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Published on 07.03.07 by Brent Trahan

Windows Vista Hardware Requirements

This guide lists the hardware requirements for a basic or premium experience in Windows Vista.


Contrary to what most people believe Windows Vista is very fast, even on slower computers. I’ve personally tested Windows Vista and found that it ran faster than the same computer running XP and 2000 Pro!

Installing Windows Vista on a computer that only meets the minimum requirements won’t break any speed records. Remember that your experience is only as good as your hardware. If you buy cheap you get cheap.

Here are the basic hardware requirements for Windows Vista.

Windows Vista Basic Experience

These hardware requirements are only for a basic experience that doesn’t include the Aero user interface.

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

Don’t expect a computer that only meets these requirements to have the sleek new look of Vista or be a speed daemon.

Windows Vista Premium Experience

These hardware requirements are a minimum for the Premium Windows Vista experience.

  • A 32 or 64-bit processor at 1GHz
  • 1GB or system memory (RAM)
  • A graphics card that supports DirectX 9 with a Windows Display Driver, a minimum of 128MB of memory, Pixel Shader 2.0, and the ability to show 32-bits per pixel
  • 40GB of hard drive capacity with 15GB free space
  • Audio
  • Internet Access

Remember that the more speed, larger amounts of memory, and better quality hardware will result in a much faster computer and a overall better experience. You get what you pay for.

Windows Vista Logos on Computers

When purchasing a computer with Windows Vista it helps to look at the Vista logo on the computer to see what it’s capable of.

Premium Experience

A new computer with hardware capable of a premium experience will be white and simply say Windows Vista.

Basic Experience

A new computer with hardware capable of only a basic experience will be blue and say Basic at the bottom of the logo.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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