Windows 7 or 8.1?

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#1
I ordered a MSI Z270-A Pro motherboard to use an i7-6700 and two 8GB sticks of DDR4 ram (cpu and ram from my Dell XPS8900 that recently died).

The XPS8900 was running Windows 10 but I had problems running older software on it so I want to install either my retail purchased copy of Win7 or a downloaded copy of Win8.1.

--- MY CONCERNS FOR WIN 7 ARE: ---

1. USB3 drivers - MSI has USB3 drivers for the Z270-A Pro for Win7. (Could not find confirmation on the web that those Win7 USB3 drivers will work.)

2. Running SSD on Win7 - I have a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO Sata III SSD that was installed in the XPS8900 which I plan to clean, and then install either Win7 or Win8.1. But I'm not sure if Win7 will support trim and whatever else may be needed for that SSD.

--- MY CONCERN FOR Win8.1 IS: ---
I can download a copy of Win8.1. Will I be able to install it using the key from my purchased Win7 copy?

--- OTHER: ---
I just use Web browser, Microsoft Office, Photoshop 7, Lightroom-5 and Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 mostly. I don't play games.

Which do you recommend me to install? Win7 or Win8.1 and why?
 

DigDog

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2011
9,598
484
126
bokkenblog.blogspot.com
#2
7 is better in every way.
I would recommend looking into custom made installs such as Tiny7 that eliminate a lot of useless legacy processes that windows has by default.

The same exist for W10, too. You can genuinely get a completely spyware free 10 that way. You will still need to own a license for whichever OS you decide on to be above board.

There should be no problems finding 7 drivers for Z270.

W8 is just 7 but with more bloat; if you must go modern, go with 10.
 

daveybrat

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jan 31, 2000
4,840
375
126
#3
Just use your Windows 7 key to install and activate Windows 10. It's much better than 8 and 7 is getting long in the tooth.
 

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#4
7 is better in every way.
I would recommend looking into custom made installs such as Tiny7 that eliminate a lot of useless legacy processes that windows has by default.

The same exist for W10, too. You can genuinely get a completely spyware free 10 that way. You will still need to own a license for whichever OS you decide on to be above board.

There should be no problems finding 7 drivers for Z270.

W8 is just 7 but with more bloat; if you must go modern, go with 10.
Thanks for your reply. Having tried Win7, 8.1 and 10, I do like Win7 the best. But I'm not sure if Win7 will support my Samsung 860 EVO SSD properly using the Z270 chipset (Trim and whatever else is needed). I'm hoping that someone with the Z270 chipset running Win7 and a SSD can confirm.

Thanks!
 

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#5
Just use your Windows 7 key to install and activate Windows 10. It's much better than 8 and 7 is getting long in the tooth.
Thanks for your reply. I agree that Win10 would be best but while running Win10 on my Dell XPS8900 that just died, I was not able to run some older software that ran on Win7 and Win8.1. Hence my interest in going back to Win7 or 8.1.

Thanks!
 

daveybrat

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jan 31, 2000
4,840
375
126
#6
Thanks for your reply. I agree that Win10 would be best but while running Win10 on my Dell XPS8900 that just died, I was not able to run some older software that ran on Win7 and Win8.1. Hence my interest in going back to Win7 or 8.1.

Thanks!
Why not just load Windows 10 and install a free VMWare to run Windows 7? :)
 

DigDog

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2011
9,598
484
126
bokkenblog.blogspot.com
#7
Thanks for your reply. Having tried Win7, 8.1 and 10, I do like Win7 the best. But I'm not sure if Win7 will support my Samsung 860 EVO SSD properly using the Z270 chipset (Trim and whatever else is needed). I'm hoping that someone with the Z270 chipset running Win7 and a SSD can confirm.

Thanks!
I dont have an exact answer because i do not own a EVO, but w7 supports my SSDs fine, one Kingston and one Crucial.
 

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#8
Why not just load Windows 10 and install a free VMWare to run Windows 7? :)
After reading your reply above, I started Googling VMWare. Most on youtube discuss installing virtualization on hardware first and then installing guest OS' on top. This got me really confused.

