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Microsoft Releases Vista Hardware Requirements 591

Digital Inspiration writes "CNet reports that Microsoft has kicked off a 'Get Ready' campaign aimed at helping customers prepare for Windows Vista. The site also includes an Upgrade Advisor tool to help people determine just how Vista-ready an existing PC is." From the article: "The marketing programs and upgrade tool are designed to ease some of the uncertainty around Vista well ahead of the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, the two biggest PC selling times of the year. Vista had long been expected to arrive by the 2006 holidays, but Microsoft said in March that it would not arrive on store shelves until January."
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Microsoft Releases Vista Hardware Requirements

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  • Bah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:13PM (#15360378) Homepage Journal
    From tfa:
    Premium Ready [aero, etc ready -wmf] machines need a 1GHz processor, 128MB of graphics memory, 1GB of system memory, a 40GB hard drive and an internal or external DVD-ROM drive.
    I run os x on my early g3/250 powerbook (with 160MB ram) and linux on an old 90mhz pentium classic (w/128MB).

    On both, things run perfectly, with all gui features, XGL, aqua effects, etc etc.


    Seriously - 1GB ram (512MB for low end installs) seems like an awful lot to me....
    • Re:Bah! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Average_Joe_Sixpack ( 534373 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:17PM (#15360408)
      Seriously - 1GB ram (512MB for low end installs) seems like an awful lot to me....
      I heard Freecell on Vista is going to use a higher resolution set of cards, so the 1GB will come in handy.
    • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alx5000 ( 896642 ) <> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:20PM (#15360450) Homepage
      What makes me jump is the HDD requirements.... 40 GB total and 15 GB free? Are they kidding??

      My current Windows folder uses 1.53 GB and is installed in a 6GB partition... Is there such a jump here as to justify so much HDD hunger? What will it be used for? Swap memory? Fonts??

      So this thing is gonna drain up my graphic card while it's eating my hard disk? No thanks. I'll stick with XP (If only I could go back to 98....)
      • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Thursday May 18, 2006 @05:31PM (#15361103)
        ...and I don't understand something.

        What the heck is a "beowulf cluster"?

      • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'd bet the hard drive requirements are to place it safely in the NTFS realm, because if people keep formatting their installation drives with FAT32 it makes it much easier for them to build dual-boot machines.
        • Re:Bah! (Score:4, Informative)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @07:21PM (#15361799) Homepage Journal

          Dual-boot to what, Windows 98? Linux doesn't give a damn what your other partitions look like. Just create your partitions before installing anything, make sure to allocate your /boot partition as Primary #1, and put NT next. Actually, if you use grub to change active flag and such, and maybe even hide partitions, you can put your NT partition anywhere on the disk after the /boot.

          On top of that, you can use captive-ntfs to get very good results dealing with NTFS filesystems so you can still read and write your data files to your windows partition. Or, if you just need to read them, the included driver is acceptable.

          • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by shaitand ( 626655 )
            Now now, lets be honest here. Captive-ntfs is slow as shit.

            For my purposes it simply won't work at all. I need a shared partition for data. That way I can work with the data with tools from either OS. And I need to write gigs at a time. For instance I do many dvd backup rips. Have you ever wrote 4gigs to an NTFS partition using Captive? Your 15 minutes to rip from the DVD just skyrocketed to longer than the entire rip used to take.
    • by MarkByers ( 770551 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:24PM (#15360491) Homepage Journal
      By the time Vista is released, 1 Gig will seem like nothing. We will have 1 gig chips implanted into our brains just so that we can remember where our flying car was parked.
    • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Serapth ( 643581 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:24PM (#15360495)
      Seriously - 1GB ram (512MB for low end installs) seems like an awful lot to me.... For whatever reason Microsoft is high-balling these figures. I ran Vista on my rather standard laptop ( Amd 64 3ghz, 1gig, craptastic nvidia card and a 5400rpm hard drive ) and to be honest, it was snappier on that machine then it was on the XP install it replaced. This was a few months back, so I have to (hope) the performace has improved since.

