PreAl wroteI have several retail Windows 8 Pro licenses (maybe 7 can't remember) before 8 came out. I've upgraded for free to 8.1, 10 and and 11 and used it on new replacement machines. Maybe I'm just lucky.
That's quite normal, same as the Mac platform too.
MS don't look to Windows end users for revenue as they used to, it's all about buying into their office/cloud services, using Edge and collecting your data. Apple are the same, but maybe a little more respectful of your personal fingerprint - who really knows!
You have to expect that the only time the W11 free upgrade will expire is when they have a new O/S to launch. I'd never pay full RRP for a Window license though, unless it was minus the data collection and forced auto-update options as standard.
phillipdixon wroteIf you buy a retail licence, (about £40 more) by the time you come to replace your PC there will be a new version of Windows, so if you want to upgrade You still have to pay,
Correction: You only have to pay (for a new Windows license) if you actually buy a new "OEM" PC (like from Scan).
If you buy your own parts and put together an awesome DAW (that will probably be better than anything you can buy pre-assembled) you can simply transfer your existing "retail" license over with no issues.
That said - there is no real hardcore reason to move to Win 11 right now - there are still a number of things that need to be ironed out with it - but it is getting better. Although I still do not see any point to using it for DAW work as there is literally no difference to Windows 10 - which is mature, fast and works perfectly plus it's good to Fall of 2025.
Or just tell Scan not to install the OS or install Linux (they may refuse to do so).
I have to say I can't recommend SCAN for new PC's myself. Good for buying one off peripherals (cheap), don't expect good service.
Intel i9 9900K, 32GB RAM,
EVGA Geforce 1070 (Nvidia drivers).
Dell Inspiron 7591 (2 in 1) 16Gb.
gregghart wroteMisterE wrotegregghart wroteThanks for explaining a little bit more. I agree that you are going to have to ask Scan those questions.
"Sure" would mean I did extensive lab testing myself. What I am sure of is the list you presented from Microsoft wasn't written in the last month -- when the latest/greatest/fastest processors from AMD and Intel have been released into the wild, the ones I was talking about specifically. The heavyweight forum to keep up with this stuff is Gearspace/Music Computers, where those bleeding edge types live, guys who live to squeenze the nth degree of performance out of their CPUs. And that's what they're telling me there.
Now me, I'd just change the arrangement to a simpler one rather than run out and buy a $1,000 CPU -- but not them, some of that crew mix songs with 700 tracks. Once again, I was talking about Win11 having an advantage for a limited amount of bleeding edge processors and PC owners who mix epic projects with huge track counts and plugin counts. Let's just say I'm reasonably sure about that. But I don't personally run with that crowd or spend time endlessly hotrodding my rig.
AAV wroteYour bios' key for Windows 10 will be associated with Windows 11 if you do the upgrade from Win 10 to 11, which is free from Microsoft.
That's only for Licensed OEM machines.
If he's buying from a builder that just puts together off the shelf or volumed order parts, then the builder either needs to install an OEM/Builder license for Windows, or the license is on him to buy.
If I'm running a PC business and I build a PC for you, you don't automatically get a license for Windows unless I give you a license - likely rolling the costs into the purchase price of the PC.
OEMs like HP, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, etc. volume order tons of OEM licenses for their PCS and the OS can simply check the UEFI for the license (BIOS in older machines). Previously, you'd get a sticker with the OEM license key on it.
Vocalpoint wrotephillipdixon wroteIf you buy a retail licence, (about £40 more) by the time you come to replace your PC there will be a new version of Windows, so if you want to upgrade You still have to pay,
Ok, as you know, I'm doing a redo of this "newer" computer (well, now "maybe" ) but I have no clue how to do what you say. Could have saved me a little coin (I don't think you can return doze even if it's unopened, could be wrong)
You do NOT need Win 11 Pro. The only extra features you get with Pro are corporate features like Domain availability and a more robust Bitlocker, which you are going to need to turn off for using the PC as a studio computer anyway.
The big features you gain going to Windows 11 are:
1. Seamless Redocking: For people who use laptops with external displays, or PCs with multiple displays... this feature is baller. Everything goes back to the display they were on when that display was last connected.
2. Windows Studio Effects: For people who do a lot of video conferencing. Saves you from having to install 3rd party software, which can often be heavier on CPU.
