TechSpot

Windows 8 discussion

By SNGX1275
Feb 29, 2012
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  1. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +99

    I've never really trusted Microsoft when it comes to dual-booting, especially if you're dual-booting their own OSes.

    As an update to my own experiences of W8, the hard disk on the laptop was faulty, it failed yesterday. So I've now put the original Hitachi hard disk that contains my W7 installation back into it. So that concludes my investigation of W8 for now.

    I've been impressed with how it recognises existing hardware, as well as my peripherals, and it definitely got bonus points for seeing my RAID as soon as I got to the desktop on the first run. -- in comparison, even W7 needs drivers before it even realises my RAID exists, as well as a couple of other pieces of hardware in my main working PC. W8 recognised everything without needing any interaction or extra drivers from me, so in that respect its very good.

    I still can't but think that on desktops and other non-touchscreen devices it needs a start menu though. The option to show Metro would be cool, like maybe a quick start icon similar to the way they've always had the "show desktop" icon in the taskbar, or even just a icon pinned to the taskbar, so users can use the start menu, as well as the tiles if they want.

    As it is to be expected, it still had many quirks that I'm sure will be resolved by the time it hits retail. It is a pre-retail "testing" release though, so some issues are understandable.
     
  2. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,060   +76

    Leeky, I hope they will enable a way to make desktop as default for folks who are not comfortable with the changed interface. Personally I'd rather get rid of start button, but for a normal user it does hold value, so in a perfect world they may put an option to show/hide it ;)
     
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +99

    I'm not saying Metro is crap or anything, but there are times when having the traditional menu available would make sense when your using the OS on a device without a touchscreen.
     
  4. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    I second that.
    You know, I would've actually liked it, if it hadn't screwed up my existing Ubuntu installation. For those who depend on multiple OSes, Win8 is a no-go zone.
    But you know what? I'm surprised at how it couldn't do anything to screw OpenSUSE. It's running just fine.

    Oh I reached 100 posts! Congratulations to me! :D
     
  5. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    This is my second day on Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
    My initial thought 5 days ago was to not even give it a try, which I think is a good thing because that put my expectations really low.

    But now that I have cheated myself I can give my opinion. :)
    I installed it on the system in my profile: a C2Q 3.6Ghz with 8GB RAM
    I removed the RAID card and installed on a clean formatted Intel X25-M G2 80GB SSD.
    WEI score is 6.8, it would be 7.4 with a faster GFX card.

    Positives:
    The new Task Mamanger is nice, it's not a replacement for Process Explorer but it does do a good job.
    The start screen which shows system information like the current time.
    The ability to pause file transfers (One reason I use Total Commander)
    The fact that Flash is not supported by the Metro version of Internet Explorer (Edit: MS backpedalled on this :()
    The OS feels very fast and snappy, especially at bootup (The SSD plays a big role here too of course)

    Negatives:
    Metro.
    Let me explain my thoughts, with Window Vista I was surprised by how many menus where still ported directly from Windows XP.
    This changed (but only a little) with Windows 7.
    For me this totally breaks the immersion, the OS feels unfinnished to me.
    I was expecting Microsoft to rectify this as time goes on.
    What we get now is an interface that jumps back to the normal desktop when pretty much any activity is performed:

    Plug in a USB Stick or HDD? normal desktop to copy files.

    Launch Wordpad or Notepad? normal desktop

    Create a VPN connection? Click the computer icon in the taskbar, get greeted by a Metro interface that allows you to do nothing, give up, open the "network and sharing center" create the connection and if you want to change it in any way click "change adapter settings" which brings you back to a Windows XP interface.

    Windows Messenger: I'm not sure what's it supposed to become like in the final version but right now it seems that to text my friends I need to scroll through a giant list of names that covers my whole screen, if this is what Metro is about then I'm afraid MS has lost it.

    I'll leave it at that, pretty much anything I do makes me annoyed at the totally convulted user interface.
    There is a reason I absolutely love Windows 2000, it is a streamlined operating system where everything fits in place.
    Obviously that OS is way too old to be used (Planned obsolescence)
    For that reason Windows XP x64 (Same as Server 2003 x64) is my OS of choice.
    It is a system that after allot of tweaking becomes very stremlined and which looks good, very few menus look out of place.

