Hi Al. Nice of you to drop by again
It's not an easy topic that you're addressing, expect a "wall of text"
One thing upfront: there will certainly be different opinions on the subject and far be it from me to start a controversial discussion! So, this is my opinion, which I don't want to impose on anyone, so please let everyone make up their own minds. And if you need a new system for your business, then you surely can not wait. I am here more in a comfort zone, as I have no business drivers for a new system, because this is only my private PC.
In short: I don't like many things about Windows 11.
1. that my still very performant Xeon 6-core is simply no longer supported for extremely flimsy reasons
2. that a lot of systems are unnecessarily thrown away worldwide, although sustainability should be on everyone's lips nowadays and we should be careful with the limited resources available.
3. compulsion for TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot
4. that Microsoft is making Windows / the GUI worse and worse and I can't even install Windows 11 to evaluate the product because my CPU is not supported (I could even upgrade TPM 2.0 for my board, but in the end I don't want to).
5. And at the moment still many teething problems (e.g. performance issues with AMD)
In times of Corona, semiconductors and raw material shortages, you don't throw away computers unnecessarily just because Microsoft would like you to. Environmental protection and sustainability should have slowly arrived also at Microsoft, right?
There are a few marketing slides on TPM, but it is largely unclear what Microsoft can and will do with this chip on your system (now and later). There are a lot of "hollow" phrases and marketing terms, but none of them are explained to the extent that you really have a good feeling that all this will really be to your advantage or that you will not be gradually incapacitated (de: entmündigt) as system owner.
Furthermore, I think that forcing private users to use a TPM is completely excessive; only bigger companies (or those who deal with sensitive data) will have such high security requirements. If Microsoft really wants to do something for security, then they should offer Bitlocker drive encryption free of charge for all version of Windows, not only the more expensive Pro version.
That's why I will continue to use my system as long as possible, i.e. according to the current status until the end of support in 2025, until there are no more security patches for it, because I use the device on the internet every day.
To support that long usage I recently upgraded the CPU from E5-1650v3 to E5-1650v4 from used market, which runs much cooler (now ~35°C), is a little bit faster and supports somewhat faster ECC RAM, in order to get the most performance out of the upgraded graphics card (RTX 2070 Super). The v4 generation was also supposed to be less susceptible to Meldtown/Spectre, so they said at the time.
I am also concerned that the owner of a PC is losing more and more autonomy over the system. Be it through TPM, Secure Boot, changes to the EULA that allow M$ collection of certain usage data from your system (containing biometric data) and even transfer to partner companies, online accounts, etc.
I'm afraid it won't be long before Microsoft starts to turn Windows into an operating system service, as is already the case with application software. Then there will be compulsory online accounts, maybe even compulsory shops, and at the end of the day you will be "milked" monthly for something like "Windows as a service" just as you are for some software (which I do not buy), and if you don't play along, your account will be blocked and you won't be able to use your computer any more.
I don't want to paint a too dark picture, but all these incremental measures are going in that direction as far as I'm concerned.
That's why I'm putting off switching to Windows 11 as long as possible, because I simply don't want to be forced to throw away a system that is still performing very well for the flimsiest of industry reasons.
And at the moment I would also like to wait until Intel manages to create more powerful systems again, Thunderbolt is perhaps integrated into the chipset, DDR5 comes for consumer systems. There are a lot of new things on the horizon, which I would also like to take with me. Perhaps there will be more boards with 10 Gbit NICs and cheaper, perhaps more compact, 10 Gigabit switches.
Whether it will be a Xeon-based board again next time, I can't even say for sure yet. At the moment, the prices for a Xeon system with - compared to AMD - lower performance still seem a bit too high to me.
Then, unfortunately, I can't find a motherboard with Thunderbolt support yet. I don't really like the reduced cable lengths with Thunderbolt compared to USB3 and I really need 3m at my workplace, which would simply not be possible with Thunderbolt. But I just wanted to have it with a new system to be able to make some experiences with TB myself.
Supermicro doesn't offer anything like that yet either.I might even consider a turnkey system if it doesn't become too expensive.
Who knows, if Microsoft continues like this, then I don't even want to rule out switching to Apple, unless they do the same thing. My choice of operating system will in any case be based on where I feel most comfortable, where one still has the impression of being the master of one's system. However, a certain trend is unfortunately pointing in a different direction and you can't turn back the clock.
Your requirements might be easier to map and you probably don't have to go for a Xeon-based system.
EDIT: and now I read an article in the computerbase forum, why you would need smth like TPM, to make other authentication mechanism secure, see also: https://www.computerbase.de/2021-09/win … -updates/.
I cite: "In future, users would be able to log in with their face or fingerprint via Windows Hello without having to store a classic password insecurely in the system in the background."
And now I translate it into more common language (again my personal view on this): "We make you believe that a local account on your system would be bad/insecure, that you will become compliant to create an online account, alternatively we will make it more trickier to you to create local accounts and maybe at some day even force you to do so. Why ? Because we would like to collect more biometric data about all our users: recent photos and fingerprints. "
Whoever has all the data has the power ..
If I would need to buy a system now, I would maybe contact somebody offering audio pcs and ask for a Windows 10 Pro based system with very low DPC latency (good drivers) and which offers also a lot of Single Thread performance which can be important if you are using VSTi's which might require low ASIO buffersize to stay under 10ms RTL or in case you want to use a lot of inserts in one track which are being processed in one thread and need to be ready "in time".
If your focus is the normal recording or the mastering of tracks, then your HW requirements might not be so high.
You also need to consider that some DAWs (if I remember right Cubase is such a DAW) can not make use of a high number of cores/threads in a CPU. This you might need to evaluate a little bit deeper, this is now only hearsay, not my own experience.
BR Ramses - UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro