How capable is a 'Vista-capable' PC?


Feb 8, 2006
With the launch of Microsoft's new Vista Capable logo program last Saturday (an extension of its existing "Designed for Windows XP" program) there are now three tiers of hardware requirements/suggestions for the forthcoming Windows Vista. In addition to "Capable," there's "Vista Ready" (the Basic tier) and what some vendors are calling "Vista Compliant," but which is based on what Microsoft calls the "Premium" logo program. In essence, this upper tier means, the system's capable of displaying the Aero user interface with all its (animated) bells and whistles. Here's TG Daily's article from this morning, which explains the situation as it currently stands.

So I have some questions for you: First of all, is this one or two too many adjectives for Vista capability, by your standards as a PC buyer and/or builder? Also, does a new PC that can't display the 3D Aero interface officially qualify, in your book, as a "Vista PC?" Or is it a glorified XP PC? Or do you know, really?

I'd like to get your opinion, and I'd also like to share those opinions with my sources at Microsoft.

Scott "Asta La Vista Capable, Baby" Fulton III


Jul 4, 2004
How about directX 10 and a vista skin for xp?
Looks great and doesn't freeze.

Seriously though I hope the final version runs a lot more smoother than beta 2.

I like the Aero look but the "Linux" icons got to go, they're way too big.
As far as Vista being something desirable, yea the aero glass effects look cool but so does a huge hippopotamus sitting in your living room.

So how capable is Vista? I think its all show and no go, like a "riced out" honda with a 3 ft spoiler. :wink:


Feb 14, 2006
I think having the multiple tiers would be fine as long as they only apply to one version of vista. For instance, a vista capable tier would include the Basic, standard home, and standard business versions. Then the Vista ready could be the requirements to run the Ultimate, and pro home, and pro business versions. This way they are bundled together so it's not as confusing. If you are going to be going with the cheapie, it only makes sense to have the lowest requirements. Then if your going for the Ultimate, then your pc definately should be Vista ready.

As stated before, I want to see more performance, and better stability. I'm all for a desktop with "eye candy", but when I want to run an app or a game that needs all my resources, it better hand em all over to whatever needs them. I'm kind of worried that if I wanted to use multiple windowed apps at one time like photoshop, IE or firefox, and have a few other apps open that vista will kill the performance elsewhere everytime I want to look through the start bar for another program, or alt tab, minimize, etc.

If Vista can't properly hand over as many resources as possible from aero or any other extras, I would end up disabling all of them anyway so that my other applications don't suffer.
This is "badge engineering" enough to make a '70s-80s GM marketer smile. There are seven SKUs and three classes of PCs that are certified for being capable to run the OS at varying levels of glitter?! Jeezus. An OS is designed to run applications and basically stay the heck out of the way when it does that, not be the main application you're running.

This will lead to massive confusion among the general public and quite a few irate customers who wish for "the good old days" of one or two versions of the OS to pick from. I mean, you had Windows 98...or Windows 98. The choice was simple. Microsoft's users generally don't want to have to make choices. I think MS really screwed the pooch when they threw out their "keep it simple for the stupids" approach for Vista when it had served them well for a long time.


Mar 5, 2006
This is "badge engineering" enough to make a '70s-80s GM marketer smile. There are seven SKUs and three classes of PCs that are certified for being capable to run the OS at varying levels of glitter?! Jeezus. An OS is designed to run applications and basically stay the heck out of the way when it does that, not be the main application you're running.

This will lead to massive confusion among the general public and quite a few irate customers who wish for "the good old days" of one or two versions of the OS to pick from. I mean, you had Windows 98...or Windows 98. The choice was simple. Microsoft's users generally don't want to have to make choices. I think MS really screwed the pooch when they threw out their "keep it simple for the stupids" approach for Vista when it had served them well for a long time.
I totally agree. Aside from the fact that my PC can run whatever I throw at it (including Vista Ultimate) what about the users that can't run Vista? Most people don't have 1GB of RAM let alone 2. Most people just have a PC that'll get their basic work done, because that's all they need. Nothing fancy.
I tried the Mar 17th 32-bit build on a SATA-II, X2 3800, 1 Gb Corsair, PCI-E GF6600. It was sluggish (even without Aero), resource hog, confusing, nice looking.

Then I loaded the Kororaa Linux Xgl LiveCD. It was fast (even off a CD), slim, innovative, nice looking.

Want to upgrade from WinXP? Switch to Linux.


