Windows 8 WMC = BETTER! (for me at least)

Windows 8 WMC = BETTER! (for me at least)

Post#1 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:11 pm

I've been seeing a lot of negativity about upgrading to Windows 8 Pro w/ Media Center Pack.

I just wanted to say my experience was largely positive. I upgraded last week, and since then my extender (Xbox 360) has been working MUCH better (less laggy, menus more responsive, plugins actually usable).

I know there are some specific downsides to the upgrade (extenders limited to Xbox 360 comes to mind, not sure of any other specifics), but I ran into almost no problems.

For the record, my setup is:

- Windows 8 Pro w/ Media Center Pack on Desktop/server
- Xbox 360 Extender
- Connected through MoCA adapters into gigabit switch/router

I know the special pricing deal has come and gone, but if anyone out there is looking to reduce lag on their Xbox 360 extender and/or make plugins (like Recorded TV HD) actually usable on the extender without horrible lag, I say give the upgrade a shot.
ERamseth
 
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Post#2 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:36 pm

+1 to this. Been using 8 for about a week on my HTPC. I like it. Definitely quicker in MC menus and 3rd p apps. Better remote support fot the start screen apps (hello ceton) and I think it has masses of potential
bobbob
 
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Post#3 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:25 pm

+1 also. I had been suffering with VMC (too cheap to upgrade to W7). The better pricing (and free WMC) for W8 finally got me to switch. Added RAM and am much more stable and faster on HTPC and Xbox. Now I just hope Ceton finds a way to make their Echo fully functional and I'll be set.

Windows 8 Pro w/Media Center feature pack, My Channel Logos. My Movies - Sony XL3, 8 GB RAM, Sata SSD | Xbox 360 | Ceton My Media Center W8 app on laptop, My Media Center on Sony Android Tablet
lgspencer
 
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Post#4 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:37 pm

I upgraded to Win 8 about a week after it came out, and ran on that for about a month and a half, until last weekend when I switched back to Win 7.

W8 is a little quicker, but for me it seems like it just doesn’t' quite play right with tuners. About once a day, I would have to reboot the computer because WMC would lose the tuners or would give one error or another. Never had that in Win 7 and since I switched back, have had no issues. Also, I still use Media Center Studio to modify the background in WMC which does not work in W8, and My Channel Logos to increase the EPG rows. Although that can add logos to W8, it cannot increase the rows. I also needed a compact extender for the kitchen and the Echo was the right size.

That being said, if Ceton figures out a way to marry the Echo to Win 8, I would consider switch back.
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Post#5 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:51 pm

Oh, Media Center Studio does not work on Windows 8 ? I didn't like Win7 for a HTC in the first place but, that is just a deal killer for me....

Windows 7 will stay on my HTPC till something better comes along (Media Center is dead according to MS, so it's just a matter of time till something else is better that is out)
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Post#6 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:30 am

Mce reset toolbox $5, next :yawn:
bobbob
 
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Post#7 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:31 pm

I too prefer w8..
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Post#8 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:50 pm

I 3 like WMC 8. It is faster than both WMC 7 and Vista.
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Post#9 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:19 am

I've heard several reports that W8MC is faster than W7MC. I don't get it. I've ran W7MC on two different systems, and on both systems I couldn't find anything slow about WMC or W7. The only slow things I've ever found are my HDDs (which are intentionally slow) and the InfiniTV (which is slow to boot and slow to change channels, neither of which happen very often for me). And the slow HDDs don't really matter because their purpose can't be enhanced with more speed anyway. Even with my i5-3225 underclocked to 1.6 GHz, I can't find anything else slow. I have a very fast boot time (thanks to my SSD), and navigating in WMC is about as fast as it could possibly be, even with a fairly large library.

So I'm inclined to believe that claims that W8MC is faster than W7MC are nothing more than the placebo effect. Either that or W8 just runs better on slow hardware than W7 does.

Anybody care to elaborate on exactly what is faster and on what hardware it is faster?
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Post#10 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:20 am

richard1980 wrote:I've heard several reports that W8MC is faster than W7MC. I don't get it. I've ran W7MC on two different systems, and on both systems I couldn't find anything slow about WMC or W7. The only slow things I've ever found are my HDDs (which are intentionally slow) and the InfiniTV (which is slow to boot and slow to change channels, neither of which happen very often for me). And the slow HDDs don't really matter because their purpose can't be enhanced with more speed anyway. Even with my i5-3225 underclocked to 1.6 GHz, I can't find anything else slow. I have a very fast boot time (thanks to my SSD), and navigating in WMC is about as fast as it could possibly be, even with a fairly large library.

So I'm inclined to believe that claims that W8MC is faster than W7MC are nothing more than the placebo effect. Either that or W8 just runs better on slow hardware than W7 does.

Anybody care to elaborate on exactly what is faster and on what hardware it is faster?