3. Auto HDR: Honestly not that huge if you don't have an HDR Display, but those are becoming more common these days.
4. Live Caption and Natural Narrator: Self Explanatory, and very dependent on the user.
5. Windows 11 also has some improvements in the realm of Windows Audio, which can be of great interest to laptop users who prefer not to travel with an Audio Interface. Windows 11 will perform better than Windows 10 there, provided the developer is keeping up to speed with this.
6. Security in Windows 11 is also tighter: TPM 2.0 is Mandated, and things like Smart App Control Exist.
The UX is more cohesive than Windows 10, as Microsoft tends to improve on this with every release or major update. More things are moved from Control Panel to Settings, etc. The UI in generally is a bit more polished. Things like Tabs in File Explorer, the updated Task Manager, do not exist on Windows 10, for example.
I don't use Android Apps (Amazon App Store) on Windows, or game with a controller... so YMMV with those features.
Windows upgrades are free, so most people don't really care to compare. They just upgrade. I generally just upgrade macOS and Windows unless there are known issues that affect me (like the Ryzen issue at Windows 11 launch - I waited until AMD released upgraded Chipset Drivers before I went to 11).
Windows Pro also allows you more granular control over some things in Windows. Remote Desktop requires Windows Pro. There is more control over Windows Update in Pro (can defer much longer, for example). Group Policy is available in Windows Pro. Client Hyper-V is in Pro.
In addition to that, there are a number of system utilities that exist in Pro but are not in Home. I've had situations where I've had to COPY a utility off of a Windows Pro machine to a Windows Home machine because it was needed to fix a problem. The problem was much harder to fix without it.
BitLocker isn't just used for the system drive. It can also be used on external (or additional) drives, SD Cards, Thumb Drives, etc. Its usefulness is not tied to your decision to enable it on a system drive - same with FileVault on macOS, which most people do not use on their system drives. You can run a normal system disk (unencrypted) on your workstation and BitLocker your Backup Drives, for example, to safeguard yourself against IP theft... should they ever be stolen. This is not possible without Windows Pro - you'd need a third party, otherwise.
Most things can be overcome - at least somewhat - with a third-party application, but Windows tends to know how to manage its own components, so you tend to get better system efficiency when using them (and some added convenience, like storing BitLocker keys in your Microsoft Account).
There are quite a few things in Windows Pro that aren't in Windows Home. Microsoft has actually moved some features out of Home to Pro in [more] recent versions of Windows. Remote Desktop used to be an XP Home Edition feature, for example, but moved to Windows Pro with the Windows 8 release.
Aside from that, Windows Pro offers more robust hardware support. For example, it supports up to 2 discrete CPUs in a machine, while Home only supports 1. For high end workstations, Windows Pro is going to offer more expansion capabilities.
Composers who run machines with massive amounts of RAM will need Windows Pro, since Windows Home only supports up to 128GB (vs. 2TB on Pro).
This also applies to people who run a dedicated VEP Server with tons of libraries loaded. You may need to upgrade that machine to Windows Pro to access more RAM (that, or use a server SKU).
I know people with VEP servers that have 192GB RAM. Windows Home will not accommodate that.
Some media professionals (VFX Artists, etc.) require tons of RAM due to the nature of the applications they use. Pro is basically required in those scenarios.
When Windows 8 was released, Microsoft gave everyone a chance to upgrade to Pro for $25. Because of the way Windows 10/11 licenses and activation work, you can upgrade any new PC to Pro using that serial number (or install fresh using it)
If you have a retail Windows 7/8/10 license, you can use that to activate the equivalent SKU of Windows 11, as well.
nathanielwalker2 wrote5. Windows 11 also has some improvements in the realm of Windows Audio, which can be of great interest to laptop users who prefer not to travel with an Audio Interface. Windows 11 will perform better than Windows 10 there, provided the developer is keeping up to speed with this.
To add, I've noticed an improvement in performance with ASIO. Some people say it's up to 20% better, I dunno about that, but it's better.
Oh and another thing before I forget: DON'T FUTZ WITH IT regardless. Yes, you need to make it "high performance" with either 10 or 11 in the power scheme, but other than that, leave it alone!
All that crap we used to have to do doesn't do anything other than make a mess. I'm sure there are people that disagree, but that is my experience.
I also highly recommend turning of Disk Encryption on any drive you record audio to.
I used to use old dell desktops with 2nd and 3rd gen i7's in them that I would get cheap. Lot didn't have a hard drive or this or that.
I make sure they have a coa sticker on them before buying, I can then put a hard drive in it and download and install windows with the key on the sticker.
When I get done with a computer I never tried to bring the OS with me. Someone else can use it if it works but not without OS.
