Hi - looks like I might be able to buy a new rig, and have the option of choosing the operating system. No touchscreen anticipated. I plan on C7.5.10 or .20, depending on when I get this thing built.
I thought maybe it would be better to go with the most recent, so I don’t get outdated as soon … assuming drivers of the other components can handle it.
Does that sound like a good idea? I see that some/most/all of the pre-build computer companies are offering W7 as the OS of default … I haven’t gotten to the point of asking about that, and how flexible they would be for changing out to Windows 8 or 8.1.
Windows 8.1 is significantly more usable than Win 8.0, in my opinion. If you’re buying a new pre-built system that comes with Windows 8, it should be just fine.
The only caveat with Windows 8 is to make sure your audio interface (and any standalone MIDI interfaces you might have) is confirmed to support Windows 8. Some manufacturers & devices still aren’t 100% Win 8.1 compatible yet, although most are. At the application level (Cubase, etc.) I’m not aware of any OS-specific issues right now.
8.1 should be fine. You can get it to start as W7 type screen (instead of the slidey iPad thing) by R. Click on the toolbar at screen bottom. Select Properties + Navigation tab and then Start Screen box and tick what you need. Only on 8.1 though I think. Not 8.
Use 8.1 x64 - If you want to use the same system for non-music stuff, use the Metro Apps. They are sand-boxed and as long a you do not let them run in the background, you will NEVER have your desktop resources slowly deteriorating over time.
I use C7.5.X with the UR44 interface and it is solid.
10-15 audio tracks
2-3 MIDI tracks into Superior, Ivory and VB3
Some UAD2 instances
Some native plugins (REVerence, Compressors)
I run it at 64 or 128 buffers (24/48) and Ivory is set to unlimited voices and peaking at around 320 voices at a time!
I have SD2 and Ivory together on a dedicated SSD, Windows on a dedicated SSD, Audio coming from an Enterprise class WD RE4 2TB drive (I’ve never even seen the disk loading graph thingy, ever…) and documents and the like running off a WD Green drive.
No pagefile, Hyperthreading on and ASIOGuard used. I also don’t use a dedicated graphics card, just the 3770’s built in graphics.
My interface is an Allen & Heath ZED R16 mixing board with 18in/18out Firewire interface. MIDI (for Roland TD15 and a Roland stage piano) is interfaced with 2 different USB-to-MIDI adapters, everything has Win 8 64bit drivers.
This system is a joy to use, and I like Win 8 very much. Start Screen is really like a Start menu that can run dedicated apps. Comes in handy sometimes, but I boot into desktop. I use Wi-Fi, but I disable it before critical sessions.
My ZED mixer is connected with onboard FW (!), I’m running at 128 buffers with 3 ms latency. For mixing, tracking, everything. I recently added the insanely discounted ADA8200 for 8 additional in/outputs, all over FW, that’s 26 (!) channels total.
YMMV I guess…
But when I built the machine, the OS has 1. never seen the onboard sound or ethernet interfaces, since I disabled all that before installing Windows. Plus, 2. the FW is using the same IRQ as the WiFi card, so I disable the WiFi before using Cubase. Works like a charm!