until 2010.

As for USB 3.0 there are still a litany of compatibility and performance issues which haven't been resolved by the manufacturers. I expect that Microsoft decided that it was against their best interest to natively support something in a fashion that wasn't guaranteed to work universally. It would be better to have USB 2.0 work reliably across all devices than to have USB 3.0 fail on some devices with no reliable fallback to USB 2.0 speeds. In the future I suspect that USB 3.0 speeds will be supported natively.
a b * Windows 8
August 18, 2012 4:39:58 PM

Well, My drive is not as fast as yours, but the native drivers are working :) . They must have some detection issues with all the USB3 controllers kicking around.



I do agree with the above poster about comparability. USB3.0 is very lacking in that department. Some cables work with some devices and not others. ports are just slightly different. disconnecting devices widely reported

Hell I have a 20-pin usb 3.0 to female port adapter for my case(front ports) and it disconnects all the time, yet my flash drive and BD-reader work just fine on it(directly to the adapter). Ordered a full kit with 20 pin usb3 for my case and one ports disconnects constantly and the other will if you even touch the plug.

The ports on my board are rock solid and even if I move the plug nothing bad happens.
a b * Windows 8
August 19, 2012 7:24:52 PM

After trying out Windows 8 with Oracle Virtual Box, i'm still disappointed. Mostly the fact not just because there is no Start menu, it's almost like a downgrade from Windows systems. I had to right click to the personalize screen just to find 'My Computer' and the Windows folder. Granted i didn't mess with it much and it got annoying when i was trying to close the apps on the Metro UI, instead i could only go back to the Metro screen.

Now, im wondering if this is going to be like in the final version or whether we'll have the option to customize a little more, but IMO Microsoft seems to think that rolling out a new OS every couple of years is good which is fine. There's just too much that has changed with Win8 to really want to switch over. Not to mention even though i know where the shut off function is on the Metro you have to have to have the mouse (or even touch it) in the right spot or it won't show up. At least this is what i have noticed.

Honestly though i wouldn't spend the money to upgrade & i wouldn't if it was for free. Microsoft would actually have to pay me to use Windows 8. But it's not like Windows 7 will disappear anytime soon.
August 21, 2012 3:31:31 PM

OK, so my 2nd SSD came in last night, and I moved the main system over.

Specs:
Mobo: ASRock extreme3gen3
CPU: 2600 (non-K) @ 4.3GHz (turbo and BLCK overclock)
RAM: 16GB 1333
GPU: GTX570
System Drive: Agiligy3 240GB x2 in RAID0
Project Drive: 1TB Seagate 7200rpm x2 in RAID1
Document Drive: 500GB Seagate
CD/DVD drive: Lite-ON BluRau plaer and DVD Burner
Important software: Win8 64bit, Office suite, Adobe Creative Suite CS1 and Premere Pro CS5.5, various games

As to be expected, everything runs pretty fluidly on the system as it has plenty of horsepower, so I will mostly be mentioning differences between this system and the others.

Ram use: idle it uses a whopping 2.5GB! talk about pre-loading software and having things sit in the background! On top of that task manager now shows the stuff that is cached in ram (win7 you had to go into resource monitor). Win7 only ever preloaded ~4-5GB of files, while win8 preloads some 8GB of information in the background. I have the Ram, so it may as well get used, but this is some very agressive ram usage, I am amazed that it can manage so much stuff in the background while still feeling so responsive.

Audio: I am using the xFi MB2 suite on top of the onboard audio chipset, and outputting via optical to a pretty nice amp (not as powerful as I would like, but very clean output). Everything works fine, and no major changes over win7. I feel like there is a little more clarity, but I think it is just in my head and I have no tools to really test this. My one annoyance is that every time I installed or updated an audio driver win8 always wants to default to the HDMI output to my monitor's craptastic speakers, it is not a huge issue to change it back, and I know that win7 defaulted to this as well during the initial install, but win7 at least remembered my preference and I only had to change it back once where win8 I ahve to change it back with every driver change. Again, not a huge issue, just a minor setup annoyance

USB3: USB3 worked out of the box with win8. Sadly my USB3 flash drive is out for RMA so I was not able to bench the interface before installing the mobo driver, but it seemed to work fine with my USB2 devices

Drivers: In fact, win8 picked up all my hardware right away, but there was an obvious performance difference between the default driver and the manufacture drivers for just about everything.

