Buying a new computer - windows 8 seems inevitable?


I will be splashing out some hard earned dough on a new computer soon and am wondering if anyone here has experience with Renoise running on windows 8? Seems like it comes pre-installed on most desktops/laptops you can buy and is intrinsically linked with the hardware, meaning it is hard to install windows 7 without running into problems.

Can you revert the new look back to classic mode, like you can do on previous windows versions and more importantly, is it good enough for audio production? How is the touch screen functionality right now with Renoise?



I run Windows 8, but consider it an absolute must to install one of the third party shells. I have the “Classic shell”, which is free.
These give you back the old interface from Windows 7 or XP.
Personally I think it works fine, with few problems. More stable than my previous XP-based system

Do you mean this classic shell: ? Will look into it, thanks.

Yes, but it was a limited experience. I migrated from Vista,
as a prepared backup due to hardware battery related problems,
but went back to Vista. I then uninstalled Renoise and deleted related
files on Windows 8 (non-touch screen) when I fixed the battery.

I didn’t have a problem with running the migrated files. The only thing
I changed was placing my VST’s in the documents folder.
My intial impression coming from Vista was that it was confusing,
I suppose time spent with it will chip that confusion away. Classic Mode,
I don’t have an answer to that, other than what you want
sounds like 8.1, not 8 (scanning some articles/comments on arstechnica).
Windows put back the “Start” on 8.1

Simple: ditch windowz and use linux.

arstechnica: Windows 8.1: What a difference a year makes

I’ve been running Windows 8 since it came out as retail. Basically what i needed was an upgrade for Vista on my laptop and wanted Windows 7 originally. Since the upgrade offer to Windows 8 was super cheap in some promotion i went with that instead and had it running for a while on my laptop. Performance was great compared to Vista. It was a nice way to give Windows 8 some testing since the laptop is just a secondary device only used for some basic stuff and recording here. Had Windows 7 running on my main system.

Meanwhile Windows 8 runs great on my main rig and the laptop got Windows 7 on it. Personally i don’t like that title screen either, so i compared a few start menu apps for Windows 8. If you don’t want to pay anything the mentioned Classic Shell is a good free alternative. I went With Stardock Start 8, simply because it looked not out of place and feels like it really belongs to Windows. With Classic Shell one was dependent on a skin and most of time it looked odd. With Start 8 you can change your colors in the Windows settings and the menu will perfectly adjust to it. It costs only 4.99 USD and won’t break the bank at least. Normal left click opens the start menu, holding CTRL and left click opens the title menu.

Another great tool by them is Stardock ModernMix. Say you find a neat little app in the store you want to use, but hate that those apps always run fullscreen, you can install ModernMix and your Windows 8 apps behave just like any other desktop program would do. You can put those apps as shortcut into your start menu and don’t need to fiddle with that title screen anymore. Also costs 4.99 USD.

Stardock Decor8 let’s you customize the title screen with various options but it’s not really essential i think. Again 4.99 USD.

A few free small tools i found helpful. Aero8Tuner can disable window border colors. This is especially helpful if you want your taskbar in a dark color, text would get unreadable then on window borders. Tiny Windows Borders allows you to tweak that thick frame around a program window to your liking or just get rid of it.

So, what do i actually like in Windows 8 compared to Windows 7. First is some small changes here and there, new file operation dialogs, new task manager, multi monitor support for the taskbar and overall a slightly better performance compared to Windows 7. One feature which was worth the upgrade alone for me is the new Storage Spaces. In the past i had a RAID 1 running for backup purposes, you needed two HDDs with the same size for that, if a HDD failed you had to buy the same size again and rebuild the RAID. With the Storage Spaces you can simply put in any number of HDDs with any size you might have and make a big pool out of those, then tell Windows you want each file stored on at least two HDDs, so in case one fails you always have a working copy. At any time you can add more HDDs as needed and grow the pool, Windows handles all the rest in the background for you, which is fantastic.

Overall, Windows 8 simply looks and behaves like a pimped Windows 7 here and i never regretted the upgrade. A few VST plugins and programs needed an update to work with Windows 8, but that’s it.

It’s clearly not as bad as people say with a bit of tweaking. Most just saw the title screen and instantly said it’s crap without ever having tested it. It’s so easy to get rid of with free or paid tools that this argument hardly counts imo.

Thanks for the article / info, found the under the hood improvements linked in that article interesting as well.

Thanks for sharing your experience and links, indeed a lot of criticism seems based on first glances and not first hand experience.

Windows 8 is functional. Once Renoise is open it’s pretty much the same old shit. I don’t like Win 8, I think it’s dumb, I can’t believe the start screen has horizontal scrolling, I think the tile shit is extremely useless and doesn’t come close to replacing the start menu, BUT it’s functional.

I’ve had it for a bit since it came on my new notebook (I need to update my signature). It’s fine, I like it and am satisfied. Once you install Classic Shell or Start8 (Start8 is nicer and ) it’s the exact same Windows we’ve all been using since 1995 except it looks and feels very modern. The ability to install apps from the Windows Store is a very nice touch because there are many free ones that do well as tools, etc, and are easy installed, updated and so on (eg. Netflix/Hulu/etc app is much better to use than on the browser).

As far as audio programs go, everything I use runs perfectly. Renoise, Jeskola Buzz, Sound Forge, Traktor, VSTs. I even went onto my Imageline account and updated FL Studio after not using it for about 5 years and it’s been great on here. In audio programs I get no stuttering/skips, no errors, no crashes, no driver issues, no compatibility issues, nothing. It feels very stable and and my latency is fine. I’ve also been playing some games from Steam and have had no issues.

People like to complain but I don’t think Windows 8 is a reason not to buy something. Using the programs mentioned already to bring back the start menu, I can’t feel any difference between this and Win7 except this looks better than Win7 to me. I haven’t seen the tiled Start Screen since the first few days I bought this computer and I’ve forgotten it exists. I almost feel like I don’t know how to get back to it, since I also use Modern Mix. I think 99% of what people don’t like is the UI, and it’s changed in minutes and a non-issue after that.

The UI is the first appearance but my first experience problem with Windows 8 was performance.
I tested Windows 8 on a Samsung netbook. The actual UI issue that came second (which is also an issue that you encounter easily on netbooks since they have a limited resolution) was that some applications didn’t wanted to run because they required a higher resolution than the 1024*768.
A bigger bummer was that the Samsung netbook supported a higher resolution with its Windows 7 drivers, but these could not be used to raise it on Windows 8.

I’m sure the driver issue has been resolved meanwhile, but the performance drop on Windows 8 was such incredible that it did not convinced me to make the switch. The main reason to try Windows 8 was because some reviews were pointing out HDD access supposed to be lightning fast on Windows 8, but compared to Windows 7 starter, Windows 8 needed 3 minutes more (making it approximately 4 minutes) to get fully booted on my netbook than Windows 7 required.
Renoise did work, but also here performance was an incredible amount lower than Windows 7.
Performance issues may meanwhile have been sorted out as well perhaps.
It is not that i want to run Windows 8 on hardware that isn’t really suitable for it, but i want to measure noticable differences so using Windows 8 on the lowest grade machine gave me a good indication of the differences between Windows 8 and 7, specially performancewise and that is what counts the most if you use applications that require fast resources.

Maybe I’m the only person in the world that hated the old start menu as I think Windows 8 provides a better way of working. I just organize my apps into tile groups - so I have audio / dev / photo etc. Then just hit the windows key on the keyboard and its easy to access an application. Or if its something I don’t use much just start typing the name and it will list it.

I do that too!

Bit off topic, but if you value your hard earned money, and aren’t buying a laptop, you should not go with prebuilt. Building a computer is not hard, especially these days with youtube to help you, and you can save hundreds of dollars (or get way more value for your money, whichever way you want to take it), as well as get the best reviewed component for each part of the system.

Definitely true for desktop/tower PCs!
On the laptop side you hardly have a choice though, and it’s hardly worth the hassle to get a laptop with linux pre-installed at the same price of a Windows laptop (even though you can argue linux is better, and laptops sold as windows laptops are increasingly more difficult to get linux working on…)

I’m interested in looking into this, do you have good (youtube) links on the matter? I want to check if the costs, versus time spend investigating is worth assembling a comp yourself.

I have installed ram / hd’s & other peripherals in the past so am not afraid opening up a computer, though I want a stable system with components that complement each other together with the os. If that costs a bit more with the help of a professional I rather spend the extra money, afraid I will fuck it up.

Well if you have a proper computer store in the vicinity, they can help you with selecting. They should warn you before you walk off with a non-matching pair of mobo and cpu. Everything else, if you have a little experience, is really simple and near automatic these days. Not too much can go wrong.

If I’m going desktop, I’ll try to change the possible ‘preset’ system anyway, make it more audio centered as I don’t need a fancy graphics card which seems to be the norm in most offers. A graphics card that can handle 2 monitor screens is needed though…and a quiet harddisk, SSD setup preferably. I’ll compare different shops to see which one can give the best proposition based on a ‘modded’ offer.

maybe this is something for you?