It’s been about a week since Argon was built and the last two major components have arrived.
The graphics card, the infamous GTX 670, is finally powering the computer. So, you wonder, is it amazing and does it meet the hype? Maybe. Guild Wars 2 isn’t a very graphics heavy game and while the GTX 670 does allow me to improve the settings from medium to either high or ultra, the game doesn’t look that much better. Other games would probably show the power of the GTX 670 off better, but I’m not really using it for that purpose right now. The multi-monitor setup was important to me, so the $80 between the 660Ti and the 670, I think this works great.
The Crucial M4 256GB SSD finally came in. It’s hosting the full RTM release of Windows 8 Professional. Sadly, it’s already using 50GB for NTFS formatting, Windows and basic applications. That shows that the right choice was getting the bigger albiet slightly more expensive drive.
So, how fast is an SSD? Windows can restart and get back into the start screen within ten seconds (assuming Windows doesn’t hang on an update before restart). Three days ago, we had a brief power outage and when I came back home, I turned Neon back on in the studio and Argon back on in the office. I sat down in front of Argon thereafter checking my mail in about ten seconds and about two minutes later, I heard the Windows 7 startup chime from the studio.
Windows 8 RTM
Windows 8 is a little strange. The taskbar is semi-transparent now, the window buttons (close, maximize and minimize) are treated as icons floating on the window’s menubar instead of being classically surrounded boxed buttons. On the classic Windows side, nothing is that much worse, and overall things looks fine. That said, there are still references to ancient imagery; disk defragment, permission keys and the worst probably of all, the horrible storage pies when viewing properties of folders. In fact, those ancient images from the verge of the century, I mean, Windows 2000, really make you wonder just how much of Windows was actually updated in each iteration. Did everyone honestly ignore the ten year icons? Seriously?
On the Metro front, the
Windows key + [search] feature is reasonable — that’s the same functionality it presented in Windows 7, but there are problems with it. I would expect the search interface to search everything; if I search for windows update, I’d like it to show up, but unfortunately, updating Windows is under settings in Metro-search. It works fine for most programs too, but sadly, some programs also install uninstallers, and for some reason, the uninstaller will get listed before the actual application. I assume the application I saw this issue with had a name with a beginning letter that was after U in the alphabet, but I’m guessing. There’s not a great way to see all Applications installed — well, except for randomly right clicking on the start screen and clicking on a tiny little circular button in the bottom right corner. Since it’s related to Metro, the Charms bar. What is it? So except in the start screen and on the Windows desktop, it’s on the left, otherwise, it’s on the bottom (like Metro IE and Metro apps). It comes and goes on whim anytime when touching the right side of any monitor. Oh, right, monitors. Sometimes the start screen will appear on the left monitor, sometimes on the right, there doesn’t seem to be too much sense to it.
Metro’s tiles are strange too. They default to sitting there and because I did not opt to make a Microsoft account to be my sign to Windows, I see them but they literally are just blocks. Windows Mail app for example is unlike OSX’s Mail.app that can just log me into my email but not the entire computer. There are services I would like to use, but not all of them — I should be able to choose.
So that’s all for now. I haven’t switched Neon with Argon yet, but I’m almost there. Maybe another week or so.