According to Microsoft, Windows 8 will play nice with legacy hardware and even works better on older machines than Vista and 7.

I have previously tested this theory with a Pentium 3 machine that was able to run Windows 8 (though not very well). It is nice to see that Microsoft is supporting a wide variety of hardware with its newest tablet-focused OS.

Still, to really make the most of Windows 8 there are some features like touch, Kinect, and high-end processing that I’d love to see in a W8 rig. With this theme in mind I constructed the specs for my personal “Windows 8 Dream Machine”.

This machine is built from custom parts, and not a brand-name, while taking advantage of high-end processing, Kinect, and more. Keep in mind, I didn’t choose the fastest processor or RAM, just a machine that I believe could efficiently handle all the coolest potential features that Windows 8 has to offer.

Okay, so my own personal machine would have Kinect and Touch, while also allowing high-end gaming and graphics effects:

So for those following along, I’d want an i7 machine that has a touchscreen, kinect, blu-ray burning, a powerful Radeon HD graphics card, and even a new hybrid SSD/HDD drive. For those who don’t know about hybrids they use some NAND flash memory (8GB in this case) to load stuff up quicker and intelligently transfer back and forth.

It gives you much more memory but at a faster pace. Such a rig would set me back roughly $1650, not including the cost for Windows 8 when it arrives commercially and a keyboard/mouse set (also the above power supply is a little whimpy..).

So what is my point, beyond getting everyone to salivate over a near-supercomputer?

While I’d love to get the most out of Windows 8 with touch, Kinect, and high-end parts, it really isn’t in everyone’s budget. The average Windows 8 machine will only be able to do some of the features Windows is capable. While I suppose that this is somewhat true with previous versions like Windows 7 (having a high-end microphone for some voice commands, etc), it is never more true than it is with Windows 8.

Windows 8 is likely to be the most fragmented of OSes, as far the kind of machines that make use of it. This is especially true because we will have x86 and ARM tablets, x86 and ARM desktop/laptop machines, and possibly even smartphones and Microsoft Surface tables that run Windows 8.

Part of the beauty of Microsoft Windows versus Apple Mac OSX is the amount of shear options available to the end-user. With Apple we have only one tablet and a few desktop/laptop options, versus literately thousands an thousands of Windows options.

This is both good and bad, because it creates confusion for less-technical users that are looking for a new machine. Of course, could I get a budget touchscreen and Kinect while running on an older machine for half this price? Certainly.

Even so, it would be hard to build a worthy touchscreen/Kinect rig of any consequence for under $700.

Long story short, budget offerings for Windows 8 will be limited on what they can do versus higher-end machines. Some tablets will have desktop support, and some won’t. There is just a lot of options and variety that I’m afraid will make it difficult for some customers.

Overall though, I am personally looking forward to Windows 8 and am glad to have options as a PC builder. Most likely though, my Core 2 Duo desktop will just get minor upgrades like a touchscreen added. As much as I’d love an i7 powerhouse with all the extras, I do have a family to feed.

So what do you think of Windows 8 and the variety of hardware that will exist? Will it be too confusing for some consumers or not? Also, what is your idea of a dream machine? Share your thoughts below.

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  • Stiles71198

    the machine i am running now is my dream machine but gotta sell it lol
    msi p55-sd60 gaming board
    8gb ddr3 kingston memory
    40gb ssd  and 1tb sata hdd
    2 geforce gts250  1gb ddr3 on each in sli mode
    bluray/dvd burner sata
    corsair h50 liquid cooling
    and 850watt power supply
    all i would really have to add is kinect bar and touch pad

  • Idk

    um ok i think gts250 isnt good… the X60’s and X600’s geforce series numbers or higher are usually the ones you should consider buying [given you dont want a bad one]

  • rdmack

    MSI 970A G45 Motherboard
    AMD FX 4100 Processor
    16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 RAM
    ASUS 12X Blu Ray Writer/Player
    Patriot 120GB Pyro SSD
    1 TB SATA/600 HDD (to be added)
    2  XFX Radeon HD 6770 GPU’s in Crossfire Mode
    24″ AOC LED Monitor
    Xeon 1000W Power Supply

    Good but not great.