Windows Vista: Should I Upgrade or Purchase New Hardware?

 
Through Microsoft’s TechNet Plus Subscription, I’ve been evaluating Windows Vista for almost two years.
 
While I installed Windows Vista on a number of different computers, my main test computer was a 3GHz Pentium 4 with 2GB memory, with way too much disk space, and a top of the line “current” nVidia video adapter. Yet this was not powerful enough for some Vista features. I’d have to upgrade my video adapter to see the truly beautiful new Aero Interface . . . but I’d still be missing some minor features.
 
 
SHOULD I UPGRADE WINDOWS XP? If you have to ask . . . probably no. 
Windows Vista CAPABLE Hardware Specifications
CPU: Modern Processor (at least 800MHz)
Memory: 512MB
Video: DirectX 9 Capable (WDDM Driver Support recommended)
Hard Drive: 40 GB (Free > 15GB)
Optical Drive: DVD-ROM Drive
 
Windows Vista PREMIUM Hardware Specifications
CPU: Modern 32/64 bit Processor (at least 1GHz)
Memory: 1GB
Video Aero Capable: DirectX 9, WDDM Driver, Pixel Shader 2.0, 32 bits per pixel
Graphics Memory:  128 MB
Hard Drive: 40 GB (Free > 15GB)
Optical Drive: DVD-ROM Drive 
OPINION: Microsoft’s Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, ATI Graphics’ Windows Vista Readiness Advisor & Crucial’s Memory Scanner will all provide information on upgrading your existing hardware.
 
But Microsoft’s minimums are too low – we need to upgrade these specs: 
Windows Vista CAPABLE Hardware Specifications (Updated)
CPU: Modern Processor (at least 1GHz)
Memory: 1GB
Video: DirectX 9 Capable (WDDM Driver Support recommended)
Graphics Memory:  Non-shared
Hard Drive: >100GB (Lots of Free Space)
Optical Drive: DVD-ROM Drive
 
Windows Vista PREMIUM Hardware Specifications (Updated)
CPU: Modern 32/64 bit Processor (> 1GHz (Dual Core better))
Memory: 1GB  or greater
Video Aero Capable: DirectX 9, WDDM Driver, Pixel Shader 2.0, 32 bits per pixel
Graphics Memory:  128MB or greater
Monitor: Widescreen
Hard Drive: >100GB (Lots of Free Space)
Optical Drive: DVD-ROM Burner 
 
BOTTOM LINE: The hardware upgrades will cost a FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS – and Windows Vista a FEW HUNDRED MORE. Let’s also not forget many hours spent – even if things go right! (How much is your time worth again?)
 
Unless you already own a fast "gaming type" computer; do not spend the money & time upgrading the hardware and software of an existing Windows XP computer. There’s no reason to ruin a perfectly good (working) Windows XP computer. Besides you can breathe new life into your Windows XP computers by upgrading to Internet Explorer 7, Windows Defender & Windows Desktop Search.
SHOULD I PURCHASE A NEW COMPUTER? Emphatically YES, YES, YES!
I truly enjoy working with Windows Vista. As soon as I began evaluating my Acer Ferrari computer I noticed an astounding difference in performance and the Aero interface is breathtaking . . . THIS is how Windows Vista is meant to be seen & used.
 
While I’m not recommending that everyone purchase an Acer Ferrari – I am recommending that you forgo the impulse to extensively upgrade your Windows XP computer’s hardware . . . save money, time and potential aggravation by purchasing a new Windows Vista Capable or Premium Ready computer (with my updates).


NOTE: While these are minor omissions, it’s doubtful most current computers support these Vista Features.
 
    • ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) requires BIOS Support for DEP/NX (Data Execution Prevention / No Execute)
    • BitLocker requires BIOS Support for TPM (Trusted Platform Management)
    • ReadyBoost will NOT work with most current (previous) USB Memory Devices
    • Older Intel Duo Core chips were NOT Optimized for Virtualization
    • PVP-OPM (Protected Video Path-Output Protection Managment) Monitor needed for future high-resolution video.
 
Advertisements

About blakehandler

BLAKE was a Microsoft MVP and award winning programmer with over 20+ years experience providing complete Windows and networking support for small to medium sized businesses. BLAKE is also Jazz Musician and Instructor for residential clients on the Los Angeles West Side.
This entry was posted in Windows Vista. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Windows Vista: Should I Upgrade or Purchase New Hardware?

  1. Sachleen says:

    I agree, I don’t think its worth upgrading to Vista as most people these days do not have the needed hardware for it. Also, if you buy a computer today and plan on running Vista on it, most pople will get the "Microsoft Vista Capable" sticker instead of the "Microsoft Vista Ready" sticker. The difference is that the Vista Capable computers are just that, they can run vista, but then again, so can my 5 year old celeron with integrated video. This confuses alot of people because they think Vista will run fine, but they just won’t be able to get everything out if it. I strongly disagree with what Microsoft did about the two Capable and Ready stickers, just confuses people…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s