Vista About to Make Graphics Card Makers Rich

Dennis Faas's picture

Windows Vista certainly isn't cheap.

By most accounts, those users who already own Windows XP will have to pay at least $200 to upgrade their systems to the new OS. That's one less big gift under the tree this Christmas, and reason enough to grumble as you approach the cashier with Vista in your hands.

Sadly enough, that might not be your only expense. Now it appears as though Microsoft's new operating system will require a substantially powerful graphics card, which might mean yet another necessary update for users interested in the software.

If you want to run Windows Vista at its peak visual brilliance -- the point it's meant to run at -- you will need an "aftermarket" graphics card. That doesn't sound so daunting, considering the fact that many PCs, even those on the low end, ship with some sort of graphics chip built in.

The most popular GPU (or Graphics Processing Unit) is the "integrated" kind that hardware retailers such as Dell dole out like high school cafeteria food. Unfortunately, that may not cover it, since it appears there's a substantial requirement to make Vista look like it should. (Source:

So, what are the graphical requirements? Other than an 800 MHz CPU, users will need at least 512 MB of memory on a graphics card that is capable of running DirectX 9. That's already somewhat steep, and these are just the very basic necessities being requested from Microsoft itself.

Since it's never good to flounder around the "basic requirements" noted by the software producer, it's more likely users will need a system with a 1 GHz CPU, 1 GB memory, and an external -- non-integrated -- graphics card capable of DirectX 9 and pixel shader 2.0 support. (Source:

It's all a requirement for Windows Vista Aero, the graphics-heavy edition of the operating system.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet