Must I run Win8 on a new computer?

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ChrisGreaves
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Must I run Win8 on a new computer?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

(Hardware forum?)
My old laptop is dead.
I have found two replacement candidates (from my point of view).
Both from Future Shop, a reputable chain, both at $cdn329, a better price than Staples or The Source, and I figure I won't get much at less than $329. Both have a DVD burner and three USB ports, beyond that all machines look the same (to my limited needs).
ACER 2020M 15.6" screen 4GB RAM $329
LENOVO E1-200 15.6" screen 2GB RAM $329.
More RAM is nice, but I think not critical for me.

Yesterday I bought a full CD copy of Win7 SP1 (Home Premium); I'm used to Win7 and don't want to change.
I know that Win8 is on the laptops nowadays but I figure what the heck: format the hard drive and install Good-Old-Win7.
The salesman says he wouldn't sell either of the $329 computers; "they won't work" he says; "why won't they work" I press him (why does Future Shop have for sale computers that don't work?!!???)

In the end he mumbles something about hardware and drivers; I think he is trying to tell me that the Win7SP1 I bought yesterday won't drive the hardware on the computer that is marked-down special 3-day sale, which I THINK they are trying to get rid off. End of line or something.

I remember my traumatic transfer to a 64-bit system 3 or 4 years ago, discovering that some of my most trusted software wouldn't work and some of my hardware (e.g. flatbed scanner) wouldn't work because there were no drivers; I don't want to go through that again!

I can not expect today's machines to run Win3.1, or even Win95 Win98, but I have trouble accepting that what must be a basic beginners machine can't be run under Win7.

Have things gotten that bad? So out of step?

My needs are simple; I don't use fancy hardware; I write Word2003 VBA programs to crunch bit patterns in 42GB of MP3 files, but have no need of fancy graphics or sound cards, and no external peripherals except my backup drives.

Should I trust my thoughts, spend $329 and get on with life?
I have a feeling that Win8 won't run Office2003, but the bottom line with Win8 is that I'd just as soon not get stuck into a new version of an OS right now.

I am, as usual, frustrated by what I see as change-for-the-sake-of-change when 90% of the computing world nowadays consists of little old-ladies in North America exchanging emails with their grandchildren in New Zealand.

I send this off around 6pm Toronto time, knowing that some very good brains are getting up in Australia, and before I rise another set of brains will see this email in Europe, and by the time the stores have opened here, even more experience and intellect will have been brought to bear on my angst, if that's what I have.

I kid you not: If you were here I'd treat you ALL to breakfast at The Montreal Deli tomorrow morning by way of thanks .....
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BobH
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Re: Must I run Win8 on a new computer?

Post by BobH »

I might have missed it, but what OSs are installed on the aforementioned machines? If Win8, I should think that Win7 would run on them; however, go to the mfrs's web sites and see what spec they have for OS compatibility. I would trust that info more than a salesperson who can't give better, more coherent answers.

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Argus
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Re: Must I run Win8 on a new computer?

Post by Argus »

The short answer is: no.

Hardware and thus drivers can of course be a problem when changing OS, and as you know, with laptops there isn't much one can one do with the hardware, most of the time. On the other hand, many times there are similarities between different OS versions, such as 7 and 8 (or 2000 and XP etc.) and they often have drivers for recent versions of Windows. It seems to be the case here.

(In your case you have an extra copy of Windows 7; and you are definitely not alone, many people would like to keep using Windows 7 for several years, and now it can be difficult to find laptops with Windows 7. But it is possible to find business laptops with Windows 7, or Windows 8 and Windows 7. One can also take a look at refurbished business laptops. There is quite some difference between them and consumer laptops when it comes to build quality, though in some cases some consumer laptops are equipped with (high end) gaming graphics, but that isn't interesting in this case. If one is looking at cheaper consumer laptops one can many times find a refurbished or second hand business laptop, say one year old, for the same price; with better build quality, and since the cheap consumer laptops comes with mid-range/low-range CPUs there is often not much difference compared to a one or two year old; the old one could even have more processing power.)

