So after having played around for a few weeks with windows 8 on both my laptop and main PC, I've decided to keep it on my laptop, but am going back on windows 7 on the desktop PC, reason being I've been having really weird issues with several programs crashing on their own without any prior reason, some of which are Skyrim, Fallout New Vegas, MSI Afterburner, Battlefield 4, Nexus Mod Manager just to name a few. I usually keep Afterburner loaded with its overlay so I can keep any eye on GPU temp as well as the VRAM being utilized by any particular game, especially BF4. However, it appears that BF4 will simply not load with Afterburner loaded (which comes with 64 bit support and worked just fine in 7). Another issue that cropped up is on Nexus Mod Manager. Its a mod manager program which helps with installing mods and managing them easily. However, this program randomly crashes on 8.1 without any prior warning and especially when you're about to install the mod, which not only ends up corrupting the mod itself, but also the main game files as well. It has been an extremely infuriating experience trying to install mods on New Vegas, because it would randomly crash even on stock clocks.
Also, even with the new hard drive installed, I've barely felt a noticeable difference in boot & shutdown speeds, both on my laptop and desktop PC. People may have exaggerated the boot & shut down speeds a little bit, but I've certainly not experienced that blazing fast boot up sequence as many claimed. There are many other smaller quirks that I've noticed which added up to my list of annoyances. In short, 8.1 is definitely not meant for gaming smoothly if you plan to play your older games, so your best bet is to stick with 7 till MS straightens up its act and releases a gaming optimized OS which doesn't get in your way like 8/ 8.1 do
I believe I gave it a thorough run through before giving my verdict, so I'd appreciate that you not bombard me with criticism simply because I didn't like it overall, despite my initial impressions being positive.