I’m not going to get into the Mac versus PC debate, but I’m a PC kind of guy. I grew up with them, I can fix them, and I can do all sorts of stuff on them. That said, Microsoft hasn’t always produced winners with their pervasive Windows operating system. Remember Vista? Good God that was a terrible OS. I remember having to turn my computer on and walk away to do something else for a while so it could boot up. Soon after Windows 7 came out and it was a verified gem, I bought a copy to replace Vista.
Recently, Windows 8 came out and the complaints came pouring back in. First, it was because Microsoft replaced the ubiquitous Start Menu with the Metro UI, and then an onslaught of other complaints. Apparently, they listened (a little), and came out with 8.1. Windows 8.1 has been likened to a hybrid of the best of Windows 8 and the best of Windows 7. That sounded like a good enough compromise for me, so I went ahead and got 8.1
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro OEM
So I bought Windows 8.1 Pro System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit specifically. It’s different then the full retail version in the sense that this one sells for cheaper and is packaged in a white nondescript envelope. It’s meant for system builders and as soon as you install it, it becomes linked to your motherboard. So what’s the difference between Pro and non-Pro editions? What about 32 bit and 64 bit?
For us layman, the only thing we need to worry about with the 32 bit and 64 bit architecture is that the 32 bit version limits you to 4 GB of RAM. 64 bit versions of the OS allow you to have up to 512 GB of RAM…which is really really ridiculous for the average user (even most power users). These days, you’ll want to stick to the 64 bit version.
And 8.1 versus 8.1 Pro? The only real difference is that the Pro version supports BitLocker allowing you to encrypt your hard drives to secure personal data. It’s a pretty important feature these days, but most average users don’t need the feature. Hell, even I don’t really need the feature, but I like having the option of locking down my hard drives if I need to.
So yeah, if you’re building a new PC and are looking to run Windows on it, get Windows 8.1 64-bit. If you want to use BitLocker, get Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit.
|1||Corsair Obsidian 550D||$124.99|
|2||Asus Sabertooth Z87||$209.99|
|2||Corsair Hydro Series H60||$54.99|
|3||Corsair HX750 Power Supply||$84.99|
|4||Intel Core i7-4770||$294.99|
|4||Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1866 MHz||$144.89|
|4||Western Digital Black 1 TB Hard Drive (x2)||$149.98|
|4||Windows 8.1 Pro||$119.99|