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Vista vs 7 vs 8.1: Help me decide

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#1
So guys, it's getting around that time where I think I need to reformat my PC because there's some annoying issues with it that I'd rather not deal with anymore. I'm wondering which operating system I should use. Cost is not an issue, as I have a TechNet subscription and can get them all free. In the running are Vista (Business or Ultimate), 7 Pro and 8.1 Pro. I'm currently on 7 Pro, and the only two reasons I "upgraded" from Vista Ultimate was the fact that Vista does not have native TRIM support (I'd just bought an SSD), and 7 had better file transfer efficiency. Neither of those are an issue now, because my SSD's manufacturer added an optimiser to its management software for OSes that don't have native TRIM and I've gotten to the point where I don't transfer files between drives anymore. So I'd like a bit of help deciding what I should do for my reinstall. I will not entertain arguments based on "8.1 is newer, just use it" or "VISTA SUX 7 MASTER RACE!" I want clear, concise advice based on my needs. My GPU is DX11, so there's no need for 8's 11.1 and 11.2. Everything I have is fully compliant with all three OSes driver-wise.

Issues I have with 7:
  • Aero Snap/Shake/Whatever annoys the hell out of me. I don't use it or want it.
  • I've had volume issues with some programs ever since I've been using 7. For example, MPC-HC is ridiculously quiet and I need to crank up my system volome to be able to hear anything; VLC has the same issue, but I can over-amplify the volume at the cost of clarity. (This does not seem to be an issue with 8, as I've noticed that VLC had two seperate volume sliders in the Volume Control Panel, cranking them both up to max alleviates the problem. I have no idea why it gets two volume sliders in 8)
  • No Quick Launch. It was replaced by pinning programs to the taskbar, which doesn't always work; sometimes I have something pinned to the taskbar and when it starts, it creates an extra taskbar button as if the pinned one doesn't exist.
  • Media Player 12 sucks. I've never liked it and I eventually switched to iTunes as a result. I missed the taskbar toolbar from earlier versions of Windows.
  • Search sucks, plain and simple. I've searched for files I KNOW exist on my hard drive and it tells me there are no results found. Never an issue with Vista.
  • The bug where Explorer doesn't auto-refresh and show new files STILL hasn't been fixed after over four years.
  • I can't right-click a shortcut in the Start Menu and select "Open file location" because it isn't there. I have to trawl through the All Programs menu to find the actual shortcut.
  • Some games just plain don't work on 7, when they worked fine on Vista. (e.g. Strange Adventures in Infinite Space (because 7 won't switch to 256 colours without crapping out), Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy (won't even attempt to run), Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper (the DRM doesn't like my system, but works fine on my laptop for some reason))
  • I don't like the UI changes over Vista. Complained about it day one and still don't like them. They only did it to make it look different to Vista.

Issues I have with 8 (from what little experience I have with it):
  • Metro. Can't stand it.
  • No start menu, need to add one via third party software.
  • Basically Metro, with all of its supporting software, apps, widgets, whatever, is just bloatware that I neither want or need. Trouble is, I can't remove it; so I gotta put up with compute cycles being eaten up by it running in the background all the time.
  • Most of the issues I have with 7 are still present in 8, from what I could tell.

Issues I have with Vista (from memory):
  • If I want to change the sound output device (from say my speakers to my headset), I have to restart the program I'm using in order for the sound to be routed to it. This is particularly annoying if I'm playing a game. 7 and 8 just re-route it on the fly. (Any way around this?)
  • Transferring large amounts of files can be problematic. If I bring up another program while I'm waiting for the transfer to finish, it'll cause Explorer to freeze and I won't have any indication of progress from the transfer window until it's finished. The only two things I could do in that situation were wait it out, not using Explorer for anyting, or to force-quit Explorer and resume the transfer. (This may have been resolved by now, please advise)
  • Can't control volume of individual programs through the Volume Control Panel. (Can someone recommend third party software to acheive this?)
  • Having to go through Personalize to be able to change the screen resolution/refresh rate, something I did quite regularly due to my monitor's tendancy to switch back to 59Hz after playing a game. I miss the old Display Properties control panel. (Same thing happens with my new monitor, too. Must be a DGM issue)
  • A handful of games didn't work straight away because they tried to set the refresh rate too high, so I'd have to download an old version of DXDIAG from somewhere to set the refresh rate limit because that feature was removed from Vista's DXDIAG.