Loading and responsiveness: Sadly the time to load the RAID controller during POST negates any possible load time gains by the RAID0 as I was already getting a 10sec boot time before (after POST), and now I am getting 6-7sec boot time (after a 4sec longer POST) so the total load time is a wash if not slightly slower now. Before I was getting 160MB/s (uncompressed) and ~280MB/s (compressed) on a single drive. With RAID0 I am averaging ~250MB/s uncompressed and ~375MB/s compressed with the occasional dip down to 120MB/s and jump up to 550MB/s. Program loads were already near-instant pre-RAID0, so there is not a whole lot of practical difference there either. However, there are 2 areas where there is a huge difference:
1) In Skyrim and other games the loads are nearly instant (just time to put up the splash screen and then take it away), easily less than 1/2 the time from before RAID0, and with 480GB of space I have room to install all my programs and games with room to spare. Other large programs like Premiere load a little quicker, but as they have some initialization time that is not tied to the HDD performance it is not quite 1/2 the load time.
2) With the extra space I have enough room to use the SSD for holding video editing source material, which means that now when editing my HDDs idle (making my rig very nearly silent), and the short seek time lets me edit many more streams at once without the system so much as blinking (from the RAID1 HDDs it would hickup if I had too many streams, or switched through too many sources too quickly). It also means that my CPU gets pushed to 100% much easier, where before it mostly sat at ~60-80% utilization when editing because the HDDs simply could not read quickly enough.
Sadly this has little to with with win8, and much more to do with SSDs in raid0, which I think would be useless for most users, but for media work I have to say it is pretty awesome and unlocks a lot of potential.

Graphics: I love the new Metro interface, but there is one very annoying thing I have found with it; In the games app there is an avatar of my xBox character, and when it moves there is some extremely obvious frame studdering or dropping issues going on, almost like a ghosting behavior. Obviously this is an issue with their programming as I am not noticing any such issues in anything else, hopefully this is fixed down the line and not a limitation of the languages used in the metro design. Otherwise, everything runs just fine on my netbook, so on a real rig it all runs flawlessly.

Well, that is my first imrpession. No issues using keys and mouse on the rig like there were back with CP and RP versions, but I think it would be better with a touch-screen or leap motion interface. I get a little annoyed that the lack of drop-down menues when right-clicking things in metro and having to move all the way down to the pop-up menu at the bottom of the screen, but after the initial setup I am finding that I do not need to use it often so I don't see this being a long-term issue.


I am going to steal one of my 27" monitors from work for a few days to see how multi-monitor support is (I hear there are some great new features on that end). I am also going to poke arround the domain and business oriented features and see if anything has improved or changed from win7, and I will post back if I find anythng interesting on those ends.

In the end I am definitely going to upgrade. I have grown accustomed to the new UI and feel oddly limited going back to win7. Plus I want to upgrade from 16GB of 1333 to 32GB of 1600+ which was simply not fiscally sensible when I built the machine, but now something I am very interested in doing as I do more video work (and it is much more affordable to do now). Home edition caps out at 16GB of Ram, so I would have to pay $65 for anytime upgrade, or $40 for the win8 upgrade so that makes the decision very easy for me. On top of that I want to play more with pro-style networking which is not easily done with home edition.
August 21, 2012 3:35:08 PM

It's interesting to me that the pole has 11 negative votes, 11 neutral votes, and 10 positive votes (my own vote was identically black which really makes for 11 positive votes). When I made the pole I really expected to see more of a love-it or hate-it dichotomy, and it is really interesting to see things so evenly spread.
August 21, 2012 4:17:23 PM

i have found that with Win8 so far with people like or hating, it has been very wide spread unlike with past OS'. i find that people who are really in to computers that try it, are in the middle about the OS how it has its good and bad, I do lean more towards liking it more than hating anything about it, since i have had no issue with it.

i do find that more people who just use it for gaming or basic use hate it due to the change with the start screen. and new layout and stuff removed or changed.
a b * Windows 8
August 21, 2012 5:03:50 PM

Well i hate it, imo i voted on 'Give me back my start menu!' because i can't use the OS effectively. Everything is hidden and with previous Win OS's i know where everything is. The metro design makes it feel like im back in Win 3.1 all over again.

