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Windows 8.1 on a new desk top, early thoughts.

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  • Windows 8.1 on a new desk top, early thoughts.

    I took delivery of a new PC running Windows 8.1 recently, have spent the past week running my old and new PC's side by side, experiencing the joys of configuring a new puter, i.e, setting up email, data transfer, loading programs, transferring bookmarks etc.

    After all of the negative opinions (mostly from people who have never used the OS) must admit I was a little concerned that I may have been in for torrid time, nothing is further from the truth, it really has been a straight forward operation, most of what was there in XP is certainly still there, some things are accessed a little differently, no big deal, just takes a little getting used to.

    Sure, like everything there is room for improvement, however a lot of this will come down to personal preferences and how we choose to set the machine up for our own use.

    For them that's interested, it's a custom built PC.

    • Intel i7-4770 CPU
    • Gigabyte G1 B5 full size mother board
    • 16GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM
    • 1TB WD black HDD
    • LG BlueRay rewriter.
    • 2 x 22 inch monitors (dual screen setup)

    So, in answer to the question, what do people think of Windows 8? I'm impressed, setup was easy, and the OS while different is easy enough to come to terms with, not sure what all the fuss is about.

  • #2
    Congrats Yelta,

    Enjoy your new setup. :-D


    • #3
      Thanks Chokkidog, wasn't really fishing for compliments or whatever, buying a new PC may be exiting for some, I'm way past that stage, a new puter for me usually means a lot of work and plenty of frustration.

      Trying to research Win 8 was difficult, seems everyone has an opinion based on hearsay, when you ask em exactly what they dislike about the OS the reply confirms they have never used it, but, the wife's nephew runs a business fixing and repairing computers out of his bedroom and reckons its an absolute dog, think you know what I mean.


      • #4
        I have been using Win 8 for my home PC for a few months now, and I am still learning to work around how I used to do certain things when using Win7; it feels more at home as a touch base tablet PC then for a desktop...
        and the original lack of the "Start" button can be infuriating at times.

        Load up is quicker, but seems its more of a trick to just start the window first while loading all the other stuff in the background...

        I have noticed the search features is much better and quick... I dont have much issues with compatibalities with software and hardware, but I do notice random crashes for Citrix which can be annoying since I use it to work from home...


        • #5
          Just did similar myself, replacing a 7yo HP PC with a Dell Inspiron laptop (6Gb Ram/750Gb HD) with Windows 8.1
          I struggle with computers and have absolutely no interest in them other than what I need them to do.
          Fortunately I have a computer geek Son, who keeps me sane.
          He set the new one up for me so that it works just like Windows 7.
          Apart from the fact that I will never be competent with Word or Excel (only been using it for 30 years after all) it all seems to work fairly easily.
          My personal view is that computers haven't come very far in 30 years, and still aren't intuitive or user-friendly.
          In 18 months when my wife retires she can have the MS rubbish and I am going over to an Apple system.


          • #6
            In 18 months when my wife retires she can have the MS rubbish and I am going over to an Apple system.[/QUOTE]

            It always amuses me when people say this: "this is too different! I can't handle this new OS! Oh, I know, I'll switch to a completely different one and it will ALL BE FINE!"

            Why do people bitch about learning Windows 7 or Windows 8 and then NOT bitch about learning OS X? It's not like it's any more intuitive, especially if you're coming from a Windows background already.


            • #7
              MS is bringing out another update for 8.1 which is supposed to make it more user friendly for Desktop Users and from what I've been able to find out, it looks promising. I'll probably hang out 'til then before doing anything with my Win8 box...



