Windows 7 or 8.1?

Building a new machine and have been planning on going with 7 as I know it and its mature as an OS,so no nasty update surprises etc.Just curious on the performance of cubase on 7 vs 8.1 (if there even is one)if anyone has happened to to have used both.Cheers

I prefer 8.1, and from my subjective pov it looks much more robust and gives me better performance.

This is, again, a purely subjective statement. Your mileage may vary.

I upgraded from Win 7 (and loved win 7 by the way) to Win 8.1 and with Cubase Pro 8 it’s solid as a rock. Really happy I chose to upgrade. My Motu HD192 works fine. I say go for 8.1 cleanly installed onto a brand new SSD. Amazingly fast. You’ll never look back…

Windows 8.1 offers little to no performance improvements that have anything to do with music production. It can boot faster and launch apps faster, but DAW benchmarks across a variety of computers between Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 show that DAW performance can be anywhere from slightly worse than Windows 7 to maybe 2% better tops. Here’s the results of one test I ran last year, comparing fresh installs of 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on an Intel mini computer (green scores are better):

The results are close, but Windows 7 actually delivered just slightly better DAW performance. This is actually kind of an achievement, since new operating systems with additional features usually run noticeably worse on the same hardware than previous versions… for some reason a lot of people were expecting Windows 8 to outperform Windows 7, though. Never really understood why.

Windows 8 is fine for DAW use, assuming all your devices and apps are compatible (Win 7 offers better compatibility with old apps and drivers), but unless you really like the new features and UI of Windows 8 I’ve personally found it more trouble than it’s worth. (I’ve had to replace the Win 8 preloads from several OEM computers we’ve bought since its release with Windows 7 due to incompatibility with older games and utilities… none of those were music-specific, though.)

EDIT: I used Cubase 7.5 when doing the DAWbench tests.

Here’s a slightly different take: Get the one you can get cheaper. You’ll get the free upgrade to Windows 10 either way. I prefer 8.1. Looking forward to 10, though.