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Microsoft announces requirements for Windows Vista Capable" and "Windows Vista Premium Ready" PCs

Microsoft today laid out the groundwork for what constitutes a "Windows Vista Capable" and "Windows Vista Premium Ready" PC. The actual final specifications for Microsoft's next generation operating system have been speculated on for the past few months, but as we inch closer to the Beta 2 build of Vista, things are starting to become clear.

Vista will run on just about any modern computer released in the past few years. An 800MHz processor coupled with 512MB of RAM is the bare minimum for running Vista. You won't get all of the fancy graphical enhancements and you most likely won't have a very pleasant experience performance wise either. For me, it's bad enough running a Windows XP system with a lot of windows open that is "crippled" with just 512MB of RAM (between Photoshop, FireFox and its memory leaks and the countless other programs I run), so I couldn't imagine limping around on Vista with only 512MB.

To be qualified as a Vista Premium Ready PC, a 1GHz x86 or x86-64 processor is required along with at least 1GB of RAM. In order to run the Aero Glass user interface in all its glory, you'll need a DirectX 9-class graphics card which supports the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). Microsoft goes further and stipulates these requirements for running Aero Glass on Vista:

  • Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
  • 32 bits per pixel
  • 64 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor less than 1,310,720 pixels
  • 128 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions from 1,310,720 to 2,304,000 pixels
  • 256 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions higher than 2,304,000 pixels
  • Meets graphics memory bandwidth requirements, as assessed by Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor running on Windows XP

Representatives from Dell, Gateway, Lenovo and Toshiba have all made statements in regards to their overwhelming support for Windows Vista and their steadfast commitment to delivering Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs to consumers. Here's a statement from Dell:

“Dell is focused on designing systems today that will enhance the effectiveness of the features of Microsoft® Windows Vista tomorrow,” said John Medica, senior vice president of the Product Group at Dell. “We are working closely with Microsoft to ensure the best user experience on currently shipping performance desktops, workstations and notebooks, and customers can be confident that their high-performance Dell configuration can make the most of the next-generation capabilities of Microsoft Windows Vista.”

For consumers who would like to know if their current system has what it takes to run Windows Vista, you can go to Microsoft's Windows Vista “Get Ready” website and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. And also keep in mind that these are Microsoft's minimum requirements for compliance with Windows Vista. Running a system with the bare minimum is far from optimum for such a new operating system. I wouldn't be surprised if a 2.0GHz and 2GB of RAM is the true “sweet spot" for Vista, as industry insiders have already claimed.

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RE: Looks like I'm in luck :D
By Sunday Ironfoot on 5/18/2006 6:36:44 PM , Rating: -1
Mind if I join in...

Athlon X2 2.0Ghz Dual Core
X1900XT 512MB Graphics Card

Hmmm...think my machine will be fast enough to run Vista...I dunno, maybe I should upgrade :p

RE: Looks like I'm in luck :D
By ProviaFan on 5/18/2006 7:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
<joke>I'm more holy than the rest of thou all, so I'm not going to brag about my insane workstation, but I shalt tell you, it kicketh the crap out of all of thine!</joke>

Seriously, I'm a bit worried with the graphics recommendations, given that my Geforce 6600 has only 128MB of RAM. Yeah, it's supposedly enough to run a monitor at 1600x1200, but what if I wanted to have lots of applications open at once? Or what if I wanted to hook up another smaller monitor besides?

RE: Looks like I'm in luck :D
By Inkjammer on 5/19/2006 8:42:53 AM , Rating: 2
I've got an eVGA 7900GTX. I'm wondering how the OS will perform natively on a DX9 -vs- DX10 card. We've got nothing to compare it to, but I kind of wonder if it'd make my card look like a piece of crap on the OS compared to pure DX10 cards.

I keep hearing promises of "performance" but as we all know developers will irk out any and all performance they can, so... heh heh, bad framerates will probably not improve.

RE: Looks like I'm in luck :D
By proamerica on 5/21/06, Rating: -1
RE: Looks like I'm in luck :D
By OvErHeAtInG on 5/23/2006 8:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
The OS graphics use DX9 render path. A DX9 card will show all of the effects.

Here's what I'm wondering, is my card going to run in 3D mode all the time with the fan cranked up... :/

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