      Seriously, you turn off all the new eye candy(which you can do) and I believe Vista outperforms XP in most cases. The TinFoil hat wearing part of me almost wonders if part of this is simply a deal Microsoft has struck with OEMs like Dell. The higher the system requirements appear to be, the more likely a user is to buy a new PC. If the user buys a new PC Microsoft makes another OEM Vista license sale. Win - Win... well except the consumer that is.
      • haha, I hadn't thought of that but it would make sense. I too know for a fact Vista runs on much less than they are saying it does. That would be a good motivator, I would tend to wonder about the number of people that buy OS upgrades vs the number that would rather buy a new PC.
      • No way (Score:5, Funny)

        by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:54PM (#15360790) Homepage
        You're actually suggesting that Microsoft would negotiate a deal where you had to pay for things you don't actually need or want, in order to get something you do? Whatever. I'll believe that when I see it.
      • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @05:11PM (#15360942)
        Is they don't want people bitching. They want to give you some realistic requirements. If you follow their guide, you'll get pretty good performance including when you are running apps.

        Remember the Windows 95 fiasco? MS claimed it required 4MB of RAM. Ok, that's not a lie, Windows 95 will execute on a system with 4MB of RAM... It's just nothing else will. The OS would use all the RAM, and you'd be paging continually, it was too slow to be usable. You needed 8MB of RAM to have a Windows 95 system that could usuably load apps.

        These requirements are much more realistic ones. They aren't the requirements to execute Vista, they are the requirements to execute Vista, and things on top of it, which is of course the point to having an OS. Consumers who listen to the guildelines will likely not be disappointed.
      • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shaitand ( 626655 )
        Lets see, the fastest processor ever put in a laptop. HD running at the fastest RPM speed you commonly see in a laptop. Shitload of ram. Yup, that's typical alright. What does it take to make above standard for you? A 20lb gaming rig from alienware?

        XP runs as fast as 98 if you give it enough system as well. After all, if you have enough processor to handle all those services and enough ram to preload all the crap it wants to put in memory so that transitions will happen faster and such it better be faster.

    • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Vancorps ( 746090 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:25PM (#15360500)
      Sounds like you should read more closely. Those are specs for all features turned on and are the recommended configuration. Vista already works on much less hardware than that.

      Interestingly enough I know that Vista works on processors much slower than 800mhz so I imagine there is quite a bit of padding in there. With minimal effort I can setup a responsive Vista box with less than 512megs of ram. MS is just playing it safe here saying that people with these specs will be happy with the performance out of the box. People with less will have to tweak to get themselves where they want to be. Like me running XP on a 400mhz P2 with 64megs of ram. Sucked out of the box, but I got it fairly responsive in short order. System profiling is a good thing, if you have a slow machine automatically shut off the stuff that isn't needed. That is one good feature with Vista. Not perfect since the other stuff shouldn't be running anyways but its a desktop OS so its intended to be as friendly as possible out of the box which means leaving a lot of stuff running.

      As for your other examples, let's see you run the latest release of KDE with all the bells and whistles on a Pentium 90. Not gonna happen, not even close. The OS X comparison at least compares OSes with similar graphics capabilities.

      We'll grant OS X is more efficient though Vista does quite a bit more in terms of management and monitoring so the comparison is still a little off.

      • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:51PM (#15360754)
        Providing minimum specs that mean "Minimum for reasonable performance" not "Minimum to make it execute." I remember back in the dark days of DOS games were famous for using the second metric. They'd list a minimum and sure, the game would execute on that system, but it wasn't really playable. I much prefer companies to list realistic minimums that will give reasonable performance. Absolute minimums aren't really useful.
      • Re:KDE Runs Well (Score:3, Informative)

        by mpapet ( 761907 )
        I grow tired of people making this reference because it's just not true.

