Windows Vista recommended specs a surprise

By Derek Sooman on May 21, 2006, 9:18 AM
Like the rest of you, I was expecting Vista to be a pretty resource hungry OS. When I tried a Beta version, I loaded it into my powerhouse - a 3GHz, 2GB RAM Pentium 4 Monster, with Geforce 6800 256MB graphics. I did not even think to try running it on anything lesser. And when it came to getting a Vista running laptop on the go, I was pretty much considering buying a brand new Core Duo based system, with snazzy graphics to ensure that Vista's Aero Glass was running without any problems.

Imagine my surprise to discover that the minimum requirements a PC will need to run Vista according to Microsoft are fairly modest - it seems that a an 800MHz processor, 512MB of system memory, a DirectX 9 capable graphics card, a 40GB hard drive with at least 15GB of free space and a DVD drive will do the trick. Even a "Vista Premium Ready" PC is not the powerhouse we imagined it would be - Microsoft says that is a 1GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor, 1GB of RAM and a graphics card with 128MB of onboard memory capable of supporting Windows Aero2. Well, I never.

As far as graphics go, running Aero will require a DirectX 9-class graphics processor that supports WDDM, Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware, 32 bits per pixel, and 64MB of graphics memory. I'd imagined some 256MB state of the art card as being the only option.

This news is likely to annoy AMD and Intel, who were probably hoping that folks all over the place would be shelling out cash to buy new chips and whole machines to run the next generation OS on, but it appears that that old hardware still has some mileage left in it yet.

User Comments: 9

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lordbf1 said:
Thanks but I will wait on Vista. UBUNTU is releasing a new version on June 1st. I will run that or new OpenSUSE 10.1 before I buy or install any Vista crap.
9Nails said:
I'll second SUSE 10. Combine it with Open Office, and I just need game support - which I get from XP. Vista's many version are likely not to be wallet friendly and more likely to need new drivers any way. I'll spare the headache of waiting for 3rd party drivers and just use something that's available and proven. Vista won't be full featured until a Service Pack in any case, and by then it will be to late for me to care about it.Back onn topic, the spec's of an OS are rarely reliable. The 800 Mhz with 512 MB spec's will run the OS from your 15 Gig hard drive, but only just.
zephead said:
9nails made a good point. microsoft says it will run, but just running does not mean useably fast...
Kaleid said:
Julio said:
I think a lot of people tends to jump into conclusions too soon, even more so when it comes to Microsoft software. Vista is still months away from release.[Edited by Julio on 2006-05-22 02:28:32]
asphix said:
I'm pretty excited about vista and the whole Games for Windows move.I'm waiting a few more months before I do a massive system upgrade to ensure max compatability with Conroe and Vista, hopefully Vista will live up to its name.Vista isnt the only thing that will push hardware sales this holiday season though, especially with the new technologies right around the corner from AMD and Intel.*** edit *** just read the link provided a couple posts above.. found this blurb especially interesting. I wonder if it will work as well in practice as it leads one to believe it will in theory.[quote]Vista strives to keep the core operating system free of viruses, spyware and such by giving you complete control over what installs on your computer. Nothing can install on your computer without your permission. Any programs you install will end up in a sub-directory of your user profile and away from the main Windows install. This means that anything nasty like viruses will be contained in your user profile and you are suppose to be able to back-up whatever data you want to keep, delete the offending profile and create a new account. Thus get rid of any infections easily with out Windows itself being infected.[/quote][Edited by asphix on 2006-05-22 08:39:45]
Julio said:
Because Windows will draw much more attention than any new Linux distro or Mac OS release, I can bet vulnerabilities and exploits will be found during the first months of Vista's release. Nevertheless Vista is a step in the right direction and most likely the next dominant OS in the computer world. It better be that good.
DragonMaster said:
They just say it can run it.Windows 2000 does work on a Pentium 150MHz with 64MB of RAM and a 512KB RAM graphic card. (I had this for a year) It's not really fast tho. I was most of the time running Firefox, Winamp and Thunderbird at the same time. When I was typing a letter the sound output would stop tho...I actually stopped enough services to make it start in less than a minute!
blue_dragon said:
I think microsoft just did this so they could keep their common user costumer...
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