First off, as mentioned elsewhere in another thread, I have been sorta forced to downsize a bit in living quarters (depending on exactly how you view things). As such, the gaming rig is currently not feasible in my home. Apart from the noise levels dropping considerably, this also resulted in me needing to give my media center a bit of love.
My Nvidia 550Ti was moved off to another machine while troubleshooting problems with the 5770. And the fans were dying. During this time, I also found out that my aging Antec EarthWatts 500 was slowly drifting out of spec. That sucker was only good for about 408watts on the 12V rails (2 of them), and was now drifting upwards of 12.5V. Not good.
So, the media center got a nice bit of an updating. After reading reviews over at Hardware Secrets, and seeing the Golden award given to the GS 800 - later finding out that the entire GS line was built on the same platform, I picked up a Corsair GS600 for the media center. That is a VERY nice power supply with wonderfully long cables, and you can turn the dumb light off. Also, it makes no noise. I do highly recommend this puppy for cheaper applications. I also picked up an MSI 6770 for the media center, and 2 80mm Enermax fans (14 Dba). All in all a nice cleanup.
The real fun, was in adding a 500GB hard drive to test out Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the media center. Please remember, I am still rocking an under-clocked Phenom X4 in here - down to 2.9Ghz. I am also rocking 4GB of ram at 1066Mhz (compatibility issues between the manufacturers prevent 1333Mhz operation). All this, on my trusty MSI 790FX-GD70 mainboard.
Now then, as you all might remember, the number one complaint I had about this machine was FALLOUT 3. I will get to this shortly.
I have NOT run a single benchmark on this machine yet, as I don't think it is needed yet. I need to compile more usage details first.
FIRST and foremost - for those who have not tried Windows 8 in this capacity yet - It makes an AMAZING server. I have currently running - ORB, and Media Center for server applications. I also have 1 BR movie being compressed down to usable sizes. This machine seamlessly integrated into my network, connecting up to the remote ORB sever without complication, and BOTH Xbox 360's (one wireless, one wired). It ALSO works beautifully with tuner cards that have BOTH analog and digital capture (a completely broken feature in Windows 7). My media center can now record one stream, while serving up TWO other streams, and compressing blu-ray movies simultaneously without breaking stride on ANY of the tasks. The new Windows scheduling is simply SUPERB. Top it off, I can record live TV, stream content to an XBOX, and play Fallout 3 flawlessly now.
Thats right, all the Fallout 3 sound problems I fought with for so long - are fixed. No change in the sound system it is connected to. No change in the type of sound output. Just the change in scheduling was all that was needed. So far, Skyrim, Fallout 3, and Fallout NV, have all seen perceptible changes in performance, moving from annoyingly pathetic on AMD Phenom based systems to surprisingly competitive with Intel.
There is obviously a LOT more testing needed to back up the numbers, but so far everything points to the Windows 8 kernel being a home run!
Anyone else have experience with Windows 8? Please, I am curious what your performance observations have been. I will gladly take numbers from both perception, and hard numbers.
This post has been edited by waldojim: 04 May 2012 - 10:55 PM