              • #8
                Background: I have 6 Linux boxes (Ubuntu for the desktops/notebooks, Mint for the netbook, and OpenSuSE for the 2 servers) a Mac Mini and a Raspberry Pi. All run some version of *nix. I have NO windows machines, but I admit to having Virtualbox to run XP for those programs that I haven't been able to substitute in Linux. It has been a steady process of getting away from Windows. I am now down to "Connecting to the ATO", one MSAccess application, and MSProject. I use Openoffice. Oh, and I have an Android phone and two Android tablets. I've also worked thru Dos, W3.1, W95,W98,W2000,XP,Vista, and W7

                So, I'm a computer nerd of sorts, and not much fazes me, but it came close with W8 on a notebook when helping out a mate. It was really difficult to work out what it was doing. I'm sure I could have mastered it given time, but I simply couldn't be bothered. Why did they make it so non-intuitive?



                • #9
                  It's kinda similar to the current GNOME desktop though. Surely not that hard for you to adapt, Gonzo?


                  • #10
                    I've had a new Win 8.1 laptop for about 2 weeks now - first impression, the interface has a lot in common with my Android tablet!

                    However, other than the fact that I needed to do a bit of extra research to make some older hardware work with 8.1 (due to having to track down solutions to hardware vendors not supplying 64 bit drivers for old peripherals) it's been a good ride so far.


                    • #11
                      Agree Yalta. Aside from the dual screens, I've been using 8.1 on a virtually identical desktop. Like you I was a little anxious due to reports read but have had no issues myself. Goes to show, some internet reviews are nothing more than someone's rant of disappointment rather than an objective report useful to others.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fruity View Post
                        It's kinda similar to the current GNOME desktop though. Surely not that hard for you to adapt, Gonzo?
                        Yes, point taken fruity. At the time I hadn't actually used the Gnome shell, I had been always using Unity, but now you mention it I do see the likeness. I guess part of the adaption process was to want to adapt, or be forced to. I had neither. I was just so surprised at how difficult it was first-up, and there was nothing that caused me to say "ooh I like THAT". 8.1 is supposed to be better, as others have said, but I haven't had a try of it yet.



                        • #13
                          Hi All

                          For those that are light computer users, Win8 / 8.1 is OK after you learn its quirks. A little internet browsing and word processing should not ever stress any OS worth its salt. Even a "smartphone" should be able to cope with that.

                          For heavy users (like most IT pro's & geeks) it falls apart badly. This machine is currently running three virtual machines. I currently have four browsers open (three doing various remote access stuff, the fourth is "my workhorse firefox" running three windows with a handful of tabs in each including video streaming the Aus / SA cricket earlier), 11 large documents (mostly 500 highly complex pages each), two spreadsheets and a "Corporate Enterprise Report" sifting through 5 * 160Gb accounting (i.e. pure text) databases (that alone takes about 12 hours unless I hammer the machine with other workload). It is also accessing my CD collection and providing music streaming. I need the three HiDef monitors to keep track of it all (especially the remote stuff which is a few keystrokes at this end and then endless waiting for the far end to complete).

                          Win 8 would have major hysterics long before I even started to load the databases and MS Office would crash out before the second document loaded (being kind here, it crashes before loading similarly complex "single 150+ page PHD theses" regularly on student's machines).

                          In a nutshell, that is why MS stuff like Vista / Win 8x gets bad press: this computer can easily cope with all those tasks (8 cores, 32Gb of RAm and 6 Tb of disk storage plus two SSD's and two bluray recorders) however the latest Windows / "any Office version" cannot. FWIW, XP can, even though it can only access 4Gb of RAM... Progress?



                          • #14
                            Can't say that's been my experience, TampIt. 7 & 8 definitely handle multiple workloads a lot better than XP for my usage, particularly when it comes to disk IO & memory management, and even multithreaded tasks.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fruity View Post
                              Can't say that's been my experience, TampIt. 7 & 8 definitely handle multiple workloads a lot better than XP for my usage, particularly when it comes to disk IO & memory management, and even multithreaded tasks.
                              I agree with this. Can't say that I like Windows 8 that much, but it definitely doesnt freeze or lock up as much as I have experienced with 7 or XP for that matter.

                              Definitely not worth the effort to change back to 7 at this time.