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Is my PC ready for Windows Vista?

How do I know if my PC is ready for Windows Vista?

Hi, I intend switch to Windows Vista when it's released in early 2007, but how can I be sure my PC is fast enough to run it?

Andrew Fisher

You're right to be concerned. Windows Vista is far more demanding on PC resources than Windows XP.

Microsoft has issued a set of minimum requirements for Vista, but there are two separate specs to be aware of. PCs that meet the minimum requirements are known as 'Vista capable', while those that can take better advantage of Vista, including the Windows Aero user interface, are known as 'Premium ready'.

PCs that are Vista capable must include at least all of the following:

• A modern processor (at least 800MHz)
• 512MB of system memory (RAM)
• A graphics card that is DirectX 9 compatible

PCs that are Vista Premium ready must be slightly more powerful:

• 1GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
• 1GB of system memory
• A graphics processor supporting a WDDM driver, Pixel Shader 2.0, 32 bits per pixel and at adequate memory. You'll need a card with at least 64MB of memory to support a single monitor displaying at a resolution of 1,280x1,024 pixels
• 40GB of hard-drive capacity with 15GB of free space
• DVD-Rom drive
• Audio output capability
• Internet access capability

If you're not sure whether your PC meets these requirements, you can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor beta application, which will analyse your system for you. It's a 4MB download and is available from the Microsoft Windows Web site.