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Graphic Card Requirements For Vista

When shopping for a new computer, what kind of graphics card will be necessary to run Microsoft’s Windows Vista? The Windows Vista operating system, due at the end of the month for consumers, will be available in several versions with a range of system requirements, so your graphics-card needs will vary.

Most hardware makers are labeling new computers as either Vista Capable to run the basic version, or Vista Premium Ready for a PC that can handle more Vista features. To run the low-end Vista Home Basic version of the system, Microsoft states that a compatible PC needs to have at least an 800-megahertz processor, 512 megabytes of system memory and a graphics processor that can run the DirectX 9 multimedia software and has at least 32 megabytes of graphics memory. While these hardware requirements are designed for the simplest version of Vista, they are not enough to display Windows Aero, its sophisticated graphical interface. Windows Aero – works with the Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, Vista Enterprise and Vista Ultimate editions of the system – features shimmering effects like translucent windows and 3-D graphics. According to Microsoft, a Windows Aero-compatible graphics card must be able to handle DirectX 9, Pixel Shader 2.0 technology and support 32 bits per pixel for colour depth. The card needs at least 128 megabytes of graphics memory and be able to run the Windows Display Driver Model software. Also known as WDDM, that is the code that lets Vista and the graphics card communicate properly.

The Windows Vista home page of Microsoft’s site has the full system requirements at
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