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Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

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Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:48 pm
by ramthelinefeed
I'm skeptical that this hasn't already been discussed on the forum and apologise in advance for not looking hard enough,
but I'm wondering what the three different retail versions of Windows 10 have to offer musicians:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/b ... areWindows

It's just that 'Windows 10 for workstations' has features that sound very much like 'MAKE MY PC BETTER AND FASTER':
    - Persistent memory to access files fast - at the speed of your computer’s main memory
    - Faster file sharing with features that offer increased throughput with low latency and low CPU utilization
    - Ability to run high performance device configurations with expanded hardware support

Worth paying more than double for? :headbang:

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:33 pm
by Pete Kaine
ramthelinefeed wrote:
    - Persistent memory to access files fast - at the speed of your computer’s main memory

... so RAM?

- Faster file sharing with features that offer increased throughput with low latency and low CPU utilization

Did they just admit that it sucked in W8?

- Ability to run high performance device configurations with expanded hardware support

Clearly Win home only allows for low performance device configurations.

Worth paying more than double for? :headbang:

I'm not even sure that lot was worth reading... let alone paying for.

The only real push for Pro editions in our segment in recent years was through the ability to delay updates longer, but they keep screwing about with that on W10 pro. At this point I'd say get home and then grab a third party (free) tool to manage them.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:07 pm
by Wonks
Pro is basically Home but with extra features to allow for remote management in an 'enterprise' environment, so IT departments can restrict what's loaded and can push out updates in a co-ordinated manner with their company. There may be some extra built-in features that may be useful if you have a sizeable home network of PCs, but for music use, unless you have multiple PCs and are doing some serious networked processing sharing with loads of networked drives, there's really not a lot of point spending more money over the Home version.

Wit music PCs, it's generally a case of "how many programs can I remove and stop running in the background" than "how many more background programs can I add?" .

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:36 pm
by n o i s e f l e ur
Pete Kaine wrote:
ramthelinefeed wrote:[list]- Persistent memory to access files fast - at the speed of your computer’s main memory

... so RAM?


Not quite, I believe they're referring to NVRAM support.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:40 pm
by Agharta
Pro supports multiple CPUs and usually has at least a few features that I use from these:

BitLocker
Remote desktop
Deferred updates
Azure Active Directory
Hyper-V

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is very high end:
"support for the next generation of PC hardware and up to 4 CPUs and 6TB of memory."

Not really for DAWs except maybe Hans Zimmer! :D

Pete Kaine wrote:
ramthelinefeed wrote:[list]- Persistent memory to access files fast - at the speed of your computer’s main memory
... so RAM?

Persistent memory is non-volatile RAM that retains its content such as Optane DIMMs.
Think very high end servers and prices to make your eyes bleed.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:47 am
by ramthelinefeed
I do actually rather value bitlocker (not necessarily on my audio drive - but it decrypts at boot, if I'm not wrong, rather than on the fly, so no performance hit - just a basic security measure)

Does HyperV support talking to USB ports these days? I do still need to run a Windows XP VM to talk to my Akai MPC4000 (bless!) over its USB 1.1 connection :headbang: but in the past I had to use Oracle's Virtualbox for that, as HyperV wouldn't talk to USB ports.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:26 am
by resistorman
I used to be bullish on Pro since you could have some control over updates, but that has been taken away in 1903. As Pete pointed out, there are many ways to subvert forced updates, so when I build my next PC I will be going Home. I like bitlocker, but there are plenty of other options out there. And for us regular troops, there aren’t any performance benefits going Pro.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:42 am
by ramthelinefeed
Well, I love installing updates :) It is not 1997 any more. Take your goddam medicine :)

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:59 am
by Pete Kaine
Agharta wrote:Persistent memory is non-volatile RAM that retains its content such as Optane DIMMs.
Think very high end servers and prices to make your eyes bleed.

Joking aside I should've thought about those as I have some in the workshop and I was a huge proponent of it in concept a few years back. They've never quite taken off through, it seemed a bit weird when they released it to the mid-range first as the uptake has been painfully slow with costs and sizes being underwelming. It feels like Intels almost squndered it's lead here too, hopefully WD LLF or even SCM if it ever appears might bring it back to the publics attention.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:20 am
by Folderol
I regard non-volatile RAM as a potential security risk - as if we need any more :roll:

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:32 pm
by Pete Kaine
Folderol wrote:I regard non-volatile RAM as a potential security risk - as if we need any more :roll:

I can see why, but really it's no worse than an SSD surely? When first punted It was supposed to be the stepping stone between SSD's and RAM through isn't it? At the start everyone was talking about it in the sense of using it to cache mail servers and database servers in corporate environments that were running 24/7. The sort of place that would be locked down already.

Then they started selling it to gamers on midrange boards. I just thought they'd lost the plot at that point.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:04 pm
by Agharta
Pete Kaine wrote:Then they started selling it to gamers on midrange boards. I just thought they'd lost the plot at that point.

Wow! I figured you'd need a Xeon platform so wasn't aware that the mainstream socket even supported it. A hard sell for sure,

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:38 pm
by n o i s e f l e ur
Agharta wrote:
Pete Kaine wrote:Then they started selling it to gamers on midrange boards. I just thought they'd lost the plot at that point.