UEFI+SSD=Win 8 is faster
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Post#11 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:22 am

But how? I'm running UEFI+SSD on W7, and it's fast as can be. I warm boot to WMC in about 10 seconds. Of course, it takes the InfiniTV a while to catch up.
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Post#12 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:15 am

richard1980 wrote:But how? I'm running UEFI+SSD on W7, and it's fast as can be. I warm boot to WMC in about 10 seconds. Of course, it takes the InfiniTV a while to catch up.


Win7 has a UEFI boot option when doing install from disc, if you don't install from that option it isn't booting/installing UEFI settings. Maybe that's it (and maybe a little more in Win8). I know this because my Windows 7 disc gives me 2 boot options on install on my UEFI equipped board and doesn't give me the option on my reg bios board.
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Post#13 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:42 am

Yeah, I did my W7 install from a flash drive and I don't remember seeing anything about UEFI settings (also, my flash drive has W7 pre-SP1). My old Zotac board had a standard BIOS and my warm boot times to WMC were slightly slower, but not much...I was hitting 12 seconds on an underclocked E6500 using the same SSD I am now. Now I'm running an ASUS board with UEFI with the i5-3225 and it's a bit faster getting to WMC. But still, once WMC is running, everything is/was fast. I'm just not seeing how switching to W8 could improve the speed of WMC unless we're talking about hardware that was struggling to run W7MC, and I haven't ruled out the placebo effect (or the effect of doing a clean install). Maybe one day I'll run across some benchmarks to clear this up.
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Post#14 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:17 pm

i was talking about menu transition in MC, definitely snappier under win 8. and the 3rd P app i referred to was recorded tv HD. definitely quicker and other users on the RecordedTVHD forums have confirmed it
bobbob
 
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Post#15 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:59 pm

richard1980 wrote:Yeah, I did my W7 install from a flash drive and I don't remember seeing anything about UEFI settings (also, my flash drive has W7 pre-SP1).


It might only be on SP1 discs and up. I have a screenshot of it from a discussion about it on another forum; let me see if I can track it down.
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Post#16 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:06 pm

I did a recent USB flash install of Win7 SP1 to my UEFI+SSD Asrock Pro4-M and saw no additional boot options. Agree with Richard here, Win7 MC is plenty fast with SSD and modern CPUs as it is, can't see how Win8 would be fast enough to put up with the other limitations.
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Post#17 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:30 pm

slowbiscuit wrote:I did a recent USB flash install of Win7 SP1 to my UEFI+SSD Asrock Pro4-M and saw no additional boot options. Agree with Richard here, Win7 MC is plenty fast with SSD and modern CPUs as it is, can't see how Win8 would be fast enough to put up with the other limitations.


Maybe only when booting from a SP1 disc then?

This is the boot menu when the Windows 7 SP1 installation disc is in the drive. The UEFI option is only there when the Windows disc is in the drive. When another disc is in there, the boot menu only shows the regular entry for the disc drive, not the UEFI option. The installation then looks and proceeds exactly the same as the regular/bios based installation:

Image

The next image is how you know that Windows was installed from UEFI boot option:

Image

Edit: Look what I found :D Is only for x64 also it seems : http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/arch ... puter.aspx
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Post#18 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:47 am

I'm not sure I could stand the blinking thing...that would pretty much ruin any custom boot animations.

I also found instructions for installing from USB flash drive in EFI mode here. I haven't tested it, so I don't know how accurate the instructions are.

I'm still not understanding what performance advantages this option has, especially since it now appears both W7 and W8 can be installed in native EFI mode.
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Post#19 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:58 am

The Main noticeable thing regarding speed increase is the music library. In Vista & 7 it was a PITA, loads and navigates immediately now. My upstairs PC browses the music library quicker than the HTPC used to !!
Maybe it is better on low-end components I don't game so have no need for anything better...
I would say its certainly not my imagination nor can I explain it but it definitely boots quicker too.
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Lee

Post#20 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:19 pm

So today I decided to test out the W7 UEFI mode. I imaged my SSD then installed W7 in legacy mode, just to establish a baseline for boot time measurements. On the clean install, warm boot time was consistently about 9 seconds. Cold boot is a bit longer, but I wasn't really concerned with cold boot since I very rarely have to cold boot. I played around a bit in W7 and everything felt like it always does.

I then installed W7 in UEFI mode and tested the warm boot times. To my surprise, UEFI mode actually increased my boot time to 17 seconds. That's a huge increase over the 9 second boot time in legacy mode. I tested this several times and I consistently got the same result. Switching to UEFI mode didn't seem to have any impact on the performance of W7 once it is actually booted. I was actually hoping to find a performance-based reason to prefer UEFI mode over legacy mode, but I was unable to do so. There are certainly advantages to switching from MBR to GPT, but from what I can tell none of the advantages are performance related. So after playing around with it for a while, I restored my system image. Boot time is now around 10 seconds (slightly slower than a clean install, but still fast).

So I guess I'm back to square 1, still wondering about these claims that W8 is faster than W7.
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