Skinning the frog
My site for talking about the customization of Windows.
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We’ve had some great discussions on Hard drive speeds over the years.

One of my favorites was the one about whether SSDs was worth it.

I’ve also been benchmarking my PC’s for a very, very long time:

https://forums.wincustomize.com/168111

Here is a brief recap:

image

Most of the CPU speed improvements comes from adding more CPU cores.  My 2019 machine has 18 cores, 32 logical threads.  My 2008 box was the last machine with only a single core in it.  That isn’t to say that the CPU experience isn’t much better these days.  I’m just saying that unless your app is using all those cores, you could argue that you could divide these scores by the number of cores to get a better approximation of what a single threaded app would perform like.

Anyway, here are the results from my box today:

Samsung 970 Pro NVME:

image

Sabrent Rocket  NVME 2280:

image

As a practical matter, they’re both incredibly fast. 

In real world practice, an NVME (like these) will have roughly the same load times as a SATA SSD despite scoring a lot lower on the benchmarks.

Feel free to use this thread to post your Hard drive specs and scores to share with others.

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As I mentioned yesterday, there is a really good use-case for the Surface Pro X as a device that uses Remote Desktop to your "main machine" when doing heavy lifting provided that it is sufficiently powerful enough to do light tasks on its own relative to say a Surface Pro 7.

Now, this is for my purposes.  YMMV.   

As you can see, for me, the Surface Pro X hardware has the edge over the Surface Pro 7.   

It's on the software support -- from Microsoft -- where things fall apart.  A lot of the benefits of the Surface Pro X hardware disappear when running Windows software under emulation.  This is particularly true on the battery life which just gets destroyed when its doing emulation. 

My serious work does include Adobe Creative Cloud (mainly Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects) plus Visual Studio 2019, Unity, Unreal, Cider, Nitrous, and lots of other development work.  But I'm not going to monkey with that sort of thing on an airplane or at a cafe or anywhere remote on any laptop (and if I did, I would use a Razer 15).

I am, frankly, baffled that Microsoft would even release the Surface Pro X without support from its own software.  For instance, MS Teams shouldn't be that hard to port and while it runs adequately in emulation, it's not the performance that is the issue, it's the battery cost of emulation. And this is an app that's running all the time.

So for now, I'll be sticking with my Surface Pro 7 as my mobile device of choice despite the fact that would really like the LTE support and battery life of the SPX.

 

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Jan 14, 2020 6:47 PM by Discussion: Personal Computing

This is my work station area at Stardock when I'm working in the Object Desktop area of the company which is located on the third floor of the building.

As you can see, I have 3 monitors connected to a Surface Pro.  The reason I'm up here is so that I can collaborate in person with the rest of my team.  And the reason for the Surface Pro is that I frequently use it as a tablet for sketching on screenshots and designs.

The only downside is that the Surface Pro 7, while quite powerful, isn't really intended as a full-on development box.  It is more than powerful enough to run Office and tweak things in Adobe Photoshop and I've even edited videos in Premiere with it.  Even After Effects runs pretty decently.  But it's still no where near as fast as my main machine at Stardock which is physically located on the first floor.

At some point, Microsoft's Remote Desktop got really good at handling a multi-monitor setup.  It's had this capability for years but for some reason, I always remembered it as being a pretty crappy experience.  Recently, however, I decided to give it a shot and when combined with our internal fast network and the Surface Pro's high performance along with the crazy fast performance of my main machine I ended up with a solution that runs faster than if I were running the Surface Pro directly.

As a result, when I'm doing serious work at Stardock, I simply connect with Remote Desktop.  I haven't tried doing this from over a VPN yet (so no Coffee Shop test).  But even if it didn't make the cut when running via the Internet, the SP7 is more than capable enough to do all the work I could possibly need when using it cut-off from our network.

Which brings me to the Surface Pro 7.  While some of my friends in the tech community love their Surface Pro X's, I find that there just aren't enough ARM64 native apps yet to justify using it.  To be sure, the Surface Pro X is still more than enough for doing a lot of productivity work -- Jira, Visual Studio Code, MS Teams, Office and such.  But I wouldn't dream of doing any heavy lifting with it.

That's where the Remote Desktop pairing might really let the SPX shine.  First, there is a native Arm64 version of Remote Desktop.  Second, the Surface Pro X is substantially faster in video performance than the Surface Pro 7 which means it may drive my 3 high resolution monitors better (I do wish they had Thunderbolt 3 support however).  

As a result, whether I'm at home or work (my home gaming PC is a monster) the SPX would be able to use Remote Desktop to let me get real work done while still being powerful enough to get work done even when not connected to the network (which is why a Chromebook doesn't make the cut).

