Jump to content

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.
Bromance

Windows 8 Upgrade review

Recommended Posts

For those who didn't read in the poll topic from Jiz, I posted I was looking forward to the upgrade for a few family safety reasons otherwise I wouldn't really have bothered from the bad reviews from game companies (Valve's Gabe mainly).

But as MS decided to sell Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 I jumped on the bandwagon on release day (plus free upgrade for media center which is whatever, but I guess is needed for DVD/Blu Ray playback?). I updated my PC first and had a hiccup right away as I dual boot Ubuntu for a tech class. After deleting the boot record for Ubuntu the upgrade from W7 desktop went flawlessly, very impressed. When you upgrade from your desktop it looks through your system and will tell you what drivers and software are not compatible and need to be uninstalled. If it tells you to uninstall something you feel is important, don't worry! After I uninstalled some Asus software and my printer drivers it then installed W8 without any other interaction from me. It took about 30 minutes then the rest is setup for another 5 minutes (really suggest a MS account as it unlocks a lot of features). After installation I did need to reinstall Nvidia drivers (located in your C drive unzipped anyways) and it automatically reinstalled the drivers/software I uninstalled before the upgrade. Every program worked and nothing need to be reinstalled (Steam, games, Origin, Office, NOTHING).

I then installed on the Wife's PC to the same tune of easiness (once again Nvidia drivers needed installed).

Now for the best part for me, installing on my kids PC's (2 of them). Just as flawless and after tweaking accounts to link with our hotmail/MS accounts the amazing (for me) kicked in. W8 is trying really hard to be MAC like in linking all your tech equipment together, using Skydrive (the cloud), and your social media accounts with the content used in the social media. When I first logged into my oldest son's PC my desktop (except some icons for stuff not installed on my kid's PC) all transferred over, including apps on the Metro page that where not installed yet (W* installed them while it logged me in). All pictures from my facebook page are accessible like they are stored locally which is pretty cool IMO.

In conjunction to the 4 PC's I have a Windows Home Server 2011 that is stock configured ATM, but this week I will be setting it up with some more advanced features (As I had W7 home premium limited me, now with W8 pro I have a lot more network options along with startup scripts, pushing software and updates) to take full advantage of as many features as possible.

Anyone running dual or more monitors W8 has many built in features you would have needed 3rd party software to do another pro for W8.

Explorer windows now have ribbons (like Office) which makes getting to features amazingly easy as you don't need to right click and open other menus and so on. All in a few left clicks

For my printer driver (W8 did it automaticly, but easy to do and it really works!) it needed to run it in compatibility mode for W7. Doing this on the ribbon is now 3 left clicks and done.

W8 seems very robust and stable a lot more then the release candidate more so feels smooth and polished compared.

Cons so far: App store sucks right now but apps are being added almost daily. Learning to navigate is a pain in the ass and will feel wonky for a while. Most things and areas are similar (control panel etc) but they have moved some things to other menus/areas. No real performance upgrade or other GOTTA HAVE features for the average gamer/user.




Little info for those who don't know W7 and W8 are based off of code from Vista and as such W7 is really like a service pack, arguably the way Vista should have been released but either way with the Kernel changes it would have been painful either way so Vista took the brunt. One misconception about Vista that was hidden, but still there, in W7 is the memory management. Many users thought Vista was a memory hog but in reality it used a system very similar to Linux memory management system. There is a point, I promise! Vista through W8 will use your unused/unneeded memory to store info while you are using it and even idling for quick reaction to speed up your system. With W7 they used a different code to show only what the memory was being used for actual programs and OS instead of also showing the overflow it was storing on unused/allocated part of your memory (basicly the new system will not dump info until it needs to use the memory incase you go back to that information). This is back in W8 at it has 3 graphs showing what is used, has info but not being used and free space so I posted this so people won't freak out that W8 is a memory hog. As stated above W8 is more about features and networking all your tech together under one cloud/log in to make the point and clicker average PC user life easier. Power users are definitely going to complain a lot, be prepared for that. BUT for the price point and ease of upgrade I am overall happy with it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice review!! I sort of have mixed feelings about Win8. You did mention many points from Vista to 7 that I have noticed. WinXP had PreFetch which stuck the more popular applications on the faster part of the hard drive due to low memory useage. In Windows Vista, the OS was redone due to the way XP and others had operated in terms of this as well as graphical processing.

Prior to Vista (and API programming), the graphics went through the cpu to get processed then on to the gpu. With Vista being the first of a new generation of OSs, the graphic processing requirements went directly to the gpu where it would be fully processed. After all, the gpu has multiple cores and has had for quite some time now. This also helps considering that the cpu has enough garbage to process. Also during this time, the dynamic memory assisant had been moved from the north bridge of the motherboard to the processor, first with AMD (AMD64) then with Intel (i series). Moving the DMA had reduced memory access by two clock cycles per addressing.

Back to the PreFetch in XP, Vista had an advanced version that required more memory because instead of keeping it only on fastest part of hard drive, it loaded your most used programs into memory when the computer booted up. This made your most used tasks more accessible for those in a hurry needing to burn a disk or print out a document.

Of course with the addition of Aero, this brought the requirement of stock pcs needing a 3D accerator by default from the factory and also using more memory because video cards have long used system memory where the physical graphics memory was either not there or lacked. Remember Hypermemory? You guessed it, it was a mixture between onboard video memory on a graphics card and using system memory to boost graphic processing power. That cleaver name was simply a selling technique by those clever video card companies. Thanks to Vista, companies were forced to add 3D accelerators (or gpus) where they had only been required to use 2D gpus. This made a lot of commotion towards Microsoft where MS had told builders such as Dell, Asus and HP that it would be required as well as higher memory standards. The point is that the transition was not all MS's fault. This was a time of huge transition. Just like our transistion to 64bit now.

Windows XP had 64 bit but drivers were non-existant. No one even knew they were there. Thanks to Vista and it's initial push towards 64 bit with the leaflet in the upgrade packs for $10 (?) discs for 64 bit version, the computer industry and the consumer was on its way. After enough ruckess had died away and computer manufacturers had changed their behaviors with the packages they sold people in regards to computer hardware, 64 bit was becoming more common place and it made it much easier with 64 bit Windows 7.

I could go on but let's just take some time instead to explain my feeling on Windows 8. I like that it has a new interface and I admit that it will take some getting used to. I have a busy life and it will certainly take me longer than those who have the time to meander through for a couple of weeks and can change their habits in the new OS. I had, for the most part, some difficulty finding a way to access documents and other things that i used to easily do before. Most if not all of my programs did load up. One that confused me was Lord of the Rings Online. I don't usually play it on my laptop, only on my desktop. I decided to update the files because new expansion just came out and I knew it would take a while. Well, first it couldn't find the .Net that was installed so I had to go search for it. Found it and tried to download. Then some error came up (and I don't remember what it was) so I tried another thing. Needless to say, I never got LotRO to update because of some MS .Net thing that I really shouldn't have had a problem with. But hey, as an engineering student and downloading from MS Premium site for free 3 days before launch to see if I liked it isn't bad, is it?

Anyway, I hope to try it more later but it's not a focus right now. I'm sure I wrote more than you Bromance, sorry I just had a lot to say. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great reviews! Bromance, sounds like upgrading (vs clean install) is a breeze and the way to go.

I found these articles on cnet that I think might be useful for upgraders.. from what I'm reading, it'll make things easier if your drivers and software are up to date before upgrading:

[url="http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57541490-285/how-to-upgrade-to-windows-8/"]http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57541490-285/how-to-upgrade-to-windows-8/[/url]
http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57479377-285/how-to-prepare-your-pc-for-windows-8/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Love the comments from some "Pro's" on the links..lol Since I got out of the Navy and been working in a factory whilst I get my education on, the mass of peoples who are self important as if the world (or at least those around them) would be lost forever to wander with no purpose or meaning in life without them! :)

One guy commented he couldn't install Office 2010... Silliness.

Many comments on doing a clean installation reminded me of the XP days of once every 6 month re-installed cause the system got so laggy, but W7 I ran since release and have never "needed" a new installation for what 3 years now? Some of the old guy IT's still argue Unix systems and other silliness expect W7 and W8 to be the death of PC's! As W8 is based heavily on W7 and many companies (COMCAST and their 250GB limit a month) putting limits and size of game d/l's now, it would take me months to finish 4 PC's...lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Bromance' timestamp='1351613046' post='51961']
As W8 is based heavily on W7 and many companies (COMCAST and their 250GB limit a month) putting limits and size of game d/l's now, it would take me months to finish 4 PC's...lol
[/quote]

What??? Comcast put a limit on your down and up traffic???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Comcast is rolling it out to major cities first, have been for awhile. 250 GB is a huge limit really, but with me buying 99% of my games through Steam and Origin the game d/l's if I d/l them all in the same month would exceed that limit easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just got done upgrading to w8!! Wow, I am very impressed at the ease of the upgrade. I used to be one of those guys Bromance mentioned that thought a clean-install WAS always necessary, but it's nice to see Microsoft has cleaned up their act and made the upgrade process very clean and seamless. All of my apps are available and work great; all of my settings were maintained - even RDP connection history!

I only had to uninstall 2 apps due to incompatibility:
Microsoft Security Essentials - replaced by Microsoft Defender in windows 8
Daemon Tools Pro - would need to purchase a newer version to get win8 support

Other than that, before upgrading, I updated my video, keyboard, mouse and printer drivers.