In any OS i want to be able to have functionality and know where things are. With Vista i was even in the middle of the road with it, i didn't find it terrible.. it was a resource hog & often times it was slow for me until i upgraded to Win7.

If Microsoft really pays attention to why people still use XP i'm casting my vote by sticking with XP/7.
a b * Windows 8
August 21, 2012 7:03:38 PM

Just read the pricing.
Quote
anyone purchasing a Windows 7 machine between June 2nd, 2012 and January 31st, 2013 to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $15. For those that aren't purchasing a new computer, Microsoft last month announced that anyone running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 at launch you qualify for a $39.99 download of Windows 8 Pro. If you prefer an actual physical copy, you can pick Windows 8 Pro up in store for $69.99
END QUOTE. Then goes to around 199 for Pro.

Also caught, looks like the end of being able to do a "Clean" install using the upgrade version as you must enter the key during the install process. This is OK if you have the "qualifing" Upgrade OS installed. But, although I would OWN the Previous OS, I still prefer the Clean Install. Then there is the hassle of, should Your HD die and you buy a new drive- or switch from a HDD -> SSD, RELOADING the old OS to reload your Upgrade version. This may be somewhat alievated if Win 8 retained the image OS found in Win 7.

One of the reasons I prefer the clean Install is to retain the OLD OS for a few monthes after loading a new OS (ie daul boot).

The $40 is not to bad to obtain a copy of Win 8. But $200 bucks - sorry charlie, Il stick with Win 7.
August 22, 2012 7:44:24 PM

@Chief
the $200 is for the retail version of Pro, just as win7pro, Vista pro/business, XP pro, and win2K have all cost for the retail box. If you are building a new PC and purchasing an OEM copy (tied to the box instead of being tied to you) then there will still be an OEM copy to buy for something in the $120-150 range, just as there is today, and a home OEM in the $90-120 range.

All that said, I agree with you; No OS is worth $200 (especially if it is just going to be replaced in 3-5 years!), and as much as I like a lot of the changes in win8, I would not be willing to pay ~$140 for a new OEM copy to upgrade me from win7.... but for $40... I think that is a very acceptable price to upgrade to win8 Home, moving up to Pro is an even bigger plus.
I really think Mac has the right idea; Charge a ton of money up front to get in the door with the OC (system cost in their case), but then once you are in then charge a minimum for the new OS, but come out with one every year or two. Over the years it evens out, but once you are in the upgrade costs are much easier to swallow.

Or even better as MS is moving to so many cloud services; Give the newest OSs away for free (well... limited copies of course) to those who have some sort of skydrive/office365/xboxlive subscription. I am not huge on subscription based services, but throwing in a $200 OS that can be put on 4-5 home PCs every 3-5 years would be a pretty good selling point.
August 24, 2012 7:27:15 AM

I've tested the developers preview, the consumers preview and the RTM version

one thing to say "WOW!!!!!!!" <-- in a bad way, its like the failure of Windows ME and Windows Vista but not due to performance but due to complicated stuff. Why trying a whole new way ...just to look exactly as the tablet way? Its like when Ubuntu moved to Unity ..it just suck - period.

P.S. Give people a change ...or as you give the consumer preview ...se what the actual buyers want M$ ..and don't mess arround (Just my humble opinion)
a b * Windows 8
August 24, 2012 12:41:19 PM

@CaedenV
Quote
I would not be willing to pay ~$140 for a new OEM copy to upgrade me from win7.... but for $40... I think that is a very acceptable price to upgrade
End quote:

Yes I will probably buy the Upgrade version for 40 bucks For at least one computer just to have a working knowledge of it.. But have one BIG reservations - and that is the"work around" to do a clean install. Seems they dropped this ability. When ever I install a "Brand New" OS, I always do it as a daul boot option for at least 3 Monthes so that the Always present intitial Bugs can be worked out. The lack of this feature also means that the Orginal OS must be re-installed prior to a re-install of the new OS - UGH- as Many like to re-install the OS on a SSD periodically. For this there is the work-a-round which is to Image th OS + Program drive and use this image for the re-install. I'm quessing that win 8 did keep the ability to Image the OS drive/partition.