Then I read an article by the howtogeek that explained installing virtualbox or vmware on top of the host os which is what you were alluding to I guess. (Win10 > vmware > Win7)

Thinking about installing Win10, then virtualbox, then Win7, I don't think it will work for me. While running stuff in win10, I often want to move stuff between different programs. If a program is running in the VM Win7, I guess I can't paste the Win10 clipboard into the VM Win7 program, etc. I read that one can set up shared folders but that would be time consuming to paste the file (like a picture) in the shared folder while in Win10, then switch to VM Win7, then copy the picture and paste it into the program running in the VM Win7.

I'm probably missing something since I don't really understand running Win10 with Win7 in vmware.

Thanks.
 

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#9
I dont have an exact answer because i do not own a EVO, but w7 supports my SSDs fine, one Kingston and one Crucial.
I just read that trim was a windows feature that was first added to Win7. So Win7 will probably support my Samsung SSD.

Another question. What's your plan when Microsoft's Win7 extended support for Win7 ends on 1/14/20 ?
 

DigDog

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2011
9,598
484
126
bokkenblog.blogspot.com
#10
. What's your plan when Microsoft's Win7 extended support for Win7 ends on 1/14/20 ?
Oh look it's *that* question again.

This may be shocking to you but there are a few old-timers here who do not believe in vaccines global warming the moon landing auto-update and instead let the firewall and anti-virus do their job, and will only manually install updates if it is something really important.
I get that you might find this controversial but that's how i roll since wXP and ive never been compromised. Maybe it's luck, maybe not.

As i implied in my previous posts, w10 is fine, as long as you use a custom build. If for some reason i need dx12 and it really never comes to w7, ill move to w10 or maybe the next.
 

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#11
Oh look it's *that* question again.

This may be shocking to you but there are a few old-timers here who do not believe in vaccines global warming the moon landing auto-update and instead let the firewall and anti-virus do their job, and will only manually install updates if it is something really important.
I get that you might find this controversial but that's how i roll since wXP and ive never been compromised. Maybe it's luck, maybe not.

As i implied in my previous posts, w10 is fine, as long as you use a custom build. If for some reason i need dx12 and it really never comes to w7, ill move to w10 or maybe the next.
Sorry, did not mean to offend. Was a question of concern since I'm thinking of installing Win7 and wanted insight from more knowledgeable folk for planning purposes. Thanks for the help.
 
May 19, 2011
11,632
1,815
126
#12
Sorry, did not mean to offend. Was a question of concern since I'm thinking of installing Win7 and wanted insight from more knowledgeable folk for planning purposes. Thanks for the help.
I'm a bit perplexed by the combativeness of his response too, but anyway. There was a very similar thread recently that I responded to on that point:
https://forums.anandtech.com/thread...uld-i-upgrade-to-win10.2555342/#post-39636277

To add to that response, if my use was purely casual/personal, I'd probably have continued using Win7 up to the deadline. Hopefully MS will have matured their Win10 development by then?
 

DigDog

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2011
9,598
484
126
bokkenblog.blogspot.com
#13
Sorry, did not mean to offend. Was a question of concern since I'm thinking of installing Win7 and wanted insight from more knowledgeable folk for planning purposes. Thanks for the help.
I'm a bit perplexed by the combativeness of his response too, but anyway. There was a very similar thread recently that I responded to on that point:
https://forums.anandtech.com/thread...uld-i-upgrade-to-win10.2555342/#post-39636277

To add to that response, if my use was purely casual/personal, I'd probably have continued using Win7 up to the deadline. Hopefully MS will have matured their Win10 development by then?
I didnt mean to be aggressive. There are two schools of thought, one says to install every (or almost) update, one says to keep the system stable. Old skoolers more often fall into the latter.
This discussion happens too often and it never fails to end in a shouting match, i guess i just had a kneejerk reaction thinking of the last "w7 vs w10" discussion we've had here.

Ill also take time to say that w7 on a w10 VM is not useful, you lose any advantage you might have at adopting w7.
For most users, w7 and w10 are identical. There are a few UI changes and a fresh w10 install has a few quirks, but you wont really find much difference unless you are a nerd who needs a mouse registry hack written by SomeGuy(tm) on the darkweb.

To explain it simply .. or not so simply ...

