Win 8 OK on older hardware?

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Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:51 am

I've read (and heard on the TR podcast) that Win8 is optimized. I've got an older Win Vista computer that the kids use (Q6600 cpu, 4 GB RAM). It's been getting more and more 'messy' over the years, and it's time for a fresh Windows install. I'm tempted to take advantage of the cheap upgrade to Win 8, just to see what it is like without actually running it on my work desktop. Will Win 8 run well on this older hardware?
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:01 pm

It'll run better than the initial (pre-SP) version of Vista did, that's for sure.

Is it currently running the x86 or the x64 version of Vista? (I ask because the upgrade process is a little inconvenient if you're planning on switching from 32bit to 64bit as well)
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:08 pm

Win8 has a smaller resource (memory, HD space) footprint than Vista and even Windows 7. Underlying kernel changes have also arguably made it a superior CPU solution as well.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:10 pm

Windows 8 runs fine on a 1.6GHz single-core Turion laptop with a 5400rpm disk and only 2GB RAM.

The touch-centric and gesture-infused interface is even worse with a touchpad than it is with a mouse, but the OS itself runs really well even on that crummy old hardware.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:19 pm

Actually, I've been seeing overly-aggressive memory freeing with Win8. This is bad for me, but good for you. Things that make life better at 2 or 4 GB make me rather unhappy at 16GB on my laptop. :(
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:23 pm

Forge wrote:Actually, I've been seeing overly-aggressive memory freeing with Win8. This is bad for me, but good for you. Things that make life better at 2 or 4 GB make me rather unhappy at 16GB on my laptop. :(

Well yeah.

Windows 8 is a tablet OS first and foremost, focussing on long battery life and usability on lower-end, limited-capacity/TDP hardware, such as tablets.

Power users with decent hardware got bummed - Still don't know why there's so much love for W8 from power users when the improvements 8 brings could easily be in W7 SP2.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:23 pm

Make sure that the SuperFetch service is still turned on. In Win8 it should default to on even if you have an SSD. I'm finding Win8 to be much more agressive at caching with excess memory. 16GB is not an uncommon cache size on my 24GB desktop.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:30 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:Make sure that the SuperFetch service is still turned on. In Win8 it should default to on even if you have an SSD. I'm finding Win8 to be much more agressive at caching with excess memory. 16GB is not an uncommon cache size on my 24GB desktop.


Just checked. Superfetch is on, no tinkering done. Makes me sad, though; I just opened the new-and-improved Task Manager, and after a half day of work, I'm showing 3.2GB used/ 12.5GB available, with 3.9GB committed and 2.4GB cached. That's just sad. I have a near-identical Win7 machine that's got 15.9GB used/15.9GB total.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:35 pm

I wonder if it is a workload quirk. As my 7 laptop I haven't had a chance to convert yet is sitting at a mere 3GB cached and 9GB in use (I got a few irons in the fire at the moment...) with 32GB of memory. I'm wishing 7 was caching more here. :)
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:37 pm

So far I've tried it on two older, dual-core, 64-bit machines (Opteron 180, 3.25 GB RAM and an Acer 1810TZ CULV notebook, 3GB RAM) and it's quite snappy. Both of these were Win7 Home Premium machines and the in-place upgrade was flawless. I'm almost tempted to pick up another upgrade license before the $40 sale expires and run it on an old P4-2.26/WinXP machine I've got lying around, just to see what it does.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:59 pm

Le sigh. Why did I do this to myself?

Offending party is Samsung's SSD Magician v3.2

Image
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:35 pm

If your only concern is performance, I can attest that Windows8 run great o a Q6600 with 4GB.

And If you use the machine on a casual basis (not your primary) it might not be a bad deal.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:49 pm

My system is 32 bit Vista. I think I'll stick with the 32-bit version. Is there any reason to upgrade to 64-bit? I don't have a lot of RAM (my mistake - it's only 3 GB), and I don't really have any reason to upgrade this machine. It's used casually by the kids for homework and some games.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:58 pm

Disco wrote:My system is 32 bit Vista. I think I'll stick with the 32-bit version. Is there any reason to upgrade to 64-bit? I don't have a lot of RAM (my mistake - it's only 3 GB), and I don't really have any reason to upgrade this machine. It's used casually by the kids for homework and some games.
If you only have 3GB and have no plans to ever add more, then yes you might as well stick with 32bit; as a bonus, the in-place upgrade should be smooth (switching bit-ness means a clean install and migrate, not an in-place upgrade). Frankly I'm amazed that a new 32bit version of Windows exists in 2012, but I guess it exists precisely for uses like yours.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:01 pm

UberGerbil wrote: as a bonus, the in-place upgrade should be smooth (switching bit-ness means a clean install and migrate, not an in-place upgrade).


