Install Vista, Buy Graphics Card

Microsoft and Intel have always had a symbiotic relationship, with each new OS release requiring additional processing power. Wired is reporting that you will need a stand-alone graphics card, usually reserved for the gamer set, in order to take full advantage of Vista’s graphics capabilities for the most graphics-rich version of Vista, or Aero, on what Microsoft calls “Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs.”

Officially, you can run a stripped-down version of Vista without a video card in a PC or a stand-alone graphics processor in a laptop — but you might not want to.

“To realize the charm and brilliance of Vista, the user has to have a decent graphics card, because otherwise it looks like crap: It is all washed up and the colors look bad,” said Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research.

According to Microsoft, the minimum PC configuration just to run Vista is an 800-MHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM and an integrated graphics processor that can handle Microsoft’s DirectX 9 graphical interface. For a PC that is Windows Aero ready, the requirements are more stringent. A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC for Windows Aero needs at least a 1-GHz CPU, 1 GB of RAM, DirectX 9 graphics, 128 MB of graphics memory and pixel shader 2.0, which means an external graphics card or processor is almost invariably required.

Read the Wired article here

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