        Now, it also stands to reason you may think this is fanboi speak which it is not. I changed to kde after starting with xfce and I see very little performance difference.

        I've done two 3.x+1 upgrades of KDE just wishing the old dog would die so I have an excuse to replace it. Surprisingly each version is noticeably faster than the last.

        Mind you the usual suspects are quite slow to start, OOO, GIMP regardless of the DE but once everything
    • Re:Bah! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nizo ( 81281 ) *
      For once I went to read the fine article, but the page is totally botched in my Firefox under linux client. At least I can see the links and text with lynx anyway.
    • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by c0d3h4x0r ( 604141 )
      Seriously - 1GB ram (512MB for low end installs) seems like an awful lot to me....

      Windows itself doesn't need all that RAM. But if you plan on running 4 or 5 major applications (Photoshop, iTunes, Firefox, Word, etc) simultaneously, you'd better at least have 1GB so as to avoid having to swap to disk/VM, which is when performance really starts to blow.

      I generally recommend at least 2GB of RAM for anyone running Windows XP, just to avoid having to hit VM during common usage scenarios. It's not the OS that
    • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Informative)

      by syukton ( 256348 )
      I'm currently testing software under Vista Beta 2 at MS.

      I can say that 1GB is not enough. We have some Pentium 4 3.4GHz machines with 1GB of RAM and Radeon x600 graphics and they score 2 out of 5 on the system properties rating system. We have some identical machines with 2GB of RAM, and they score 3/5. I suspect that a 5/5 would involve a high-end $400+ video card and 4GB of RAM, but even though I work for one of the most powerful corporations in the world, they've refused to buy me such a machine for test
    • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Funny)

      by slide-rule ( 153968 )
      Makes sense... I heard a rumor Duke Nukem' Forever is finally debuting as the easter egg in the upcoming version of MS Excel. You'll want the graphics muscle to be able to do your spreadsheets. ;-)
  • Ummm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xeon4life ( 668430 ) <devin&devintorres,com> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:14PM (#15360386) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me, or is having stringent hardware requirements for the OPERATING SYSTEM kind of ridiculous?
    • Nope. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shivetya ( 243324 )
      As computers advance it only makes sense to use the power that is becoming available.

      There is a lot people expect their system to do out of the box. Computers are not going to be confined to one room in a house, they are going to be central to a lot of electronics throughout homes soon. It only make sense, most electronic items these days are very close to computers themselves, just specialized. Look at HD-DVD and Blu-Ray machines.

      Hell with the attitude you have why would we have ever wanted more than te
      • >As computers advance it only makes sense to use the power that is becoming available.

        I agree 100% but I want the power to be used by my applications not a bloated OS sucking up all the resources before I've even started.
      • Re:Nope. (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by pla ( 258480 )
        As computers advance it only makes sense to use the power that is becoming available.

        You miss the point... Yes, we want to make full use of the power of our PCs... But we want that use to go to the programs we run, whether that means games or multimedia editing or whatever. If the OS itself requires those specs, that doesn't speak well for how well other things will run under that OS.

        "Sure I used to run Cool3dShooter2005 at 115fps and under Vista I only get 20fps... But look at that cool transparent w
    • Not really. OSes and desktop environments are generally getting bigger anyway, with more flashy crap (I'm including XComposite in this). It's probably better having stringent hardware requirements so people can say "Yeah, my PC is too shit to run this" (or of course the reverse) rather than people buying it cluelessly, getting it home and blaming Microsoft when their PC can't run it.
      • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by entrylevel ( 559061 )
        "Yeah, my PC is too shit to run this" (or of course the reverse)

        "This run to shit too is PC my, yeah"

        In reverse it says the exact same thing, only with worse grammar!

        (Even scarier, I know exactly what you meant.)