I assume the Acer is one from the Aspire E1 series; 2020M is the Pentium processor. A quick search gives me the following model number: E1-531-4868 (I also found it at the shop you mentioned.). If I then go to Acer's support site, for drivers, and do a search for "E1-531", or select it from the list, I find drivers for: Windows 7 and Windows 8, 32- & 64-bit. So no problem there; then it's a different matter how the hardware works.

http://www.acer.ca/ac/en/CA/content/drivers" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And same with the Lenovo; E1 1200 is the CPU, an AMD. I think you should avoid the Lenovo G505 in this case; nothing wrong with Lenovo, especially their business laptops, or with AMD; but this laptop seems to be seriously underpowered (it's an 18W aimed for small netbooks etc.). I thought the AMD E1-1200 was running at 1.4 GHz, but the shop says 1 GHz. Anyhow, compare the Passmark benchmark values: E1 1200: 718; Pentium 2020M: 2,328; that's more than three times! There are many sites out there discussing CPUs, but also some you can use to compare different CPUs, such as:
http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-2 ... MD-E1-1200" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Quick facts (could also look at Intel and AMD):
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Pent ... 880.0.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-E-Seri ... 569.0.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Not your question, but some general comments: Some people complain about a 1366x768 resolution on 15-inch screens (we have to live with 16:9, nowadays), it being too low; but it's almost impossible to find higher resolutions in the lower price range. And for many people screen real estate isn't an issue; and many use an external monitor.
https://blogs.technet.com/b/keithcombs/ ... ected=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think it would be wise to read several reviews, and if possible look at alternatives; if they all complain about the same thing ... then it's also possible that updates to drivers have solved things mentioned in reviews.
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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Must I run Win8 on a new computer?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:I might have missed it, but what OSs are installed on the aforementioned machines?
Thanks Bob. Win8; I suspect that every najor chain and shop on the planet has/installs the latest OS as soon as it hits the street; no retailer wants to be seen flogging "yesterday's" technology; street creed, or something. The mindless rush (technological) to be seen with the latest is a powerful peer force in buying, hence selling. Standing firm and saying "but this old way works for me!) is for only a few brave souls.
I discovered too that a similar bent pervades web sites; it's not always easy to worm through the front-of-the-store displays and find the good stuff out back.
Hence my post on Eileens Lounge.
My experience tells me that this years model will usually run last year's software; not the version before that, but at least the immediately preceding version and/or as Argus pointed out, drivers will be available.

My traumatic (for me) transfer to 64-bit technology about three years ago came way past bedtime for some of the DOS and Win3.1 era utilities that formed the backbone of my system; my scanner was purchased, refurbished, from a great store that since went out of business; my whole house of cards was waiting for a puff of wind to knock it all down.
Your response (and that of Argus) boosted my confidence that all would/will be well.

I purchased a WIN8/DELL yesterday; more about that saga in a later post/thread.
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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Must I run Win8 on a new computer?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Argus wrote:The short answer is: no.
Bless you Argus! I needed my spine stiffened. I felt deep in my (old) bones that it ought to work, that I could discount sales clerks's gloom, alarum and despondency about yesterday's technology and single-minded purpose to push a sale. (More about that in another post).
One can also take a look at refurbished business laptops.
Thanks you for this too. I am away from my downtown core where I might prowl the smaller businesses that offer refurbished models, and am (as I type) out in the Bib Box Boonies near where I used to live. Further, the one store I'd trusted for years went out of business some five years ago; a result, I think, of the boom in mail-order parts.
A quick search gives me the following model number:
And thanks for all the linksI shall prowl them all to see what i should be looking for when looking for reviews, specs. I had not a clue about what to look for to find out whether a specific model will run what. I also had not realized that a tag like "2020M" was the store's identification rather than a machine identification.
I think it would be wise to ... look at alternatives;
This too I did, alternative stores. We (me and my good friend Betty) visited five stores in under 24 hours before I made a purchase. Interesting to watch the mix of (1) Tech guy (me) who is, at times, out of his depth with NEW technology (2) Non-tech gal(Ms B) who is a world-class negiotiator on price and persistence in questioning and (3) sales force, some of whom are on commission, some aren't; also product reps e.g. Sony, Lenovo, who will take time out to explain features of competitor's machine.
It becomes, for me, a matter of buying a sales clerk rather thasn a computer. Which clerk is telling the truth, listening to my situation, and suggesting the best system for ME??!
More later in a later thread.
In Physics you don't get anything for nothing
In Yorkshire you don't get owt for nowt