You can install Win7 without entering a key, you then have 30 days to enter a key and activate it. After the 30 days you will loose some functionality, but the OS will actually be pretty usable. You just won't be able to install updates, use MSE, or change the theme/background. You can issue the re-arm command twice to extend the 30 day trial an additional 30 days, but you have to run the command before the initial trial ends for it to work.
At this point you'll want to go Win7 for benchmarking, save maybe a very select few benchmarks. You'll need DX11 for most game benchmarks, and you'll want full access to your RAM as well.
Rig1: System Specs.
Rig2: A8-5600K@4.4GHz / AsRock FM2A75 Pro4 / 8GB Corsair DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 / HD7560D / Samsung DVD-Burner / 1.5TB WD Green + 3x3TB WD RED in RAID5
Rig3: Athlon X2 4200+ / M4A79 Deluxe / 4GB G.Skill Pi DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 / GT430 / Sony DVD-Burner / 500GB WD
Rig4: Phenom II x6 1605T @ 3.6GHz / Asus M5A99X Evo / 8GB PNY DDR3-1600 9-9-9 / GTX470 & GTX470 / Samsung DVD-Burner / 1.5TB Seagate
Last edited by newtekie1; Nov 12, 2012 at 02:35 AM.