        For everyone that says Vista is not a hog, riddle me this:

        My workstation is an Athlon XP 2500+ w/2GB of RAM and approx 750GB of storage in SATA drives. Not state of the art by anyone's book, but a beefy machine nonetheless that does everything I need fast enough.

        I installed Vista build 5365 in VMwar
        • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Interesting)

          I installed Vista build 5365 in VMware WS 5.5 and gave it a 16GB drive and 512MB of RAM. I turned off all the eye candy, nothing else was running on my machine. Opening a My Computer window in Vista Explorer takes roughly 7-15 seconds. Every. Single. Time

          I wonder where you got 5365, because I seriously doubt that you're a Connect member (Microsoft's beta program).

          I have run nearly every Longhorn / Vista build that was released on Connect for over a year, on both my desktop (Athlon 64 2800+ / 1GB DDR / GeFor
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Whatsisname ( 891214 )
      I'm sure the requirements aren't just to log in and sit at the desktop, I'm sure that the requirements are also so that you'll be able to run most common softwares for the next couple years or so. After all, an operating system is pretty useless if it doesnt have any software for it.
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by pintomp3 ( 882811 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:30PM (#15360555)
      yeah, this is truly a first. no other operating system has minimum requirements. my toaster runs linux just fine, thank you.
    • Is it just me, or is having stringent hardware requirements for the OPERATING SYSTEM kind of ridiculous?

      Screw the operating system, I wanna know what the hardware requirements are for the damn website!
    • It depends on your definition of operating system. You don't need a 800MHz machine with 512MB RAM to run even an advanced OS kernel, but you do if the OS is loaded with heavy graphics, multimedia features, background security programs, and other stuff.

      As for me, I'm sticking with XP and FreeBSD. I don't think my fastest machine, a 950MHz Duron with 384MB RAM, a 60GB harddrive, and a Voodoo 3 graphics card with 16MB video RAM cuts the mustard for Vista. Windows XP and FreeBSD (with KDE 3.4) runs very wel

    • Re:Ummm... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by suitepotato ( 863945 )
      Is it just me, or is having stringent hardware requirements for the OPERATING SYSTEM kind of ridiculous?

      As opposed to needing an actual Macintosh to run OSX on?
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Informative)

      by MsGeek ( 162936 )
      This is probably quite basement-level for usability. Microsoft has a history of lowballing the requirements for their operating systems.

      For example: Windows NT4 Workstation had as its low-end system requirements a Pentium with 16MB of RAM. Windows 2000 Professional (In my opinion the high-water mark for Windows) had as its low-end system requirements a Pentium 133MHz with 64MB of RAM and 2GB of HD space. XP Pro has as its low-end system requirements a Pentium 233MHz, 64MB RAM, a CD-ROM drive, 1.5GB of free
      • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MojoStan ( 776183 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @05:27PM (#15361075)
        Believe me, you are going to need a hellified system to run Vista at this rate. Double the "Premium Ready" specs and you will have the specs you will need to actually run Vista.
        If you've been following Vista's recent development (even on Slashdot), then that's a ridiculous assumption. "Premium Ready" means ready for the optional Aero user interface, which is a compositing UI that includes (optional) features such as 3D, translucency, UI animations, live thumbnails [], and Flip 3D. Vista also has a new, very usable Basic user interface [] which will require less than the "Premium Ready" specs, not double the specs like you claim. Vista's interface can be scaled down even furthur by using the Classic user interface, which looks like Windows 2000.

        As I was reading your comment, I just assumed you were a troll until I read your last paragraph:

        Oh yeah, and I run Panther on a 300MHz iBook with 544MB RAM and a 30GB hard drive.
        You need treatment from the effects of the RDF. So you run a previous version of OS X, without all of the optional eye candy, with more than the "required" RAM for Windows Vista (Basic user interface). Yet you act like Vista's user interface also doesn't scale down with the hardware.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:41PM (#15360661)
      Assuming Vista becomes the norm, this will help drive down the costs of gruntier CPUs and RAM. What is currently considered a premium gamers box will become vanilla.

      That is entirely good because you will be running Linux and get a hell of a good box for vanilla prices.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought helping people get ready for these kinds of events involved saying something along the lines of "I'm sorry" or "There's no easy way to say this ..."
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:16PM (#15360405) Homepage Journal
    ...I thought 640k was good enough for anybody?
  • by pestilence669 ( 823950 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:17PM (#15360416)
    But the "features" they are announcing have been in Mac OS X for four years. I'm not seeing anything impressive here... just insane memory and disk space requirements.
  • by shr3k ( 451065 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:18PM (#15360428) Homepage
    How many people will buy Vista-ready PC's but not actually bother to buy it when it comes out? Too many. Non-technical types who make up a good number of Windows users will not bother to upgrade past what they get with their computer at purchase time.

    Unless MS bundle coupons for Vista with Windows XP this buying season, they can forget about people making any effort to do buy it and do the upgrade.
    • I suspect that technical types (at least developers) will more likely "not bother" to upgrade than non-technical types. In fact, I still run Windows 2000 on a number of my development machines on purposes. My reasoning is that older versions are more of a "lowest common denominator", and if I develop on them, my programs are more likely to work on more platforms. Gamer types, if you can call them technical, will probably upgrade at a higher rate than others, though.
  • Come on people, Vista was not meant to be run on a wristwatch, toaster, calculator, or anything similar. The minimum requirements are on par with what any person who would want Vista in the first place would have. Seriously, if you're using a PII-350, you're just not using it for anything that would require Vista anyways. Am I nutz? []
    • by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:39PM (#15360644)
      Let's say you're a company. You just bought 500 workstations from Dell last year, they are Pentium IV 2.1 Ghz machines with 512 MB of Ram (plenty for your company). You need to keep up with Microsoft Operating Systems because Microsoft will drop support for the OS version you currently use. Now you have to decide to "upgrade" to the older version of the OS or this new Vista thing. But wait, Vista has more stringent hardware requirements. Now as a manager do you buy more hardware (which has no appreciable value) or do you upgrade to an OS that may drop support in under 5 years or do you switch OS vendors altogether?

      It's not as easy a decision as most people think.
      • Yes, it's easy.

        When Vista comes out, MS won't automatically drop support for XP. If history serves, XP will be supported for at least 6 to 8 more years.

        Now, if you work for a company that needs 500 desktops (I do), you know you don't buy them. You get a leasing deal from Dell, that includes them taking your machines every 2-3 years and exchanging them with the new models. In this case, within 2-3 years you'll have new Vista-capable computers at no extra cost (yes, you'll pay for them, but in monthly lease p
  • by abb3w ( 696381 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:19PM (#15360433) Journal
    Windows XP to run, and won't install on Windows 2K systems. Hrmmmm. How helpful.
  • Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wootzor von Leetenha ( 938602 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:20PM (#15360447)
    They want us to buy the hardware in order to run their operating system, when an operating system is supposed to run our hardware. Like people are going to buy hardware just to run the new Windows. That's like buying an airplane because Geico comes out with airplane insurance. I find that appalling
    • This is a startlingly absent point from most windows discussions.
    • Re:Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

      by siphoncolder ( 533004 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @09:05PM (#15362328) Homepage
      Um... dude, they're not building an operating system for RIGHT NOW, for all you early adopters. They're building an operating system for a 5-6 year lifespan. If you go out & buy a new computer or upgrade equipment to run Vista, that's YOUR decision - not them strongarming you. You never had to buy it in the first place.

      Thinking that they're doing this to force users to upgrade NOW is a rediculously narrow view. If anything, they're targeting people that already refresh their computers on a regular basis, who will do so IN THE FUTURE, and people that will buy new computers anyway - IN THE FUTURE.
  • Vista is Raising the Bar for computer hardware. With higher spec computers flooding the market, I'm looking forward to cheaper components. With 1GB of Ram becoming the norm, imagine the price of those 512MB/256MB sticks :)
  • 800 MHz?!? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I was hoping they'd make overclocking to 4 GHz a REQUIREMENT just to weed out the, you know, users.
  • Hdd requirements (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Paralizer ( 792155 )
    So 1GHz isn't that bad, 128MB of video RAM is just ridiculous for a desktop (but we've all ranted about that forever now), but I think the most interesting thing about the released specifications is the enormous hard drive requirements.

    40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.

    I mean, come on, how big is this thing? It's not bad enough that it kills system resources at idle but it has to fill my disk drive limiting the amount of 3rd party data also? As I recall Windows XP (which was also fairl

    • Re:Hdd requirements (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nesetril ( 969734 )
      i am pretty sure that various "windows system restore" features are set to use like at least 10% of the HD, even in XP. i don't know if we are counting the trashcan or not, but that's another 10%. what are the requirements of XP in terms of free HD space, anyway?
      • Re:Hdd requirements (Score:3, Informative)

        by Paralizer ( 792155 ) s ysreqs.mspx []
        Windows XP requires:

        * PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

        * 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

        * 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space*

        * Super VGA (800 x 600)

  • My oldest machine that would meet those specifications was built in January 2001 - Athlon 1200, 512MB RAM, Geforce 2 Ultra 64MB video card, and (now dead) 60GB DeathStar HD. At the time it was fairly top end. It obviously won't be running Aero, but hey, 5 years old (6 by the time Vista gets here) and still able to run it ain't too bad.
    • You know, I was going to say the same. These requirements seem fairly modest. My machine from 3 years ago (Athalon 2100 (aka 1.73GHz), 1GB RAM, Radeon 9000 w/ 128MB)) is up to their 'premium' status. It may have been high end at the time, but this is still a 3 year old machine.

      Would a year old machine really not have this available?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:21PM (#15360466)
    because of MS plans to reward their patient Vista customers with an added software bonus...

    A free copy of Duke Nukem Forever with each Vista sale. (Since they should be both released at about the same time.)
  • by krgallagher ( 743575 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:21PM (#15360468) Homepage
    I ran the "Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor Beta" utility. Here is the first thing it said:

    "Upgrade your CPU

    800 MHz required to install Windows Vista (Your computer currently has 0.00 Hz)"

    I get great performance to have such a slow clock speed.

  • by Andrew Tanenbaum ( 896883 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:25PM (#15360503)
    How the heck am I supposed to upgrade from GNU/Linux to Vista??
  • Because it's Microsoft these are the specs you can expect to see on new PC's. No PC manufacturer is going to keep ordering PC's that don't meet these specs. Prices will likely go up, but they go up whenever a new OS is released. People will pay because they don't know any better and want the absolute latest, and they'll get burned for it with all the unpatched holes, but Vista will eventually become a standard, although I think people are beginning to realize that Microsoft might not be who they want to tru
  • The story is the reqs. You couldn't be bothered to cut and paste the requirements? You had to just grab some crap paragraph that highlights the crappy info we've already known for months?

    Weak. Just weak.

  • Will the current Generation of Macs meet these requirements?
  • My Mac's apparently not ready for Vista or the Microsoft web site. Their "Get Ready" page doesn't work in Safari. Most of their sites work in Safari, so I don't know why they'd make this one render so terribly.

    What if a Mac user wants to consider switching?

    Hahaha... Ok, I guess not. Just a thought.
  • by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:42PM (#15360672)
    15 GB Free HD Space! Are you kidding me. My machine at work takes up 8.6 GB! Thats OS + Apps + Data. WTF requires 15 GB! Is Microsoft including Porn to show off Aero!!

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:44PM (#15360685) Journal
    Okay, everybody is missing the point. Vista does not have a HD foorprint of 15GB. Really, it doesn't. Nor does it plan to use 1GB of memory for the kernel.