    For work I actually use Windows 7, and that is because it allows me to do CAD/CAM work much more effectivley.
    The user interface is Windows 7 is good and offers nice productivity.
    For example the search dialog box in the "start menu" which allows me to find mails, files or programs by simply typing a few characters.
    In Windows 8 I need to be in the Metro interface to search by typing since there is no start menu, but it's just gonna throw me back to the desktop when I find what I need so what's the point?

    If Microsoft are too stupid to see that the Metro interface is of no use at all to systems which have a MAK (Mouse and Keyboard) as input devices and thus disable Metro and bring the normal Windows desktop interface that we have come to love in the well over past decade that we have used it then I absolutely do hope that they ruin their company and go bankrupt.
    Oh, and I loathe Apple and would not touch their system with a 10 foot pole but atleast they have the brains to keep two separate branches for their tablets and desktop systems.

    Finally I have to admit that yes, I had to ask google how to shut down my PC running Windows 8.
     
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 6,577   +342

    Per, quick question, have you ever tried a Mac?
    If you want streamlined and mostly consistent UI, many agree you are better off going Mac.

    I use Windows and OS X on a daily basis and still prefer Windows (with its pros and cons), but anyhow, just wondering if you have given other OS the chance?
     
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 12,640   +322


    I thought I had an nvidia 6200 in this system. Turns out I had a FX5200.

    Today, I was thinking that maybe I'll put a non HP OEM PSU into this so I can make use of my 7800GS AGP card. When I discovered I was using a FX5200 and not the 6200 I thought I'd put the 6200 in and see if there is a difference.

    Well that was the start of about 30 minutes of frustration. I put the 6200 in and booted up. Immediately noticed screen corruption on the splash screen. The little dots that move in a circle made 1 revolution and then I started getting corruption. Shortly after that it rebooted. Next boot made it a bit further then rebooted again. Next reboot I got to the boot menu screen, selected Windows 8 and a few seconds later it rebooted. I attempted to do the F8 trick to boot into VGA mode, but that has been removed from Windows 8.

    So, I had to remove the 6200 and put the FX5200 back in. That worked, and I then uninstalled through device manager. Put the 6200 back in and it booted up fine. Even had drivers (as quoted above, 8 didn't detect the FX5200). This was all likely a result of me breaking a cardinal rule of working on computers - I put the side back on the case and screwed it in before testing to make sure it worked.

    I was anxious to re-run WEI. Something surprising (to me) happened. The 6200 actually scores quite a bit worse on gaming graphics. 2.0 vs 2.7.
    Aero score went up from 2.1 to 3.1. Aero seemed to be working fine before, so I didn't really notice any difference with the 6200.

    Next up was Solitaire. Yep, its still unplayable. I'd say its marginally better with this card (although WEI score disagrees) but it still is too laggy to play. I'm not sure yet whether or not I'll put the 7800GS in, seems like its a waste of power unless I'm going to do some light gaming on this. But curiosity might get the better of me and I'll go ahead and do it.

    Per - Shutting down does seem to have an excessive amount of steps, but by setting the power button to shut down you can make it happen with the press of 1 button.
     
  8. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,060   +76

    Another update, I've noticed that when I select to boot in W8CP HDD doesn't pause or stutter, but as soon as I select Win7 it does make a funny noise, then reboots and boot the selected OS (as stated earlier). The HDD is rather new, once any of these OS is booted it doesn't hang up or do anything unusual, so I am keeping my fingers crossed hoping it isn't a case of HDD failure.

    Here is a way to make Win8CP boot into desktop mode.
     
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,834   +925

    Ouch! The Intel G41 (IGP) I'm posting from puts up 4.3 (Aero), 4.7 (gaming) graphics score.

    That said, the HDD is a WD Caviar Blue 250GB SATA2, only shows a 5.5, running as IDE

    All of that notwithstanding, I'm fairly sure good Windows editions are like alcoholism, it tends to skip a generation. Wake me when Win 9 gets here...:rolleyes:
     
  10. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    I second that :D

    That makes me reconsider whether I should buy a Radeon 5550 either for better gaming or even just an OS upgrade. Dubious upgrade. You think I should go with it, in case I end up with Win8 as a primary OS? :)suspiciou)

    ------------------------------
    My Win8 WEI scores:
    Processor: 4.8
    RAM: 5.6
    Graphics: 3.7
    Gaming Graphics: 3.4
    Primary Hard Disk: 6.2
    ------------------------------
    Performance ratings indeed rose, so I can't criticise that, though the RAM didn't show much difference:
    ------------------------------
    Win7 WEI scores:
    Processor: 4.6
    RAM: 5.5
    Graphics: 3.7
    Gaming Graphics: 3.4
    Primary Hard Disk: 5.9
    -----------------------------
    Couldn't provide any screenshots, sorry. That UI gives me migraines. And, I already got rid of it.
     
