I've discovered the Achilles' heel of Windows 8. Windows 8 has very high DPC latency compared to Windows 7 SP1. Windows 7: Service Pack 1 (64 bit) Windows 8: Release Preview (64 bit) As things stand, Windows 7 SP1 is much more suitable for streaming applications and has much better real-time capabilities than Windows 8. Some info on DPC Latency: http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml DPC Latency Checker: http://www.thesycon.de/dpclat/dpclat.exe LatencyMon: http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon I got Windows 8 directly from Microsoft. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso I use only genuine Microsoft operating systems. I installed all the updates from Windows Update. At first, I thought that it might be my system, a driver, or the version of Windows 8 I was using. However, I had a friend run DPC Latency Checker on his system (Intel Core i5-2500K, running Windows 8: Consumer Preview) and his DPC latency is extremely high as well. Anyone running Windows 8 is welcome to run DPC Latency Checker, take a screenshot and post the results. Make sure the version of Windows & build number are clearly visible on the desktop when you take your screenshot. Don't forget to specify if you're using the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows 8. I do realize that Windows 8 is not yet a finished product. However, every version of Windows 8 I've tried has this problem (Windows 8: Release Preview & Windows 8: Consumer Preview). Unless Windows 8 has the same DPC latency as Windows 7 or lower, than I'm simply going to stick with Windows 7. Side effects of high DPC latency are crackles, pops, stutter, drop-out problems, and underruns within an audio stream. This can destroy the experience when listening to music, playing a game, or watching a movie. I use my computer for gaming, listening to music, watching movies, and streaming audio & video. I want the best experience possible. And for now, that means using Windows 7 SP1. I would classify Windows 8 as lagware. I hope this problem gets fixed before Windows 8 reaches RTM status. Unless it does, there's no chance I'd even consider purchasing Windows 8 or recommending it to anyone.