You shouldn't have told me that! I was thinking a clean install was necessary (both technically and personally) since there is so much junk on that machine. But if it can be done 'in-place', well.... I am kind of lazy...
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:07 pm

If you run the Win8 upgrade assistant (the only way to purchase and download the $40 Pro upgrade) it will autodetect your current setup and download that version of Win8 without asking. So, if you're running 32-bit Vista, you should end up with the 32-bit version of Windows 8.

If you decide that's NOT what you want, then download it on a 64-bit machine, and then select the option to "Install by creating media" when that option screen appears. It then gives you a choice between creating USB bootable media or burning a DVD ISO. Now you'll have a 64-bit media source, but of course a clean install will be required.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:27 pm

ludi wrote:If you run the Win8 upgrade assistant (the only way to purchase and download the $40 Pro upgrade) it will autodetect your current setup and download that version of Win8 without asking. So, if you're running 32-bit Vista, you should end up with the 32-bit version of Windows 8.

If you decide that's NOT what you want, then download it on a 64-bit machine, and then select the option to "Install by creating media" when that option screen appears. It then gives you a choice between creating USB bootable media or burning a DVD ISO. Now you'll have a 64-bit media source, but of course a clean install will be required.


Thanks. That's great information. I think I'll give it a try later this week.

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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:31 pm

In order to do a truly clean install on a secure erased SSD, I had to use the regedit and rearm activation tricks here: http://www.helpwithwindows.com/Windows8 ... grade.html
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:59 pm

Disco wrote:Thanks. That's great information. I think I'll give it a try later this week.
You can always do the download on that machine and still use the "create install media" option to get a 32bit version you can use for a clean install (possibly with ManManOriginal's caveats). I believe there's still a wizard for migrating "applications and settings" afterwards but I haven't tried using it so I don't know how much control it gives to grab what you want and leave what you don't.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:00 pm

Good catch, MMO. I had meant to post that, but have had my hands full.

Also, you may want to create and use a generic ei.cfg if you're doing a media boot install (clean install), as otherwise Windows 8 activates as soon as it can see the servers to do so, regardless of whether or not all drivers are loaded. That bit me on my upgrade install, used up all the automatic reactivations long before I was done installing.

Sample generic ei.cfg info, about halfway down the page, I can also confirm that the all-in-one instructions work perfectly:

http://www.howtogeek.com/126093/how-to- ... tall-disk/
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:40 pm

Wierd, I didn't know about the activation thing. Then again when I did mine I kept it offline by unplugging the network until I had everything installed.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:38 pm

Since when is a Q6600 considered "old" or low end? Windows Vista and 7 happily run on a crapass Intel Atom...I can't imagine Windows 8 is much more resource intensive especially with its more streamlined/threaded kernel.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:44 pm

Waco wrote:Since when is a Q6600 considered "old" or low end? Windows Vista and 7 happily run on a crapass Intel Atom...I can't imagine Windows 8 is much more resource intensive especially with its more streamlined/threaded kernel.


Low end? I didn't say that. Old, on the other hand? Absolutely. Q6600 was initially released in Q1 2007. That's 5, nearly 6 years ago. There is much newer, faster tech around. That is pretty much the definition of old.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:24 pm

Forge wrote:Just checked. Superfetch is on, no tinkering done. Makes me sad, though; I just opened the new-and-improved Task Manager, and after a half day of work, I'm showing 3.2GB used/ 12.5GB available, with 3.9GB committed and 2.4GB cached. That's just sad. I have a near-identical Win7 machine that's got 15.9GB used/15.9GB total.
I wonder if this is just a change in how things are reported, rather than anything real (much like how they messed around with what was reported for available physical memory on 32bit in 4GB systems). Unless there's pressure from other commits, even aggressively freed memory should be just sitting around with its old contents intact; they have to do work to zero it out and make it truly free memory. Have you tried using Perfmon to see what the page lists look like? Or, more user-friendly, grab RAMMap and use that.
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:01 am

I have Win8 installed on my Vista-era laptop (core 2 duo mobile, 2GB ram) with SSD, and it runs noticeably faster than Vista or 7 ever did. If anything, it seems like older hardware benefits from 8 more than anything (subjectively at least)

Only thing I am missing is 'snapping' since the resolution is 1280 wide
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Re: Win 8 OK on older hardware?

Postposted on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:46 pm

Forge wrote:Low end? I didn't say that. Old, on the other hand? Absolutely. Q6600 was initially released in Q1 2007. That's 5, nearly 6 years ago. There is much newer, faster tech around. That is pretty much the definition of old.

Sorry, poor wording on my part.

A Q6600 may be "old" but it is by no means slow even by today's standards. A Q6600 (even with a slight overclock) is still as fast or faster than almost any AMD chip you can buy...and I think we can all agree that a Phenom II is still a good chip (in terms of acceptable performance) for almost all applications.
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