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 12,640   +322

    It actually gets worse. I put a 6200 in, replacing the FX5200 and this happened:

    You might have gotten confused a bit with the model numbers and my cards. The FX5200 and the 6200 are nvidia cards. The FX5200 came out 2003 and competed with the Radeon 9000 cards. The 6200 came out a year later. Both were the budget cards of their series. I don't know what the earliest cards you remember, but both ATI and nvidia had cards with numbers in the thousands, then ATI started doing the xNumbers and then HD Numbers and is now back up with HD 7000s. So its important to distinguish between my nvidia 5000/6000 cards and more modern ATI HD5000/HD6000.

    A Radeon HD 5550 will be light years ahead of the nvidia low 7000 series card you have now.
     
     
  12. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Oops!

    Alas. I recognised the FX5200 as Nvidia. It was the 6200 that confused me. Surprising how the prefix and suffix of a number can change it's meaning. And age!
    Either way, I'm expecting to experience bliss with the HD 5500. Way better than a GeForce 7025, eh? But hey, this is becoming a gfx card thread now. :rolleyes:

    I read you multi-boot, like I do. Did you experience any probs with the other OSes like I did? 'Cause man, it pissed me off.
     
  13. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    Julio: I have used MAC OS very briefly in the past but also things like the iPad and iPhone more recently.
    I can say their phones and tablets are nice, they have the right idea (keep desktops and tablets separate)
    But both for my personal and work related computer uses there is no way for me to go for either MAC OS or Linux, the applications and games I use simply would not work or would perform very poorly outside the Windows ecosystem.

    SNGX & Archean: I know that there are multiple ways to create shortcuts and configure things so that it will behave better, but the point of my post was more to highlight the issues with Windows 8.
    Maybe I was not so clear on one thing.
    In Windows 2000 I get a very consistent and nice user interface without changing anything.
    In each subsquent Windows version it gets worse, but in XP and XP x64 it's still possible to configure it the way I like it.
    In Windows Vista (and less so Win7) Microsoft breaks away from this and creates a user interface which is not consistent, there are old menus everywhere that kill the immersion of a "modern user interface".
    In Windows 8 it seems they just dropped the ball completely!

    I'm still using Win8 and here are some more thoughts:
    When I launch a picture from a folder of pictures in explorer it opens in metro.
    But atleast for me there is no way to view the other pictures? I have to ALT-TAB back and select a new one…

    When I open for example a PDF in Internet Explorer it opens in a PDF Viewer in metro.
    But I see no easy way of closing the started PDF viewer.
    It might not be in my best interest to keep sensitive stuff like invoices or my pay check open for anyone to see in the background.

    In Internet Explorer it automatically makes allot of Words with uppercase letters, like the Word Word as you can see…
    Dunno if it's a bug or future, IE10 also lacks spell checking, maybe because I selected Swedish input interface.

    My Auzentech X-Meridian soundcard (C-Media 8788 based) does not work, and I can't install the Win7 drivers, even when choosing Win7 compatibility mode.

    My Lian-Li card reader does not work, it is not even listed in device manager (it works without drivers in Win7)

    I connected my DSLR via USB instead due to the above, it worked but the issue with displaying Pictures a few Points up was very evident.
    Even more strange was that after I copied the Pictures to my desktop and disconnected the camera they where corrupted in metro, but the actual files on my desktop where not corrupted…

    To lanuch something like PuTTY which I would normally put on my start-menu; click on metro, type "putty" click on "files" since "apps" is selected by default (or vice versa if your last search was for files and now you want to find an app) click on putty and get thrown back to the desktop which now shows putty ontop.
    (You may replace use of mouse or keyboard to your personal preference...)

    The "buttons" or what we should call them are very frustrating to click, more so if you have dual monitors.
    But it gets doubly annoying in the desktop interface aswell, instead of clicking the Active open Winodows top left button you end up in Metro instead!
     