On win 8. This is probably the first OS that is faster than the previous version right at launch. For example: Win 7 was slower than XP at launch. But improvements fixed that and that is no longer the case. Part of this was do to the added Bloat of adding the DRM Crap - still a sore point with me as I do NOT boot leg Blue-ray. One of the reasons this ticked me off is that it "forced" Upgrading of some perfectly good hardware such as Monitors and GPUs - Granted since the launch of Win 7 I would have upgraded these anyway, The Diff being "my choice" Not forced to.

M$ primarily makes there $$$$ on the sale of NEW systems with the NEW OS (And now to include tablets) and the Sale to the corporate world. New system not impaced as thes sales will be the same as past releases. The Corporate world is a dif story. My impression reading financial reports is that this release will be similar to Vista and ME - The only diff is that Vista and ME were NEVER upgraded to. Win 8 MAY see a slow migration to Win 8 based on longevity (time till win 9 is rolled out).

Would be interesting to see the diff between Win 8 Vs Win 7 poll and a poll (same point in time, just prior to release) for Win 7 Vs XP/Vista.
I did Like win 7 prerelease (Excluding by complant) compared to XP/Vista. Current results has 58% for choice 1 & 2 and Only 31% for the last two choices. If memory serves me right the "favorability" rating for windows 7 was much Higher at the same point in time, just prior to launch.
Anonymous
August 24, 2012 12:58:42 PM

Windows 8 has a lot going for it! I have RTM on my Laptop, (C2D 4GB Ram HD3670 60Gb SSD) and it runs lovely and quick!

BUT, I hate Metro Interface with a passion! I know exactly how to use it, I have bee using it for months, and i still absolutely hate the way it works from start to finish. I also dislike the Look, and find almost no use for any of the "Apps" as they are all pretty crap anyway!

No chance this will go on my main PC, unless!

1) Give me back Start Button!
2) Give me back Aero!
3) Allow me to disable Metro UI!

Then I may upgrade! Windows 7 does everything I need on a desktop to be honest anyway!

I will wait a little longer before getting a tablet to see the first round of Win8 tablets, but to be honest, I will probably get a New iPad.

After setting up dozens of different tablets for customers, None come close to the iPad (3). And this from someone who generally dislikes apple!

Nope Win 8 is not for me!
a b * Windows 8
August 25, 2012 2:17:15 AM

One great thing about Windows 8 it could bring in some consumers to check out desktops. I keep hearing how 'Microsoft is trying to get everyone on tablets, blah blah blah' but it could interest some into gaming with the tablet interface. I honestly don't know why the interface is so great with apps and all this but theres some people out there who might enjoy seeing a touch screen on a desktop PC. Granted portability is nice, but desktops usually have a higher lifespan then laptops/netbooks/tablets with more upgrades & it won't wear out as fast.

I just hope that Microsoft will listen and realize that there are consumers who can't live without the start menu and the functionalities.
September 2, 2012 12:20:07 AM

Put Stardock's STAR8 on, it's free, and stop bitching about no start button. Enough said. Windows 8 isn't that bad.
September 2, 2012 6:30:01 AM

I've been using the RTM (Pro x64) version for a few hours, and I have to say that I have this sinking feeling that it's one compromise after another. Been using keyboard shortcuts mostly (shouldn't be thus in 2012), and in reading help files in W8 it keeps referring to swiping this and swiping that - so clearly I am handicapped by the mouse/keyboard. On the other hand, it is fast, feels way more responsive than W7, and the system monitoring tools are fantastic!
a b * Windows 8
September 2, 2012 4:21:20 PM

You have inserted a CD tap here to tell windows what to do :) 
!