Dec 10, 2005
i don´t even know what AERO is, but right now it doesn´t give a damn

I think operating system´s should not be too complicated, but everyone like shyni skins, cute windows, assistent´s for this and that... and at the same time they want it to be instantaneous and absolutely BUG FREE.... Well folks THAT´s IMPOSSIBLE... Has long has we like "sugar" our "thoot" will allways need for an "dentist", if you understand my analogy!

Microsoft, do not complicate... You know we have to use your operating systems, you will rule for a long time (at least until we starting to see "LINUX required" in the jewel cases of the software we all see in stores, and i don´t see that happening for short time to come)

i´m not saying that they don´t do a new operating system, nothing like that, but they realy need to complicate things? Vista Capable? Vista Premium? **** ** all....

God damn this software kinky thing makes me wan´t to drop my pc and stick to my bicycle!

:p MS-DOS 6.22 + Windows for Workgroups 3.11 + I.E 3 RulEz


Apr 5, 2006
Vista in theory is good but i can't see why you will what an OS which does the same as XP Pro but need more resources. OK in increase of 15% i could just about understand but 100% that just seems silly.

I'm using an ABIT DigiDice 2.6 intel with a 9600 all in wonder and its fine... will ring every thing Inc' VM-ware HL2 (not at the same time), some pretty heavy stuff. But as its a SFF i can only get 2G of RAM so my mane concern would be how will SFF systems run Vista and other APPs? I don't think it will and there for I'm instantly pout off.

Why does it need so much more resources, it just proves that Microsoft aren't really trying to get a Quick, efficient system just make it look as pretty as pos and sacrificing on performance! And relying on people to spend more only that should be needed on components they shouldn't really need.

As a lot of people have there favorites APPs and stuff why can Microsoft release a bass OS with just the minimum and let the consumer bye the extras. I think Number crunchers (in 3D mark etc) could get so much MORE out of there systems, as we are being held back, This should be no skin off Microsoft's nose as it does not produce hard ware... i know it probably has stocks and shairs ETC but that's a different matter all together.


Apr 5, 2006
I think the fear of ordinary PC's not running Vista is overstated. All modern graphics cards, including Intel's own integrated chips (i think over 75% of the market) support DirectX 9, although they're way behind NVidia and ATi processors in 3D performance and graphics memory speed. But then, even these have their low end versions. For less than $40 you can get a low end 128MB NVidia GeForce FX5200 on Amazon.

As far as the memory requirement, Windows XP requirement was supposed to be 128MB minimum, but it worked at half. Same for Windows 98. It all depends on how much memory is used on start up. But even then, think about latest games using 1GB of system memory, add it to 512MB by Vista, you get 1.5GB required to play them. Core gamers will require 2GB as minimum...

As for CPU's, since the GPU will be doing most of the work, there need not be a 3GHz to properly according to my experience. My 1.2GHz PIII is faster than some 2.8GHz P4 systems (they lack GPU, memory, mine as plenty and fast HDD).


Apr 5, 2006
my first thought when i was reading the requirment for vista was: am I reading this numbers right?

i think this requirment are absoulutly ridiclous, what microsoft is saying to most people is that to run vista you basicly have to be a new high end PC.

the memory requirments are redicoulous, when you look at windows XP it requires 128 MB of memory, but unless you are only using your computer for writing papers, your gona need to have 256 MB installed, because the operating system alone uses about 100MB of memory without opening any other program. now microsoft is saying that their new software is going to require a minimum of 1 Gb and a recomonded 2GB memory(for premium tier) and it is also going to need 128 MB graphics card and a high end CPU, all of these requirments just to run the OPERATING SYSTEM.

If the OS alone is going to use 2GB of memory, then to run some program like photoshop and other memory intensive programs you are going to need about 3 or 4 GB of memory, and all of this just so microsoft can have some more useless animation :evil:
Actually, you can have WinXP running on a computer with really low RAM capacity: if you disable services you don't need (not sharing files? Deactivate Server! Not using fast user switching or remote assistance? Deactivate Terminal Server and associated services! Not using Wifi? Deactivate it! Not using UPnP? Deactivate it! Not liking the green hills and blue window borders? Deactivate Themes support! Not using Security Centre? shut it down! And so on...) and use a no-sound theme and little effects, shut down system restore, disable all those pesky taskbar applets (they eat up a few megabytes of RAM each), and leave only a small antivirus and firewall running, you can run WinxP + an application on as little as 64 mb, as well as you'd do on a 'normal' WinXP setup with 256 Mb. You can also disable all those ports you don't need (LPT and COM ports eat up a few Mb of RAM, for example).

I did it. Even now that I have a 1 Gb stick, I still do it. This made my old rig work well with apps it was supposed not powerful enough to run, and made other softwares run MUCH faster - having only 21 processes running instead of 46 does have some effect.