I quit building them some years ago, I do better buying a deal on sale like ABS on newegg, and then changing the size of the ssd etc. I have used the license on the small hard drive that came with the machine and move it to the new drive.
All things you can do if you want to bad enough, just have to do some reading. Needs to belong to that machine though.
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Tacman7 wroteI quit building them some years ago, I do better buying a deal on sale like ABS on newegg, and then changing the size of the ssd etc.
Same here. My current is a Dell 8900 i7-6700 I bought in '17. I added SSD, larger drives and doubled the RAM. Came with W10Pro and a GTX 745 that drives my 4K display and 2.5K Pen Display without problems.
It continues to perform well with Power options being the only changes.
To add, I've noticed an improvement in performance with ASIO. Some people say it's up to 20% better, I dunno about that, but it's better.[/quote]
Surprising. ASIO drivers communicate direct with the Hardware Abstraction layer, bypassing a lot of layers of the windows OS. If this is the case they must have done some stuff under the windows bonnet or the driver itself has improved.
Intel i9 9900K, 32GB RAM,
EVGA Geforce 1070 (Nvidia drivers).
Dell Inspiron 7591 (2 in 1) 16Gb.
PreAl wrotereggie1979beatz wrote
Surprising. ASIO drivers communicate direct with the Hardware Abstraction layer, bypassing a lot of layers of the windows OS. If this is the case they must have done some stuff under the windows bonnet or the driver itself has improved.[/quote]
I don't have links anymore but there are a number of people claiming this. I dunno, I remember opening a project before and after the switch and the performance meter was down maybe 6-7%. Have no real clue about it.
nathanielwalker2 wroteWindows Pro also allows you more granular control over some things in Windows.
First off, that was a nice summary of useful Win11 features.
You shifted in the middle of your Win10 vs Win11 discussion into a Home vs. Pro discussion. Only thing is, most of those Home/Pro differences are present in Win10 as well, including the ability to delay updates for 35 days.
I'm still not seeing obvious Win11 advantages for music production, that is, unless the producer is recording really high-count amounts of tracks and plugs, is really pushing things, and has invested in a recent, high-end CPU and DDR5 RAM. The biggest impetus to install Win11 today is not a benefit that will make your typical song any better, it's one of peace-of-mind: you won't have having to switch operating systems down the road in a couple of years when Win10 is no longer supported hanging over your head.
gregghart wroteYou do NOT need Win 11 Pro. The only extra features you get with Pro are corporate features like Domain availability and a more robust Bitlocker, which you are going to need to turn off for using the PC as a studio computer anyway.
I have been curious as to the perceived performance hit using BitLocker full drive encryption. I run my Win 10 Pro studio computer with BitLocker on for the OS, and BitLocker off for my other internal drives.
Haven't noticed any reduction in performance using this BitLocker setup. My OS is on a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD EVO 970 Plus.
Here is a Crystal Disk Mark test of my current OS drive. I believe it has a few MB/s to spare. I really don't think BitLocker makes a lot of performance difference with modern SSD drives. The NVMe M.2 drive really gave me a ~5-6x boost in speed over my old SATA SSD. That was only getting ~500-600 MB/s sequential reads/writes, also using BitLocker.
JohnBW wroteHaven't noticed any reduction in performance using this BitLocker setup. My OS is on a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD EVO 970 Plus.
I don't think you would, really. I think 100 stereo tracks playing back @ 48khz is under 250MB/s stream plus it'll be in bursts - Most SSD's are hitting 2-3GB/s so plenty of headroom.
I'd be more tempted to check what CPU is being used, because that's what would hit a real-time application.... Don't know whether that processing is spread across cores or concentrated to a single though.
I've ran encryption and never seen an issue, never felt the need to check it out. But to be fair most my projects sit around the 40% load mark - i'm rarely ever pushing a system to the point where 10% margins are critical.
I did have a laptop taken once though, and i'd never ever disable encryption after that as I had clients data (work, not audio) on there and it was worrying time - i'd rather freeze a few tracks and know that I had a level of protection.
It's my impression that since BitLocker whole drive encryption "unlocks" the entire drive at boot, the data is readily accessible to the Windows file system while the system is running. The drive is "locked" again when the system is shutdown.
While it takes a good bit of time and system resources to initially encrypt the entire drive, that's a one-time thing, and it doesn't seem to add noticeably to system overhead later while up and running.
Besides, like you said, peace of mind is probably worth a few percent of CPU time.
JohnBW wroteSkijumptoes wrote
When does encryption of new/updated files take place?
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