I have a SSD in my laptop with Windows 8 installed. The laptop is dying and I'm building a new PC from scratch and I plan to use the laptop SSD as storage for the new desktop. Can I simply connect the SSD to the new configuration and boot Windows 8 with all my files intact or am I going to need to reinstall windows?
You usually have to reinstall Windows when you change the motherboard. That's because the drivers that were installed to detect those hardware may not work for the new motherboard. One way that may help is to uninstall all drivers. Then move the drive over, pop in the Windows installer DVD and run a repair. This will force Windows to re-detect the hardware.
You can try. If both your machines run with Intel AHCI it should work. Maybe you need to run once the "safe mode" tun get Win8 up and running. Most other driver should be installed after start. Maybe some are missing, but just run Windows Update.