I haven't done that with my test of Vista - maybe on the release version will it have some meaning...


Apr 24, 2006
My opinion is that the Windows Vista Capable PC Logo Program should have only one standard and that is to designate systems capable of running the Aero Glass UI. Otherwise, it leads to much confusion.

A few months ago, while doing research on the requirements for Windows Vista, I found that a DirectX 9 GPU with WDDM support was on the recommended list. When the current Requirements were finalized, WDDM support was reclassified as a Recommendation. At the risk of violating the forum user agreement, let me tell you what I believe happened.

Dropping the WDDM support requirement allowed DirectX 9 integrated graphics adapters to remain in the program. More specifically, it allowed an entire highly prominent chipset family to qualify for the logo. That chipset is the non-upgradeable Intel 915GV Express, the next low-end core logic chipset for Dell's entry-level computers. Already used in the Dimension E310/3100, it appears to be slated for the upcoming Dimension B120 mentioned at Dell's compatibility website. The Intel 915GV Express Chipset features integrated Intel GMA 900 graphics which cannot support the WDDM. And to make it worse, there is no graphics upgrade slot on the system board.

To cut to the chase, the real beneficiaries of this diluted program are Intel Corporation, Dell Computer, Foxconn, Hewlett-Packard, and to a lesser extent, Acer, Lenovo, SiS, and VIA in the Asian Pacific Rim. But the big winner is Intel. They can keep those two years old chipsets flowing out of inventory. And Dell, look at the money saved when they did not have to completely restructure their lineup. Oh and let's not forgot all those notebook computers with integrated GMA 900 graphics that just got an endorsement and a lifeline from that logo.

I think Microsoft went into this program with the best of intentions, but Intel and Dell may have persuaded Microsoft to drop WDDM support from this first tier logo program. The Intel 915GV Express Chipset can now sport the the logo sticker and will end up being used in one-third of the Dell Home desktop models Can you now see why it looks like the logo program has already been manipulated? Why else would it have turned into the multiple standards mess it is now?

To straighten this out, Microsoft needs to simplify the entire program. Four logos, if they will exist, is too much. Microsoft needs to nail down the advanced requirements for one more logo and soon.


Jan 31, 2006
The Vista compliant specs don't matter that much to me because I won't upgrade until I build a new system. I just built one this year, so I'm looking at early to mid 2008 before I need another OS anyway.
In two years's time the capabilities of the average, mid-tier computer should be more than enough to run Vista -- I'll think about it then.
I see no compelling features to make me want to switch to Vista before then.
1) Aeroglass, a prettier interface? Don't need it;
2) DX10, for gaming? Not needed yet. DX-10 capable video cards aren't even out yet, and when they are, they'll be $500 to $600. I'll wait until they get down to the sub-$200 range, thank you -- again, by early 2008;
3) Better security features? Yeah, I'll believe that after somebody else gets Vista and proves that to me. Anyway, I've got a router, I've got a good software firewall, I've got the security features of my motherboard and processor activated, and I have a good antivirus, anti-spamware and so on installed, and I am careful -- So I feel safe enough.
Besides, with all the growth pains, delays, cannibilization of promised features, etc., I get the feeling Microsoft is rushing to "get the product out" and I don't have any confidence in the quality of this first iteration of Vista. I think I'll wait until the patched and fixed service pack 2 version, thanks.
As I said before, the actual MS product roadmap is thus:
- RC: beta versions where you slick up the GUI (while they are supposed to fix buggy internals)
- 'release': actually, Release Candidate 1
- SP1: fix glaring bugs and a few critical errors (leave several of them unfixed on purpose)
- SP2: fix some more critical errors (reach actual 'release' quality)
- SP3: start fixing most obvious design flaws and add critically important drivers
- SP4: actually start polishing the OS
- SP5: fix errors in SP4's polishing

This held for Win95 (Release; OSR 2 = SP1; OSR 2.1 = SP2; OSR 2.5: SP3), Win98 (Release: Win95's SP4; SE: SP5), NT4 (which reached SP6), Win2000 (stopped short of SP5 but would need one anyway), WinXP (dropped SP2 and jumped to SP3 directly)

On Linux systems, you have:
- developer versions / alpha: feature stabilizing (MS Beta/RC)
- betas: features are freezed, the GUI is being slickened up (MS RC/Release/SP1)
- Release Candidates: nitpicking, polishing, bug hunting (MS SP1/SP2)
- Release version: onwards, security bug fixing only (MS SP3) with slight functionality upgrades on those packages no longer maintaining older versions.