Well, my first Win8 equipped laptop is on the way from Newegg. It was a great deal on a refurb AMD A-8 with 4GB RAM and a 500GB drive for just a tad over $200. My first step will be to pull the Win8 drive and put it away in case I ever want to try it - but that's doubtful. Then I'll shut off all the UEFI and secure boot in BIOS and load up a Linux distro.
I think I'll go with MX-14 as the first as it is just a great distro, everything works smoothly and great help is available quick. I haven't used an AMD based laptop in over 6 years so I'm curious to see how the performance stacks up versus Intel. My others are a Core I-7, I-5 and I-3 so I'll have fair benchmarks to test it against in real life operation.
As this will be a continuing saga, I'll update this thread during the journey...
Newegg really screwed this order up as I should have had this computer 10 days ago - it finally arrived last night. I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out Windows 8 and finally found out how to boot into UEFI (BIOS) so I could change the settings. I had planned on keeping Win 8 on this one but it is just terrible so I shut off UEFI, secure boot, and turned on legacy BIOS. I partitioned and formatted the drive and did a fresh install of Windows 7. After fighting this battle, I played with a couple Linux distros and all of them recognized the hardware and ran very well. In terms of speed, looking at the Windows & hardinfo benchmarks, this system is just a bit slower than my Core I-5 laptop - very nice for $200. Right now I have it dual booting with Mint 17 as I have been checking that distro out. Haven't used Mint in a while and so far it's smooth & capable. Have not loaded any proprietary drivers yet as I want a good feel for how well it runs with the standard open source drivers - so far it's acceptable (I'm not a gamer at all)...
Good for you! For $200 I think you did OK, although the delay was a bit excessive. Complain to Newegg and I'll bet they give you a gift card or discount on your next purchase... :-)
The happiness lasted 2 days and then part of the screen went out. More arguing with Newegg and a replacement (actually a substitute arrived) an HP laptop with an A-10 processor, 8 GB RAM and 640 GB drive. I actually spent a few hours with Windows 8 and installed Classic Shell and did some updates. My feelings about Windows 8 is: it sucks, period. Trying to use a touchscreen oriented OS with mouse & keyboard is a chore and not a pleasant experience. Once I had my fill of frustration, I took out the drive and put in a 750 GB empty drive, shut off secure boot and enabled legacy BIOS, installed Win 7 Pro, installed Mint 17 Xfce, and the computer is humming along very nicely.
As far as where it stands speed wise, it's about dead even with my Core I-5 laptop. I will say it runs "snappier" under Windows than it does in Linux, likely due to optimized drivers, but it's a very nice multimedia box which is what I wanted it for. The benefit of this one is it has Beats Audio and it is really nice. When I get time, I'll attempt to get the Beats Audio system running under Mint as I've done some searching and it is doable...