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 12,640   +322

    I don't know about the odd noise, but the I think rebooting the system before getting to Windows 7 is normal, because thats how it worked for me.

    Unfortunately for me, sometime between about 9pm last night and now, my 200 gig hd I had Windows 8 on died. So no more Windows 8 for me, at least not on a system I see myself spending much time on. I did get it installed on that old celeron 2.4 with 512MB of SDRAM I mentioned somewhere above, but I suspect it will be far to slow to use.

    I didn't have any problems after the first couple reboots. I thought I was going to have to use EasyBCD (although I looked into that a bit yesterday and I'm not even sure it will work in Windows 8) but just before I got to that step I got a boot menu on startup. I swear the first couple times I rebooted it just went straight to Windows 8 without the boot selection menu.

    Now the problem is, my Win 8 hdd is dead, so I get a bluescreen on the start saying Windows can't find the files it needs (cause the drive is dead). But I can hit F9 to 'boot into another operating system', when I do that, it loads Windows 7. But I've lost my ability to boot into PC-BSD, so I'll probably have to fixmbr on 7, and then use EasyBCD again to get PC-BSD back.

    I thought that Windows 8 hdd might be dying a while back (because hdd activity light would stay on on boot for a long time before leaving POST), but I checked it out with SeaTools and it said all was well. Maybe its a bad IDE cable, or something. I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.

    Edit: Good news everyone!
    HDD is not dead, apparently in swapping out the video cards yesterday I partially dislodged the molex connector to the drive. I used the computer after putting the 'new' card in. Then used it several hours later. Sometime after that the connector worked out further, guess it lends some credibility to the thermal expansion/contraction helping work connectors loose. At the very least it reminds us to check the connections.

    Edit 2: I saw Leeky posted a pic in the gallery of his Win 8 Metro interface. Here is my uninspiring one. Here is a slightly altered desktop to make startup/shutdown quicker.
     
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,834   +925

    Dude, you need to switch to a wide screen monitor. The naked girl who would then be able to stretch out, might be ever so grateful...:haha:
    However, woe to us.....:rolleyes: :haha:

    Ok, so the same hardware is now faster with Windows 8....! Now see, you won't have to buy new hardware, just a new OS. That's M$, always looking out for the little guy!

    They should probably change the whole, "WEI" thing to, "WFGEI"...:haha: ("Windows Feel Good Experience Index")......:rolleyes:
     
  16. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,341   +280

    It's because the max score has changed - it was 7.9 in Windows 7 and I believe 9.9 in Windows 8. I'll have to check tomorrow to confirm this though.
     
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,834   +925

    You do agree that it's now calibrated to make you feel better about your computer, don't you? And for those whose machines can actually peg the needle, they can feel better about themselves too......

    "Windows 8, there's something for everybody".....! :rolleyes:
     
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 12,640   +322

    I thought that too. You are correct on 9.9 vs 7.9 (Vista was 5.9 I think). I also discussed this in the 18th post in this thread :D

    If I can remember tomorrow I'll go back and see if the scores are inflated in 8. I've thought about this some (although I'm sure googling will provide the answer) and I don't think it makes sense to inflate the scores. I think the scores just allow a higher number because the hardware is expected to be better. It is a Windows Experience Number, so for Vista, if you get a 5.9 or in 7, if you get a 7.9 that is Microsoft's way of saying you are experiencing it as well as they imagined it could be. Now certainly this has its faults because putting Vista on the best hardware you can buy now is going to be faster than if you put it on a system that scores all 5.9s. But I don't think the WEI is intended to be a very sophisticated benchmark, its just a quick way to get a pretty good idea of how your system will do with whatever version of Windows.

    CC - I'm sure you haven't read each of my posts in this thread, but in almost every one of my posts I've said the system running Windows 8 is an old P4 system. My primary system does have dual wide screen 22" monitors.
     
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,834   +925

    The "WEI", is M$ blowing sunshine up your a**. What part of that isn't clear? They just put their lips together and blow! "WEI", is the noise that makes.....(wait for it)........:rolleyes: :haha:

    OK, exactly what part of, "so the naked girl can stretch out", do you think I was actually serious about....?

    Running the risk of being banned for channeling the unholy, I will now speak the true name of Windows 8, the name that must never be spoken aloud....., "VISTA 2"....!!!!