Wow! I figured you'd need a Xeon platform so wasn't aware that the mainstream socket even supported it. A hard sell for sure,

I wonder if everyone's talking about the same thing? We probably should have said "support for NVDIMM-N" as opposed to NVRAM. Are NVDIMM-N modules really being marketed toward gamers on mid-range boards? I suspect there may be some conflation with PCIe Optane drives here (by Pete), but I could be wrong. Apologies in advance if so!



Folderol wrote:I regard non-volatile RAM as a potential security risk - as if we need any more :roll:

Well . . . maybe - but physical access is game over for security in most cases anyway, so this wouldn't be at the top of the queue for security worries. A solution would be to encrypt the writeout, and decrypt the writeback only with the presence of a physical token like a Yubikey on next boot. I don't know if this is implemented anywhere in the stack.

A far bigger concern lurks in another of the features, SMB Direct, which involves Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). And there's the rub, because this feature seems like it would be useful for larger-scale commercial studios, depending on how networked they are.

ReFS seems like something we'd all benefit from, especially combined with ECC RAM. Wave goodbye to bitrot!

Hmmm . . . beginning to kick myself I didn't opt for W10 for Workstations when I bought my system from Scan now . . . but it wasn't a cheap upgrade on the system I got. Oddly, it was much cheaper on what I would consider less workstation class hardware. But then, no-one ever accused Microsoft of having comprehensible licensing.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:00 am
by Agharta
Intel list support even for the mainstream i7:

'Intel® Optane™ Memory Supported'

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en ... 0-ghz.html

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:48 am
by n o i s e f l e ur
Sure. But that's acceleration caching based on Optane SSDs, which is very cool, but the special sauce as per Win 10 Pro for Workstations is support for NVDIMM-N, and that's a different functionality in that it backs up data in-flight in case of a power-outage or what have you. Maybe Optane Memory performa some version of this, I dunno TBH.

Folderol expressed an opinion that it's (Persistent Memory in W10Pro4WkStn) a security risk, probably along the lines of a cold boot attack or freezing the RAM, but I think the feature not only requires OS support but the data protected by persistence in the NVDIMM-N backup is under application control so it's not a complete free for all? Presumably stuff that shouldn't be available in the clear won't get written to the backup (in the clear). It's not really a valuable feature for a DAW I'd think. Even if it was I reckon we'd be waiting a long time for DAW etc support!

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:26 pm
by Agharta
I did wonder when Pete said they had aimed it at gamers but you are correct in that this is just the storage version and not memory even though they call it Optane memory. :headbang:

Seems obvious now as if it requires a different version of Windows it's hardly going to take off on mainstream systems.
So as I initially thought this is Xeon only I suspect and possibly only certain SKUs as Intel love to segment the market.
If you want massive memory support you have to pay a massive extra cost even though its baked into the silicon.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:00 pm
by wireman
Agharta wrote:Persistent memory is non-volatile RAM that retains its content such as Optane DIMMs.
Think very high end servers and prices to make your eyes bleed.

Yes, nice to be able to have say 6TB memory on a 2-socket node but I hate to think how much that is going to cost.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:25 pm
by Agharta
wireman wrote:
Agharta wrote:Persistent memory is non-volatile RAM that retains its content such as Optane DIMMs.
Think very high end servers and prices to make your eyes bleed.

Yes, nice to be able to have say 6TB memory on a 2-socket node but I hate to think how much that is going to cost.

That's why we were born with 2 kidneys. :D

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:51 pm
by n o i s e f l e ur
Agharta wrote:I did wonder when Pete said they had aimed it at gamers but you are correct in that this is just the storage version and not memory even though they call it Optane memory. :headbang:

Well, they call it Optane Memory because it's a nominally transparent caching layer in the hierarchy, not just an SSD utilising Optane hardware - so it's a specific featureset with attendant branding.

I don't know if Xeon is required for Persistent Memory support - you can certainly buy SKUs that offer W10ProWkstn without Xeon. I know it does require BIOS / UEFI support at the board level.

It's also not necessary to populate every slot in the system with NVDIMM-N either, as you can configure what actually needs to get backed up on system failure / shutdown.


What pisses me off about the whole For Workstation SKU is that they removed ReFS support from basic Pro just to add value to Workstation. You can still access / use any existing ReFS volumes but you can't create new ones.

Re: Which version of Windows 10? (Home / Pro / for Workstations)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:35 pm
by wireman
n o i s e f l e ur wrote:I don't know if Xeon is required for Persistent Memory support - you can certainly buy SKUs that offer W10ProWkstn without Xeon. I know it does require BIOS / UEFI support at the board level.

It's also not necessary to populate every slot in the system with NVDIMM-N either, as you can configure what actually needs to get backed up on system failure / shutdown.
.

I'm only know (a little) about one system with the Optane memory and it was a custom board running Linux. A memory channel had to have DDR so that limited the configurations and only certain Xeon SKUs support the large memory configurations you can have. The software used is the Intel PMDK stack.