Basically everything I dislike about 7 and 8 are not issues with Vista, BUT there are a few issues I have with Vista that aren't an issue with 7 or 8. Overall however, I have less issues with Vista than I do 7 or 8. Vista won't get any further versions of DirectX, but then again neither will 7 (at least that's what Microsoft is saying), so it's a moot point. I know at some point in the future, I will need to upgrade; when the time comes that I eventually buy a new GPU, it'll no doubt be capable of a higher version of DirectX than either Vista or 7 could handle. But for now, I don't plan on doing that for a good while yet. If people could give me some advice on the matter, based on what I've written here, it would be appreciated. On the surface, it seems that Vista would be my best bet for overall "contentedness" with the OS, but I know it's getting on a bit and won't get security updates beyond 2016. But then again, I doubt I'll still be using it then, so it's more a case of what would suit me best RIGHT NOW not three years down the line when it's not longer supported and massively obsolete because I'll be using something else by then.

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#2
u can use a start like ClassicShell which i will be using when i am upgrading, i am planing to do a clean install on my own system this weekend if everything turns out oki ^^
 
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#3
I know I've upgraded to.7 for the simple fact that its what I had. Honestly theyv7 has better performance overall than vista but I never noticed a performance differ from vista sp2 to 7. In fact I've always felt 7 was just vista sp2 with a make over. Plus I like vista's UI more. Don't have to dig as deep to get to what you want system wise.
 
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#4
[*]Basically Metro, with all of its supporting software, apps, widgets, whatever, is just bloatware that I neither want or need. Trouble is, I can't remove it;so I gotta put up with compute cycles being eaten up by it running in the background all the time.
Don't know why you think this would be an issue since Windows 8 is snappier than Windows 7.
 

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#5
  • Aero Snap/Shake/Whatever annoys the hell out of me. I don't use it or want it.
    You can disable Aero: right click on desktop -> personalize, pick a "Basic and High Contrast Theme" and Aero will be disabled.
  • I've had volume issues with some programs ever since I've been using 7. For example, MPC-HC is ridiculously quiet and I need to crank up my system volome to be able to hear anything; VLC has the same issue, but I can over-amplify the volume at the cost of clarity. (This does not seem to be an issue with 8, as I've noticed that VLC had two seperate volume sliders in the Volume Control Panel, cranking them both up to max alleviates the problem. I have no idea why it gets two volume sliders in 8)
    Use Microsoft's generic HD Audio driver. I found it to be better than Realtek's.
  • No Quick Launch. It was replaced by pinning programs to the taskbar, which doesn't always work; sometimes I have something pinned to the taskbar and when it starts, it creates an extra taskbar button as if the pinned one doesn't exist.
    Create a folder (somewhere under C:\Users\ preferably) and place all your quick launch shortcuts in there. Now right click on the taskbar, Toolbars->New toolbars... and select the folder you just created/populated. Hey Presto! quick launch is back!
  • Media Player 12 sucks. I've never liked it and I eventually switched to iTunes as a result. I missed the taskbar toolbar from earlier versions of Windows.
    I use Zune. I like it well enough albeit not suppring FLAC which sucks.
  • Search sucks, plain and simple. I've searched for files I KNOW exist on my hard drive and it tells me there are no results found. Never an issue with Vista.
    Press F3 and use Windows main search function.
  • The bug where Explorer doesn't auto-refresh and show new files STILL hasn't been fixed after over four years.
    Press F5--not that I have had this problem.
  • I can't right-click a shortcut in the Start Menu and select "Open file location" because it isn't there. I have to trawl through the All Programs menu to find the actual shortcut.
    right-click, properties, click on Open File Location in the dialog.
  • Some games just plain don't work on 7, when they worked fine on Vista. (e.g. Strange Adventures in Infinite Space (because 7 won't switch to 256 colours without crapping out), Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy (won't even attempt to run), Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper (the DRM doesn't like my system, but works fine on my laptop for some reason))
    Windows Vista and Windows 7 have the same graphics back end. There's no reason why it should work on one and not the other. You get a lot more problems going from Windows XP to Vista/7/8/8.1.
  • I don't like the UI changes over Vista. Complained about it day one and still don't like them. They only did it to make it look different to Vista.
    you can put most of them back to Vista-like with Aero disabled.
 
