We all know that Vista will take some hefty hardware to run per spec, but Microsoft has promised that it will be able to run on modern day systems just fine. That said, there is a detailed review of the latest Vista build, 5219, that covers things from hardware-accelerated 3D GUI to the new explorer shell to IE7 and more. If you're interested to see how it currently stacks up on modern-day equipment, it is a good read. The current build also demonstrates SuperFetch, which as an enthusiast you will either love or hate. The beta is free to download and try if you are a MSDN or Technet subscriber, so if you are interested you may want to read the article then take a peek for yourself.
Always remember that this OS is still in beta, and thus nothing is final yet... there is still more than a year to go before this product goes gold.