Cool Solutions

Vista update



June 14, 2006 6:04 pm






Another in a series on Vista.

I blogged in April about the hardware baseline for Vista – I pointed out that the minimum specs were pretty steep:

  • general knowledge worker – Pentium 4 class machine, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, 1Gbit ethernet, accelerated graphics capability
  • ‘power worker’ – Pentium 4 class machine; dual core and 64 bit ideal, 2GB RAM, 100GB HDD, 1Gbit ethernet, accelerated graphics capability

This garnered a comment from Wolfie2k6:

I have it running very nicely, thank you – with all bells and whistles – on a box that cost me less than $500. That’s including a set of high end Altec Lansing speakers.

Wake up folks – hardware is CHEAP.

I still contend that the minimum hardware is way more than $500 – and that was validated this week with the release of the hardware specs for Windows Vista Premium – one of the SKUs likely to be deployed by corporate customers:

The following are requirements for Windows Vista Premium logo-compliant PC and will be mandated by June 1st, 2007:

  • Must have H.264 hardware decoding
  • Must have HDCP
  • Must support multi-monitor support
  • Must have HD audio
  • Must have HD audio jack presence detection
  • Must have Serial ATA 2.5
  • Must have minimum of 50MB NV cache on hybrid HD’s with at least 8MB/sec write 16MB/sec read (for mobile only)
  • Must support booting from USB flash drives
  • Must have Windows Vista Green Button on all remotes
  • Must have Green Driver Quality Rating (DQR)

DailyTech has the full skinny.

Written at: Ottawa, Canada

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  1. By:Tadd Moore

    Hey there Martin – I think reality is somewhere in between. You can probably get a $500 PC running Vista, and the people who will do that probably don’t require OEM support.

    As I understand it, a “logo-compliant” PC means you get to put the little Microsoft sticker on it that says “Designed for Microsoft Windows Vista”. As a business customer, this may or may not be important enough to spend the extra money on.

    That said, I’m pretty sure that when our current PC’s come off-lease in 30 months, their replacements will be fully “logo-compliant” at a reasonable price-point.

    Also keep in mind that until 6 months ago, we were still on Windows 2000. OS upgrades are expensive to carry out mid-term, and as you are well aware, maintaining more than one hardware/OS standard is even more expensive from an IT management standpoint.

    I guess my assertion is that the cost of the hardware you need to run Vista at the desktop is the LEAST of one’s worries. I honestly don’t see it deeply penetrating corporate markets the instant it’s released, although I can hope our competitors jump on it as soon as possible (grin).

  2. By:Dave Johnson

    Note though that those a requirements for OEMs putting a Windows Vista Premium LOGO on a PC. Those are NOT requirements for running Vista Premium. It’s a marketing campaign.

    A perfectly good Vista Premium PC will have any modern CPU, 1Gb of RAM, and DX9 graphics (which include all of the most recent integrated graphics chipsets like GeForce 6100, ATI RS48x, Intel 945). That’s a sub-$500 box. Pretty much the same as what will run SUSE 10.1 well.

    The difference between Vista at launch and XP at launch is that Vista’s target hardware is the common new hardware at launch time. XP seemed to target hardware a couple years old. That’s why it’s been common to upgrade to XP on old Celeron-500 Windows 98 machines; I don’t think Vista upgrades on old hardware will be nearly as common.

    Of course by the time Vista ships, I’ll already be nudging some customers towards buying OS-less PC’s and using their OWS license to run NLD. NLD 10 by then I hope?

  3. Tadd – love the comments – and I agree about the ‘mid-cycle hardware refreshes’. They really are the project killers.

    I’m going to go look at the hardware options Novell has today and get some real prices for Vista-suitable PCs. I’ll probably use a Lenovo Thinkpad and a Dell workstation as examples – they are pretty widely spread across Novell.

  4. By:Paul Smyth

    Just like to remind people when reading those minimum specs that the XP specs claimed that XP would run on a Pentium 233 with 64 meg RAM……….