I won't claim that this use-case isn't a niche use.  But it takes the Surface Pro X from being, for me, completely useless to having a pretty viable use-case.

2 Replies Reply 18 Referrals

Have you changed yours?

Dec 9, 2019 7:34 PM by Discussion: WinCustomize News

With screen resolutions getting higher and higher there are many people who would like to have a bit more control over their mouse cursor.

If you don't already have CursorFX, try it out. www.cursorfx.com.  Stardock is currently working on a major new version of it but it will be compatible with the existing cursors here.

Here are a few of the most popular cursors here on WinCustomize:

ElectroSexual

Visit https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/cursorfx to check out the CursorFX gallery.

 

7 Replies Reply 25 Referrals

Nov 27, 2019 6:30 PM by Discussion: Personal Computing

I just got the Surface Pro 7 and I'm loving the power of USB 3.1 gen 2 (the USB-C port on the side).

I have everything connected via a single USB-C dock including two more monitors.

My main workstation is in the lower level.

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We are looking for some volunteers to help improve WinCustomize's news delivery.

Our mission is to bring you the latest, greatest news on everything related to the Windows user experience.  

Back when we were starting, what we now call "UX designers" were called "skinners" (not surprising that as what we do here got more respectable a more refined name would be used).

What are the kind of things we want to cover? Here are 3 examples.

  1. Interesting designs created around the net.  Example: this by this person.
  2. Interesting new Windows specific hardware like this review of the Surface Pro X.
  3. Interesting things created by the WinCustomize community you want to draw attention to.

Requirements:

  1. Must have had an account here for at least 90 days already.
  2. Must be a good writer.

If you're interested, DM me. :)

Cheers!

5 Replies Reply 14 Referrals

Nov 18, 2019 7:18 PM by Discussion: WinCustomize News

If you're interested in UX design, you will definitely want to keep up with what Microsoft is update to.

https://www.microsoft.com/design/fluent/#/ 

Fluent is the name of Microsoft's new design language for Windows.

Here is an example of Fluent design in action.

As we get up for a major WinCustomize revamp, we are going to be taking cues from this design language to make the site more accessible, faster (much faster) and more modern.  Stay tuned.

1 Reply Reply 12 Referrals

Nov 18, 2019 7:13 PM by Discussion: WinCustomize News

If you like animated backgrounds we have good news for you.  Stardock is in the process of updating its DeskScapes dream files to support MP4 (previously MPEG2) which should result in far lower CPU use and no additional codec downloading for Windows 10.

You will be able to see the updates here: https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/dream/search/Stardock+Design

 

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Nov 13, 2019 6:06 PM by Discussion: Object Desktop

Object Desktop

This past year we've been recruiting developers to begin doing some major updates to Object Desktop over the next year.  

First, I'm going to post what our thoughts are on what to focus on but then we want to hear what you would like to see updated.  As always, our choices are determined by a combination of factors including technical challenge and market demand.

Definitely getting big updates next year

Fences

CursorFX

SoundPackager

Keyboard LaunchPad

DeskScapes

New Apps

We have three new programs for Object Desktop slated for release next year

Maybe getting big updates IF there's demand

Multiplicity

Tiles

Start10

On the bubble (for getting major update)

WindowBlinds (usage of desktop skinning is becoming less common and skinning  has gotten more and more complicated). What would go into v11?

IconPackager (making icons today is a lot of work due to resolution and most people don't bother changing them anymore)

What are your thoughts?

What do you use Object Desktop for and what sorts of things do you want to see updated as well as what new things do you think people would like to see?

Let us know in the comments area.

 

95 Replies Reply 20 Referrals

Nov 13, 2019 6:06 PM by Discussion: Object Desktop

Object Desktop

This past year we've been recruiting developers to begin doing some major updates to Object Desktop over the next year.  

First, I'm going to post what our thoughts are on what to focus on but then we want to hear what you would like to see updated.  As always, our choices are determined by a combination of factors including technical challenge and market demand.

Definitely getting big updates next year

Fences

CursorFX

SoundPackager

Keyboard LaunchPad

DeskScapes

New Apps

We have three new programs for Object Desktop slated for release next year

Maybe getting big updates IF there's demand

Multiplicity

Tiles

Start10

On the bubble (for getting major update)

WindowBlinds (usage of desktop skinning is becoming less common and skinning  has gotten more and more complicated). What would go into v11?

IconPackager (making icons today is a lot of work due to resolution and most people don't bother changing them anymore)

What are your thoughts?

What do you use Object Desktop for and what sorts of things do you want to see updated as well as what new things do you think people would like to see?

Let us know in the comments area.

 

95 Replies Reply 20 Referrals

 
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