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System Requirements
Microsoft outlines the minimum requirements for running Vista
By Jim Fisher
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Microsoft has put together a two-tier system for determining if your computer is ready for Windows Vista. "Capable" PCs will be able to run Vista without the Aero interface. "Vista Premium Ready" PCs are able to run Aero and other enhanced Vista features.
Vista Capable Requirements
800 MHz CPU
512 MB RAM
Graphics Processor with DirectX 9 Support
Vista Premium Ready Requirements
1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) CPU
Graphics Processor with DirectX 9 and WDDM Support
128 MB Graphics Memory
Pixel Shader 2.0 Support with 32 bpp Color Depth
40 GB Hard Drive with 15 GB Free Space
Audio Output Capability
Internet Access

Many users who are looking at Vista may realize that their current system simply isn't up to the task of running the latest generation OS. Major PC manufacturers, such as Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Acer and Toshiba, have recently released new laptop and desktop computers that have Vista preinstalled. These machines, on average, feature technology that exceeds the Vista Premium Ready requirements.

Users who are looking to upgrade their current computer in order to run Vista should certainly consider exceeding the minimum requirements where possible. It can never be stressed enough that adding RAM to your computer can help improve its performance. Many new Vista systems are shipping with 2 GB of memory. RAM is more important for most general computing tasks then the latest 3D graphics or fastest CPU available, this is no different for Vista.

If you are still unsure as to your computer's ability to run Vista, please feel free to contact one of the experts at B&H. We will do our best to help make your upgrade as painless as possible.

Please email feedback on this article, or suggestions for future topics, to emailfeedback@bhphotovideo.com.