From your comments regarding Windows 8, I'd say go with it. You obviously prefer some things about it over Windows 7, so why not just use it.
As for the question about a "service system", I have a secondary hard disk that boots Linux. That's what I use for those things. If you want it to be Windows, however, I'd still recommend using a separate drive.
An interesting proposal. Thanks!
a few things come to mind including the primary in that you never gave Win7 much of a chance given you forced a 6 year old system to run it and now propose building a brand new 6 core system tailored for Windows8 which was not the case with your Win7 machine which started life tailored for WIndows XP & then either used Win Vista or went directly to Win7.... either way not optimal.
Upon second reading, I realize that my original post was not very clear in a couple areas, and that wasn't fair to you. So here's a little more background.
The hardware is 6 years old, yes. I built the hardware in May/June 2007 and used Vista 64 bit with a very good experience. Shortly after Win 7 became generally available, I upgraded from 4 GB to 8 GB RAM and built the two Win 7 64 bit partitions and split my apps among them. 7 was so good I never looked back to Vista even though it was a good experience too. This system has been running just fine ever since that time with no rebuilds and really no perceivable performance degradation, even though I have an awful lot of apps and instruments installed.
But now we come to today and this motherboard (an Asus P5KC) has no USB3, Thunderbolt, or usable eSATA ports, and limited PCIe slots that could be used for addon cards. It came with three legacy PCI slots which served me well as I gradually transitioned from PCI to PCIe devices. The PCI devices are gone now; one device replaced with a USB alternative, another replaced with a Firewire counterpart, and another replaced with a PCIe version. Now the PCIe slots are all filled up and I don't have room for eSATA or Thunderbolt.
When I wrote that I wasn't looking forward to going back to 7, it was merely a comment on how I've gotten used to some of the new tools and dialogs. And I no longer complain about the UI in 8, which was just my literary way of saying that I'm getting used to it and finding my way around is not as frustrating as it was when I first tried it out.
That's all I meant. Windows 7 is a great OS and I would be happy to continue to use it if that's my decision. But I could also use 8 if that's my decision. I am wrestling with the decision only because it is not a trivial matter for me to change OSs. Much of my software (especially the non-dongled VST instruments) have software license codes that must be re-assigned/re-authorized to the new system. It will probably take me the better part of a week (working weekends and weeknights) to reinstall and reauthorize all of my music and office applications. It would be nice if I could make my OS decision and not change my mind too quickly after doing all that work.
I hope that clears things up a bit.
apples to apples comparisons are so much more valid but in this case you've posed the question with caveats: "I'm going to write apps for 8 and I don't mind Metro and I don't look forward to going back to Win7"...... with these comments why ask or even imply you may go with Win7?
Be careful with quotation marks, those weren't my exact words nor my meaning.
I didn't say that I'm going to write apps for 8, I said I'm thinking about developing WinRT apps. My thinking is more or less for the mobile space, but if WinRT apps also run on Windows 8, then maybe Windows 8 would make a good platform for me.
But with madman's post after yours, I think maybe I leaped to an assumption here and it doesn't matter which OS I'm running. It seems I have a lot to learn.