I guess Microsoft can kiss the hardcore PC gaming crowd goodbye for the time being, it appears a lot of benchmarking enthusiast sites that test, re-test and over-test clocking capabilities within certain OS environments are abandoning Windows 8 due to an issue with the operating system's real-time clock calculations.
WCCF Tech has a rather detailed rundown on why exactly Windows 8 will no longer be a part of the benchmarking community and it has a little something-something to do with the way Microsoft re-engineered the real-time clock for their latest OS.
WCCF has an actual detailed explanation as to why Windows 8 is banned from the benchmarks, writing...
There are benchmarks that are on the look out for tricks, any kind of instability and they invalidate the benchmark. However it just wouldn’t occur to a benchmark to check for problems in the RTC and therein lied the main reason this went on undetected for so long and consequently Windows 8 Banned from Benchmarking sites. HW Bot didnt give the explicit Kernel Level details but they showed this table which we can see gives completely chaotic results. Under clocking the processor actually increases benchmark score ( because time elapsed for the RTC is less it thinks it made that score in less time ) and vice verso leading to chaotic and unrealistic results.
The image below, courtesy of Extreme Tech further verifies that the benchmarking tests using various overclocking and benchmark software yielded some wild results that are all over the place. Check it out below.
HWBOT, well known for their overclocking tests, were completely unsatisfied with Windows 8 and therefore have expunged its results from their benchmarks.
They go on to state that...
As the result of weekend-time research, the HWBOT staff has decided to invalidate all benchmark records established with the Windows 8 operating system. Due to severe validity problems with the Windows8 real time clock ('RTC'), benchmarks results achieved with Windows 8 cannot be trusted," .... "The main problem lies with the RTC being affected when over- or underclocking under the operating system. The operating system uses the RTC as reference clock, and benchmarks use it to reference (benchmark) time."
Technically, this does shed some light on why Microsoft and other studios didn't use Windows 8 to demo some of the Xbox One games at E3. Unreliability is not something you can have in your repertoire heading into the largest electronics expo of the year.
Risking stability and reliability during public press demos where you're pushing for maximum performance on high-end software (and hardware) is not something you want to deal with when the world is watching. Heck, when Lococycle crashed to a Windows 7 desktop that was embarrassing enough, not to mention the errors that Dead Rising 3 were racking up during the live stage demonstration. The last thing you need is to hit some hang ups due to miscalculated errors from the Windows' kernel... or worse yet, have the public witness the dreaded BSOD (blue screen of death) during a live demo. Talk about a potential epic fail.
Basically, this really helps put into view why Windows 8 isn't as trusted as Windows 7. It also explains (a little bit) as to why Microsoft opted for the “safer” OS to demo their games at E3.
Overclocking may seem like a nerd's nerd sort of activity, but it plays a pretty big part in how software (and hardware) scales for performance, as well as using that data to make tweaks, modifications, patches and upgrades to appropriate hardware and software entities. Unreliable benchmarks could lead to faulty hardware settings or bad information provided to the public, and it makes complete sense why many overclockers and benchmarking enthusiasts would ban Windows 8 from the tests.
You can check out a brief test video of the Windows 8 benchmarking conundrum, courtesy of Maximum PC, below. The site also notes that HWBOT will be further investigating to get to the bottom of the Windows 8 RTC hiccup.
Hopefully by next year's E3 Microsoft will have the OS hammered out so instead of running Xbox One games on a Windows 7 PC with an Nvidia GTX card, they can at least run the games on a Windows 8 PC with an AMD card.