    The "system" requirements are set to provide the average user with a pleasant experience (the use of Windows notwithstanding). That means several applications open and multimedia running in the background and/or foreground. Yes, there will be lots of clock cycles and memory for pretty (and useless). This isn't about the minimum requirements for an OS, its about the minimum requirements for the OS and a typical group of applications.

    For you Mac fanboys out there - yes, Tiger will install with 3GB of HD free and will run on a G3. I don't know this as fact, but based on what I know Vista will easily fit into 3GB as well with room to spare. It will also run on an 800MHz x86 processor which...wait for it...came out the same year as the G3 was introduced (1999).

    I know it's popular to get your panties all bunched up over the evil empire's latest move to try and get you to pimp your little sister for enough money to upgrade, but this really isn't that bad. I mean, this is the same place where we discuss whether it's enough to have dual 512MB video cards to play the latest game on our machines, right? Are we really that worried that we're not going to have 40GB of hard drive and a gig of RAM?
  • Some PC manufacturers skimp badly on RAM, even though it's cheap. Insufficient RAM is one of the few things that will make a modern computer perform badly as a desktop. By saying "Windows Vista requires 1GB RAM", Microsoft is really saying "manufacturers, stop giving users only 256MB!" Obviously Windows itself won't use 1GB of memory, but some applications will, and poor performance makes Microsoft (as well as the PC manufacturer) look bad.

    As for the 128MB video card requirement, this is another area where PC manufacturers are overly stingy. Developers shouldn't have to worry about substandard integrated graphics chipsets, they should be able to program to a reasonable lowest common denominator. Microsoft wants to make sure no one is below that common denominator.

    Basically, Microsoft is claiming as hardware requirements, not what Windows itself needs, but what they think programmers should be able to take for granted. It's all cheap hardware anyways, and it will only get cheaper in the future, so leaving some old systems unsupported is no big deal in the long run.
  • Count the pixels! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by deathstar_nagisa ( 950507 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @05:09PM (#15360918) Homepage
    Am I the only one who noticed that? "... Adequate graphics memory. 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 ..." I guess Microsoft will start asking users to count their pixels one by one.. but what for the bandwith requirements?
    • 1,310,720 pixels = 1280x1024 (41943040 bits of raw data, approx 5.2MiB)
      2,304,000 pixels = 2048x1125 or 2134x1080 (73728000 bits of raw data, approx 9.2 MiB)

      That, of course, assumes 32-bit color depth, which I think is likely since they have alpha compositing, and an 8-bit alpha layer is pretty standard these days. :-) Anyhow, they're under a 10 MiB framebuffer even at 2.3 megapixels. I just thought I'd throw that out there.
    • by yeremein ( 678037 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @06:00PM (#15361341)
      Uh oh, my 1280x1024 display (1,310,720) is too much for my 64MB graphics card! Whatever will I do?

      Oh wait, the monitor has a dead pixel on it. So there are only 1,310,719.

      Whew, that was a close one.
  • by Godji ( 957148 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @05:19PM (#15361005) Homepage
    Why are you acting surprised? Vista will run on much less stellar machines. These requirements are there becase:

    1) Microsoft wants people to have a reason to upgrade, so that OEMs are happy, and will stick to Windows rather than start selling cheap machines with a free OS preinstalled - the single pillar that will singlehandedly ensure that Bill's Empire will not fall anytime soon.

    2) To ensure that people will have acceptable performance even after they install hundreds of bloated applications, firewalls, virus scanners, adware scanners, Bonzi Buddy screensavers, free wallpaper switchers, device drivers thinking their hardware is the most important component in the system, Viruses, Infections, Spyware, Trojans, Adware, and last but not least least, Microsoft Office.

    That said, I still make some money fixing XP machines that are mainframes compared to what you were supposed to have back when Windows Xtra Profit came out, so nothing is new.

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