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#6
1. I don't want to disable Aero, the basic theme looks ugly. I want to disable the extra "features" Microsoft shoehorned in.
2. Seems a bit silly to me, and I know I'll lose features that I use pretty much every day.
3. My main gripe is that pinning to taskbar doesn't work properly, not that I don't have Quick Launch.
4. I'll take a look at it.
5. That's what I'm using, still doesn't work properly.
6. My point it that it doesn't automatically do it like it's supposed to, I shouldn't have to manually refresh.
7. That still takes 7 clicks for something that I used to be able to do in 2.
8. Considering that I never played some of these games on XP, I'm certain it's an issue with Windows 7.
9. Again, I don't want to disable Aero.
 

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#7
If you don't like win 8 stick to win 7.
 
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#8
If you don't like win 8 stick to win 7.
I don't even like 7 all that much compared to Vista. It bugs the shit out of me sometimes.
 
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#9
So guys, it's getting around that time where I think I need to reformat my PC because there's some annoying issues with it that I'd rather not deal with anymore. I'm wondering which operating system I should use. Cost is not an issue, as I have a TechNet subscription and can get them all free. In the running are Vista (Business or Ultimate), 7 Pro and 8.1 Pro. I'm currently on 7 Pro, and the only two reasons I "upgraded" from Vista Ultimate was the fact that Vista does not have native TRIM support (I'd just bought an SSD), and 7 had better file transfer efficiency. Neither of those are an issue now, because my SSD's manufacturer added an optimiser to its management software for OSes that don't have native TRIM and I've gotten to the point where I don't transfer files between drives anymore. So I'd like a bit of help deciding what I should do for my reinstall. I will not entertain arguments based on "8.1 is newer, just use it" or "VISTA SUX 7 MASTER RACE!" I want clear, concise advice based on my needs. My GPU is DX11, so there's no need for 8's 11.1 and 11.2. Everything I have is fully compliant with all three OSes driver-wise.

Issues I have with 7:
  • Aero Snap/Shake/Whatever annoys the hell out of me. I don't use it or want it.
  • I've had volume issues with some programs ever since I've been using 7. For example, MPC-HC is ridiculously quiet and I need to crank up my system volome to be able to hear anything; VLC has the same issue, but I can over-amplify the volume at the cost of clarity. (This does not seem to be an issue with 8, as I've noticed that VLC had two seperate volume sliders in the Volume Control Panel, cranking them both up to max alleviates the problem. I have no idea why it gets two volume sliders in 8)
  • No Quick Launch. It was replaced by pinning programs to the taskbar, which doesn't always work; sometimes I have something pinned to the taskbar and when it starts, it creates an extra taskbar button as if the pinned one doesn't exist.
  • Media Player 12 sucks. I've never liked it and I eventually switched to iTunes as a result. I missed the taskbar toolbar from earlier versions of Windows.
  • Search sucks, plain and simple. I've searched for files I KNOW exist on my hard drive and it tells me there are no results found. Never an issue with Vista.
  • The bug where Explorer doesn't auto-refresh and show new files STILL hasn't been fixed after over four years.
  • I can't right-click a shortcut in the Start Menu and select "Open file location" because it isn't there. I have to trawl through the All Programs menu to find the actual shortcut.
  • Some games just plain don't work on 7, when they worked fine on Vista. (e.g. Strange Adventures in Infinite Space (because 7 won't switch to 256 colours without crapping out), Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy (won't even attempt to run), Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper (the DRM doesn't like my system, but works fine on my laptop for some reason))
  • I don't like the UI changes over Vista. Complained about it day one and still don't like them. They only did it to make it look different to Vista.

Issues I have with 8 (from what little experience I have with it):
  • Metro. Can't stand it.
  • No start menu, need to add one via third party software.
  • Basically Metro, with all of its supporting software, apps, widgets, whatever, is just bloatware that I neither want or need. Trouble is, I can't remove it; so I gotta put up with compute cycles being eaten up by it running in the background all the time.
  • Most of the issues I have with 7 are still present in 8, from what I could tell.

Issues I have with Vista (from memory):
  • If I want to change the sound output device (from say my speakers to my headset), I have to restart the program I'm using in order for the sound to be routed to it. This is particularly annoying if I'm playing a game. 7 and 8 just re-route it on the fly. (Any way around this?)
  • Transferring large amounts of files can be problematic. If I bring up another program while I'm waiting for the transfer to finish, it'll cause Explorer to freeze and I won't have any indication of progress from the transfer window until it's finished. The only two things I could do in that situation were wait it out, not using Explorer for anyting, or to force-quit Explorer and resume the transfer. (This may have been resolved by now, please advise)
  • Can't control volume of individual programs through the Volume Control Panel. (Can someone recommend third party software to acheive this?)
  • Having to go through Personalize to be able to change the screen resolution/refresh rate, something I did quite regularly due to my monitor's tendancy to switch back to 59Hz after playing a game. I miss the old Display Properties control panel. (Same thing happens with my new monitor, too. Must be a DGM issue)
  • A handful of games didn't work straight away because they tried to set the refresh rate too high, so I'd have to download an old version of DXDIAG from somewhere to set the refresh rate limit because that feature was removed from Vista's DXDIAG.
1. You can disable it via registry edit and still keep the Aero theme or stop shaking your windows needlessly.

2. I think you need to check Loudness Equalization under Speaker Properties.

3.Only apps that open up a different .exe than the one you have orginally pinned do that, such as my LOL client is pinned to launch LOL but then when it opens its a different exe so that gets a new space.

4. I use Foobar, its fucking awesome, super customisable and modable. Hate WMP and iTunes.

5. With window 8.1 search is dam near perfect. I encourage you to test its ability hands on.

6. Not sure what this is and how its a problem really.

7. In windows 8 metro all things shown there have a right click option to open file location.

8. Haven't tried those games on Win 8 so can't say. Personally haven't had any issues.

9. Get used to it, or deal with Vista.

Win 8 issues?

1. Again get used to it or deal with some other OS.

2. There is a start menu, its large and in charge, its called Metro now.

3. I use a lot of the default apps where by I don't have to install 3rd party software (bloatware) to do what I want to do. Like email manager, calendar, weather. If there is an app you don't want, you can uninstall it and they don't use system resources like RAM unless you open it and hardely ever uses in CPU cycles. Unless you have PIII CPU...

4. See above.

I'm not going to even bother with Vista advice...

If you aren't happy with a windows OS go to apple and deal with that, or linux or heck, can't find your Perfect OS? Figure out how make your own from scratch, that would be awesome.

Good luck with your OS hunt.
 
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#10
Windows 8 has built in iso burning and mounting for those game isos!

Also the explorer UI is better as well as the file transfer dialog making more sense with a speed graph instead of a useless folder animation.

Also it has proper multi-display support as well.


Also with most media players you can use the thumbnail on the taskbar and it has playback controls. Most keyboards have media controls and mice can be configured to have those. I have media controls bound to G keys on my G700.

 
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#11
7
-registry edit mentioned above wtf, you disable snap from the accessibility options
-check your mixer for the per app volume settings?
-i've pinned chrome & explorer, then put other things pinned to start menu as my new quicklaunch (dont forget, since vista, just hit winkey & start typing your app's name)
-wmp? itunes? neither are for me.... winamp+mpc here
-i ran into some search problems too, i believe you had to tell the indexing settings to default to search everywhere or simply turn off the whole indexer (i do that anyway on every windows), try using * in case it's not searching partial names
-the auto refresh bug is rare to me, just hit F5 or open the window again & it should now be refreshing
-open file location works for me on win7 here
-interesting point about some broken games
-just put the taskbar back to 'small icons' & 'never combine', personally i like that you can rearrange the windows (well... per program) & how since i pinned explorer first, my multiple explorer windows are always there

8
-dunno
-what's wrong with 3rd party software, we use 3rd party chat clients, browsers, tools, etc
-need actual cpu % usage numbers to talk about that
-i used 8 once & the obscure steps to do certain settings or shut down were quite a shocker

vista
-7+ rerouts the sound? i have to try this, i wonder if those settings in control panel affect the vista lock but i suppose there's a high chance that it's a vista limitation
-not sure i ran into this, do you 'run explorer windows in a separate process'? i've been doing that for a decade
-how many programs & how often do you need to keep adjusting per program? if it's just media players, you could add compressors/auto gain tools to them
-the 59hz 'bug' i believe was just poor rounding, in reality there should be no difference (fraps doesnt say you're running 59 fps for example), check the monitor OSD+framerate if it's really 59 but i doubt it (some games also only show 59, others 60, others 59.9999, hard to tell who is at fault) / another option is to use nvidia control panel to control your refresh, a lot less clicks
-dunno, there are refresh locker tools i suppose

as a long time vista user, maybe you should go for a tweaked win7 due to your sound control needs & reduced support in the things you want to run (in my case, i need to replace my dead 4870x2, but it appears that there are no new vista drivers for modern radeons after 13.4 which is many months ago, so what's going to happen if i buy a 280x or 290? i do have an unused xp64 partition that i could put 7 on... still need my vista due to all the stuff that's installed & set up)

by the way, arent you annoyed at the size of explorer windows & the stupid folder type detection feature? there are ways to permanently block crap like that, including no more thumbs.db files (on network shares even), i have my vista fully set up nicely, while my win7 isnt quite there yet


EDIT: whoops, i just noticed what you meant about right click start menu items, just start typing the app's name & then right click open file location
tell us which exact programs arent pinning properly & maybe contact the devs/find workarounds
 
Last edited:
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#12
Windows 8 is by far the easiest and most convenient OS to troubleshoot, you can say a corrupt OS is a thing of the past since system restore or win 8 refresh install is so quick. Booting and gaming in general will be faster, than both 7 and Vista I really don't know what's not to like the only significant difference with 8 from 7 is the metro UI which actually is pretty cool now with 8.1. Otherwise it's just your standard windows operating system.

Plus you can make your metro UI look like this:
http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/8571/stpi.jpg
 
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#13
If you want a great Windows search engine, try Everything: http://www.voidtools.com/

I've been using it for years and found it to be a must-have.

Changing Windows versions sucks sometimes, doesn't it? I've been using Windows since 2.0 and there's always something about a subsequent release that bugs me lol
 

MxPhenom 216

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#14
Get Windows 8.1. Start button is there, and if you right click, you can pretty much access everything in it as if its a normal start menu. Otherwise, learn how to use Metro, now with 8.1 you can put all the tiles in specific categories to organize it how you want.
 
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#15
by the way, arent you annoyed at the size of explorer windows & the stupid folder type detection feature? there are ways to permanently block crap like that, including no more thumbs.db files (on network shares even), i have my vista fully set up nicely, while my win7 isnt quite there yet
Oh wow, yes. How could I forget that? It annoys me that it keeps resetting the folder views all the damn time.
 
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#16
so the fix was with registry permissions, side effects include mycomputer turning into details view (or whatever you like your folders to be), but i forgot what locations you needed though, that's why i never made a recent tutorial or adjusted my win7

here's how to block thumbs.db from being generated anywhere (local or network) by vista on ward

did you manage to read my counter points? win7 with vista adjustments seriously the way to go
 
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#17
I'd say 8.1

I was a big 8 hater for forever, but really once you get used to the changes it's a great OS, and 8.1 seems to have made it even better. The big thing is being able to accept the changes which will take a bit. It's like a windows guy buying a mac, he hates it because it's foreign to him and he has a deep seeded bias for whatever reason.
 

Kursah

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#18
I'd say 8.1

I was a big 8 hater for forever, but really once you get used to the changes it's a great OS, and 8.1 seems to have made it even better. The big thing is being able to accept the changes which will take a bit. It's like a windows guy buying a mac, he hates it because it's foreign to him and he has a deep seeded bias for whatever reason.
This. Once I finally gave windows 8 a chance I grew to like it and really metro isn't that bad once you take the time to organize it to your liking. Honestly it's not all that bad...a little patience is well worth the effort.

/end thread

:toast:
 
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#19
+1 8.1. I think it runs better than 7 on new hardware
 
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#20
Get 7. I disabled Aero Snap as soon as I got it.

I have not liked 8 so much. One install bricked itself after a month of use. The UI is ugly and you have to run 3rd party programs to prevent using Modern... which can cause serious issues with your Windows install.
 
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#21
Vista is the ugly step child
7 is well, MS screwed up and got something right
8 for people that feel the need to be fancy
 

tigger

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#23
I prefer Windows 7. It works well on my PC. The metro menu on Windows 8 is useless for me.
Disable it as i have done, my win 8 behaves just like win 7 now, i never have to see or use metro unless i want to.
 

Betunink

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#24
Disable it as i have done, my win 8 behaves just like win 7 now, i never have to see or use metro unless i want to.
How to disable it? I only know some software that can add a Start menu to make it like previous Windows.
 

tigger

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#25