    And yes, it makes a great deal of sense to inflate the numbers, because then you're going to think that Windows 8, works better than Windows 7. That's kindergarten psy-ops. So, with all the s*** that went down about how slow Vista was as compared to XP, it's going to be different this time. 8 is faster than 7, period! It makes better use of your hardware. You don't have to buy a new computer. You just have to buy Windows 8. It says so right on the box. (OK, so "box", is a euphemism for "WEI". So that doesn't manage to get lost in translation).
     
  20. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Same thing happened to me with Ubuntu.

    I think that could be the case.

    I now consider it more wise not to retort to that one :rolleyes: :D
     
  21. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    captaincranky: Yea, inflating the WEI index is very stupid actually.
    It was hailed as a way to simplify the requirements of games and applications with Vistas release.
    But if they change the numbers worth with each release of Windows it isn't going to make any sense.
    Say Crysis requires a 5.0 (made up number)
    In Vista your system only gets 4.0, so you upgrade to Win7 and there it gets a 5.0, and in Win8 it gets a 6.0.
    Guess what, it's still gonna be too slow to play Crysis!

    I also realized another thing with Win8
    They reduced the startup time by doing a hybrid hibernation of sorts when the system is shutdown (You notice this because it takes a little longer to shutdown vs Win7)
    But thus when you install security updates that require a reboot, and shutdown your PC for the night.
    The next day you boot it up it will automatically reboot when you login.
    And that "clean" boot actually takes atleast as long as Win7 does for me to boot...
    It's a very small nitpick of course, but it might be worth to keep in mind that if an application really requires a reboot.
    Then you really need to do a reboot, not shutdown your PC on day one and start it on day two and think "presto done"
     
  22. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +99

    That would explain why my main Pc refused to shut down after a few days if its actually not properly shutting down, but doing a hybrid sleep/shutdown instead.

    Still, if you shutdown your computer it should be just that. I don't need a stupid hybrid mix when I have an SSD that's more than fast enough to make the difference that gives you totally pointless.

    Also, as you touched on Per, its far too bloody hard to find the shutdown option. It reminds me of a similar approach Gnome 3 DE took on some distro's in its vanilla form where the shutdown option was hidden unless you pressed the shift button whilst clicking the menu. I mean come on, the power menu should be simple to find, and simple to use.

    Aye, you can use the power button on the tower, but given that I spend all my time telling those less knowledgeable about computers NOT to turn a computer off by pressing the power button because pressing it and holding it is not the way to do it -- I think all of a sudden jumping ship and telling those same people running W8 to do it in the interest of efficiency is madness.

    As I said before, I jumped back to W7 after it started failing to shutdown, and on the last occasion it corrupted several files on my RAID. I'm sure the retail version will fair much better though.

    I'm also pretty sure my Windows Index score was the same as W7 as well. Having checked the upload I did of my overall index score, W8 is 6.7, and my W7 Pro x64 is 6.8 overall. Seems stupid to "inflate" those scores, as it won't make software run any better and will make the whole index score pointless when checking if your system is suitable for certain software with index scores on them.
     
  23. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,060   +76

    Well on my test rig WEI remains same on Win7x64 and W8CPx64 i.e. 4.5 (which means it can't run Crysis but who cares :p).

    +1 on Shutdown issue, even in Desktop mode I don't expect everyone to remember Aft+F4, so at least placing a shut down button/tile at bottom left or right corner can be nice.
     
  24. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    The WEI numbers must've been inflated. Ratio-like, but then, the RAM should've improved too, eh?
    Still, a permanent hibernation mode seems unattractive. I didn't bother to wander around the UI to find an option to disable that (gave me migraines, remember?), but if I had, I don't think I would've approved of the UI fully anyway. Too complex for a 7-fan.
    Necessity is the mother of invention, but not all inventions are useful of course. (Care for a Steam?)
    And as cranky said, Windows' craze does seem to skip a generation. XP (Wow!), Vista(Wow?), 7(ooohhh!!!) :haha:
     
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 12,640   +322

    No, like I've been saying, I don't think the numbers are inflated. I tried to explain why (post #68) but perhaps I didn't do a good job. All I think they are doing is raising the artificial ceiling for the highest you can achieve. I'll edit this post after I run the WEI test in both OSes. The HD score might change because I'm running it on a different physical HD, the other scores I expect to be the same.

    Edit: Posting results in new post rather than editing this one with results because this is no longer the last reply in the thread.
     


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