W7 is perfect. You cannot improve perfection.
W10 tries to do extra things that a medium-skill user does not need. There is a lot of disabling useless stuff you need to do, it's *mildly* intrusive, uses more resources (although it does have a very slight advantage in how it does so), but the annoying thing is that it provides no practical benefit for doing so. W10 has been shown to provide inferior performance and very rarely does it perform better, in applications most people never use. If you run 128gb of ram for databases, w10 is better.

So ...

Apparently some new DX12 features will not come to w7, although i have my doubts, the market for w7 high end games is still huge.

Oh yeah, also as @mikeymikec pointed out, the
longer an OS is out, the more refined it becomes. More 3rd party fixes get written. The userbase provides more support.


TLDR microsoft, you are not Apple. We dont need a new OS every other year.
 
Last edited:

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#14
I'm a bit perplexed by the combativeness of his response too, but anyway. There was a very similar thread recently that I responded to on that point:
https://forums.anandtech.com/thread...uld-i-upgrade-to-win10.2555342/#post-39636277

To add to that response, if my use was purely casual/personal, I'd probably have continued using Win7 up to the deadline. Hopefully MS will have matured their Win10 development by then?
Thanks for sharing that link and your views. All input is helpful to help me decide.
 

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#15
I didnt mean to be aggressive. There are two schools of thought, one says to install every (or almost) update, one says to keep the system stable. Old skoolers more often fall into the latter.
This discussion happens too often and it never fails to end in a shouting match, i guess i just had a kneejerk reaction thinking of the last "w7 vs w10" discussion we've had here.
No worries, I understand. Win10 discussions can become very heated.

Ill also take time to say that w7 on a w10 VM is not useful, you lose any advantage you might have at adopting w7.
I think I'm inclined to agree with my very limited knowledge of running Win7 in a VM. But I very much appreciate the initial suggestion to look into running in a VM.

For most users, w7 and w10 are identical. There are a few UI changes and a fresh w10 install has a few quirks, but you wont really find much difference unless you are a nerd who needs a mouse registry hack written by SomeGuy(tm) on the darkweb.

To explain it simply .. or not so simply ...

W7 is perfect. You cannot improve perfection.
W10 tries to do extra things that a medium-skill user does not need. There is a lot of disabling useless stuff you need to do, it's *mildly* intrusive, uses more resources (although it does have a very slight advantage in how it does so), but the annoying thing is that it provides no practical benefit for doing so. W10 has been shown to provide inferior performance and very rarely does it perform better, in applications most people never use. If you run 128gb of ram for databases, w10 is better.

So ...

Apparently some new DX12 features will not come to w7, although i have my doubts, the market for w7 high end games is still huge.

Oh yeah, also as @mikeymikec pointed out, the
longer an OS is out, the more refined it becomes. More 3rd party fixes get written. The userbase provides more support.


TLDR microsoft, you are not Apple. We dont need a new OS every other year.
My research so far does not indicate that I can use my purchased retail Win7 key to install Win8.1. My old programs that I want to use ran in Win7 and 8.1 but not in Win10. Otherwise, I would be fine with using Win10.

Since it appears that my Win7 key will not work to install Win8.1, I think I'm going to try to install Win7 on my new motherboard and see if USB3 and SSD support work correctly. If so, then enjoy "everything" working for at least 2 more years. Then make another decision at that time.

Thanks for all of the help,
Skyzoomer
 

Skyzoomer

Senior member
Sep 27, 2007
316
1
81
#16
Since it appears that my Win7 key will not work to install Win8.1, I think I'm going to try to install Win7 on my new motherboard and see if USB3 and SSD support work correctly. If so, then enjoy "everything" working for at least 2 more years. Then make another decision at that time.
EDIT: That should be 1.2 years instead of 2 years.

It just dawned on me that I ordered the MSI Z270-A Pro mobo because it had all of the graphics connectors to use the onboard graphics. Now I'm not sure if Win7 will support the onboard graphics to my 2560 x 1440 monitor.

Also I've read that after Win7 extended support ends, Microsoft could disallow a free clean install of Win10 using the Win7 key. Just a baseless thought but guess it could happen.

So I guess I'll just resign myself to installing Win10 and forget using my old programs that won't work on it. Less overall headaches that way.

Skyzoomer
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS