Windows Vista will need different minimum hardware for different editions. Microsoft has two levels of computer operability with Windows Vista; by providing a broad classification of minimum hardware requirements as Vista Capable PC and Vista Premium Ready PC. Vista will run in a basic, no-frills sort of way on a computer that is classified as “Vista Capable.” To get your money’s worth out of Vista, however, you’ll need a computer that’s “Vista Premium Ready.”
Computers that are Vista Capable will deliver the core duties of Windows Vista, including new organization tools, security, and reliability. However, some features, like
Windows Aero, require the Vista Premium level of configuration.
A computer that is Vista Capable needs at least an 800-MHz processor and 512 MB RAM, as well as a DirectX 9 graphics card. Computers that are Vista Premium Ready must have at least 1-GHz processors, 1 GB RAM, and a DirectX 9 graphics processing unit with Hardware Pixel Shader 2.0.
Checking Hardware components Compatibility
In case you are preparing to install Windows Vista on an old computer, you must check that the computer meets the minimum hardware requirements and others hardware components are compatible with the Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft maintains a list of supported hardware for every operating system. You can check the latest, updated version of the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) by visiting Microsoft’s Web site at https://winqual.microsoft.com/HCL/Default.aspx. On this Web page, you can select the Windows Vista Logo, the type of processor (32-bit or 64-bit) and the category of the hardware device. When you click the Start button, a list of products along with the manufacturer name is displayed.
Checking the Compatibility of the System BIOS
Successful installation and availability of most Windows Vista features requires that your system BIOS be compatible with Windows Vista. Certain features such as Plug and Play (PnP), Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), BitLocker Drive Encryption, and so on are available only if the system BIOS supports them. Make sure the system BIOS is compatible with Windows Vista. If it isn’t, contact the system vendor, BIOS manufacturer, or the Web site to look for an updated version of the system BIOS.
Vista Capable Vista Hardware components
Processor: 800 MHz (32-bit or 64-bit)
Memory: 512 MB RAM
Graphics Card: DirectX 9-capable
Graphics Memory: 32 MB RAM (SVGA-capable)
Hard drive capacity: 20 GB
Hard drive free space: 15 GB
Hard drive type: Normal
Other drives: CD-ROM
Vista Premium Ready Hardware components
Processor: 1.0 GHz (32-bit or 64-bit)
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics Card: DirectX 9-capable GPU with Hardware Pixel Shader v2.0 and WDDM driver support
Graphics Memory: 128 MB RAM, up to 2,304,000 total pixels (e.g. 1920 × 1200) or 256+ MB for greater resolutions
Hard drive capacity: 40 GB
Hard drive free space: 15 GB
Hard drive type: Normal, but hybrid flash memory/hard disk recommended
Other drives: DVD-ROM
Other requirements: Audio output, Internet connectivity
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