A few thoughts/issues:

The main reason I upgraded is because I was on Win7 Home Premium and it was only $40 to get pro version which includes RDP server support. That's a great deal considering Win7 pro was $199.


One issue that I thought was strange is that Windows 8 does not let you connect to more than one mapped network drive if using the same account. I guess this is some kind of "security feature", but I'm not sure how.. To fix, I used "Network Folders" instead of Mapped Drives.

Locating your "Program Menu" isn't too intuitive. I did figure out if I hit the Windows key and then right clicked on the Metro UI, there's an "All Apps" icon in the bottom right that brings up all of your installed apps.. This is very similar to Mac's Launchpad although harder to get to. There may be an easier shortcut that I've yet to discover (see link below for several windows key shortcuts)

As Bromance hinted, Microsoft is definitely sweating Apple hard and there are several features stolen from MacOSX in this OS. I like MacOSX so, for the most part, I think it's a good thing.

The new mail client is pretty nice. I was able to setup all of my accounts on it and it's very fast.

I don't think the UI changes are as bad as people are leading on. Really, the only difference is the Start Menu is replaced by Metro UI.

Windows Key is your friend. Use it to quickly switch between Metro and Desktop.

Alt-tab still works great and lets you see all your running apps - including Desktop and Metro

Everything "feels" faster.

Useful windows key shortcuts [url="http://www.ghacks.net/2012/10/29/top-windows-8-shortcuts-you-should-know-to-speed-up-your-work/"]http://www.ghacks.ne...d-up-your-work/[/url]


Overall, I'm very happy with the upgrade! Edited by jizackson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LOL works like a champ by the forum post (I don't play it). Not sure if something needs re-installed or not. I know I am having issues with IE10 from some websites.

[url="http://eune.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=494576"]http://eune.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=494576[/url] Adobe Air may be the issue. Like for me, I updated my Nvidia before I upgraded but I noticed no Nvidia control Panel. Guess a few errors from things that may be attached to MS's dll (Core windows files) that may have been replaced or renamed.

If you could run the Razer software in W7 mode and see!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling League of Legends, running in compatibility mode and still can't get it to load into game. I don't think it is the Adobe AIR. This is the issue I'm having: [url="http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=900988"]http://euw.leagueofl...ad.php?t=900988[/url]

I'll try that for Razer 2.0! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
D/L LOL now just to see if it will work or not. Weird some say it works and others not. If you did a restore point right before upgrading you can restore back to W7 so I have read if we can't get it to work for yeah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tried repairing, uninstalling/reinstalling razer synapse 2.0.. no dice.

I think something is just wrong with my install. I may end up doing a clean reinstall of Windows 8.. aka "reset" [url="http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/windows-8-recovery.html"]http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/windows-8-recovery.html[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quick warning, [u][b]IF YOU HAVE ESET NOD 32 SMART SECURITY.[/b][/u] You need to disable the start up service otherwise you will not be able to load webpages from any browser.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='EliteSpanker' timestamp='1351545146' post='51867']
Nice review!! I sort of have mixed feelings about Win8. You did mention many points from Vista to 7 that I have noticed. WinXP had PreFetch which stuck the more popular applications on the faster part of the hard drive due to low memory useage. In Windows Vista, the OS was redone due to the way XP and others had operated in terms of this as well as graphical processing.

Prior to Vista (and API programming), the graphics went through the cpu to get processed then on to the gpu. With Vista being the first of a new generation of OSs, the graphic processing requirements went directly to the gpu where it would be fully processed. After all, the gpu has multiple cores and has had for quite some time now. This also helps considering that the cpu has enough garbage to process. Also during this time, the dynamic memory assisant had been moved from the north bridge of the motherboard to the processor, first with AMD (AMD64) then with Intel (i series). Moving the DMA had reduced memory access by two clock cycles per addressing.

Back to the PreFetch in XP, Vista had an advanced version that required more memory because instead of keeping it only on fastest part of hard drive, it loaded your most used programs into memory when the computer booted up. This made your most used tasks more accessible for those in a hurry needing to burn a disk or print out a document.

Of course with the addition of Aero, this brought the requirement of stock pcs needing a 3D accerator by default from the factory and also using more memory because video cards have long used system memory where the physical graphics memory was either not there or lacked. Remember Hypermemory? You guessed it, it was a mixture between onboard video memory on a graphics card and using system memory to boost graphic processing power. That cleaver name was simply a selling technique by those clever video card companies. Thanks to Vista, companies were forced to add 3D accelerators (or gpus) where they had only been required to use 2D gpus. This made a lot of commotion towards Microsoft where MS had told builders such as Dell, Asus and HP that it would be required as well as higher memory standards. The point is that the transition was not all MS's fault. This was a time of huge transition. Just like our transistion to 64bit now.

Windows XP had 64 bit but drivers were non-existant. No one even knew they were there. Thanks to Vista and it's initial push towards 64 bit with the leaflet in the upgrade packs for $10 (?) discs for 64 bit version, the computer industry and the consumer was on its way. After enough ruckess had died away and computer manufacturers had changed their behaviors with the packages they sold people in regards to computer hardware, 64 bit was becoming more common place and it made it much easier with 64 bit Windows 7.

I could go on but let's just take some time instead to explain my feeling on Windows 8. I like that it has a new interface and I admit that it will take some getting used to. I have a busy life and it will certainly take me longer than those who have the time to meander through for a couple of weeks and can change their habits in the new OS. I had, for the most part, some difficulty finding a way to access documents and other things that i used to easily do before. Most if not all of my programs did load up. One that confused me was Lord of the Rings Online. I don't usually play it on my laptop, only on my desktop. I decided to update the files because new expansion just came out and I knew it would take a while. Well, first it couldn't find the .Net that was installed so I had to go search for it. Found it and tried to download. Then some error came up (and I don't remember what it was) so I tried another thing. Needless to say, I never got LotRO to update because of some MS .Net thing that I really shouldn't have had a problem with. But hey, as an engineering student and downloading from MS Premium site for free 3 days before launch to see if I liked it isn't bad, is it?

Anyway, I hope to try it more later but it's not a focus right now. I'm sure I wrote more than you Bromance, sorry I just had a lot to say. :D
[/quote]

[size=4][font='comic sans ms', cursive]I did the upgrade (not a clean install) and other than the PB issue, it was flawless.[/font][/size]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Hoole' timestamp='1351748015' post='52165']
quick warning, [u][b]IF YOU HAVE ESET NOD 32 SMART SECURITY.[/b][/u] You need to disable the start up service otherwise you will not be able to load webpages from any browser.
[/quote]

Stay away from porn and torrents then you will not need NOD or Norton ect.......LOL :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trying this out for a Windows 7-like start menu: [url="http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/"]http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/[/url]

Seems to work pretty well.. And, it gives you option to still load metro UI with windows key.

it has a 30 day free trial and only $5 to buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='jizackson' timestamp='1351809363' post='52274']
Trying this out for a Windows 7-like start menu: [url="http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/"]http://www.stardock....roducts/start8/[/url]

Seems to work pretty well.. And, it gives you option to still load metro UI with windows key.

it has a 30 day free trial and only $5 to buy.
[/quote]
If you wanted windows 7 then why did you buy windows 8 knowing that it does not have a legacy style start menu? Once you stick with it the "windows+(insert here)" method of navigating around is pretty easy and intuitive....just gotta stick with it. Oh and if you want to find ANYTHING on your computer all you have to do is either click the pop up on the bottom left of your screen and start clacking away on your keyboard OR press "win+F" and start typing. Easier than windows, type, wait, wait some more, manually find it anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Hoole' timestamp='1351892938' post='52403']
If you wanted windows 7 then why did you buy windows 8 knowing that it does not have a legacy style start menu? Once you stick with it the "windows+(insert here)" method of navigating around is pretty easy and intuitive....just gotta stick with it. Oh and if you want to find ANYTHING on your computer all you have to do is either click the pop up on the bottom left of your screen and start clacking away on your keyboard OR press "win+F" and start typing. Easier than windows, type, wait, wait some more, manually find it anyways.
[/quote]

True, can't speak for Jiz of course, but Win 8 offers a whole lot more then the new GUI for a reason to upgrade, not to mention the price ATM to upgrade. But Win 8 has the old GUI still in the core, imagine a typical company wanting to upgrade... The training required would be huge (people still can't get around XP without issues who use a PC all day every day for work) so they built it in for them to set it in "normal" for that aspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm about to format and re-install either 7 or clean install 8 due to the fact that NONE of my games will load. Starts up fine but after my computer has to load about 2-3 seconds of frames and then it either black screens or freezes on the last frame rendered. I've tried EVERYTHING: Clean installed drivers, checked for updates, uninstalled and re installed games, ran as administrator, ran in compatibility mode, and any imaginable combination of the latter two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@[member='Hoole'] Thats horrible. I am wondering why you and Jiz are having issues.... Maybe some programs you guys had installed before the upgrade? I only have games, steam, Origin, and office are 99% of the programs I have installed.

Another tidbit from some research is the updated MS drivers and they way the OS handles new tech. So manly for those running hardware after W7 release (SSD is the main one) W8 should make better more efficient use of the hardware then W7. I do have an ssd and Disk defragment still wants to defrag my SSD....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

This website uses cookies to provide the best experience possible. Privacy Policy & Terms of Use