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Microsoft Hardware

Bulky System Requirements for Windows Vista 615

Posted by Zonk
from the running-hot dept.
unsurreal writes ""A Tech Strategist within Microsoft, Nigel Page, has gone on record to discuss the hardware requirements for Windows Vista, due out next Christmas." The next year is going to be an interesting one as hardware vendors smile towards the shocking new recommended hardware needed for the next generation Windows operating system." From the article: "Graphics: Vista has changed from using the CPU to display bitmaps on the screen to using the GPU to render vectors. This means the entire display model in Vista has changed. To render the screen in the GPU requires an awful lot of memory to do optimally - 256MB is a happy medium, but you'll actually see benefit from more. Microsoft believes that you're going to see the amount of video memory being shipped on cards hurtle up when Vista ships." Coverage available at Tom's Hardware as well, with a semi-transcript at Tech Ed.
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Bulky System Requirements for Windows Vista

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  • For any other company sysreqs this high with such a small increase in functionality would be suicide.

    Blizzard could make an operating system that had lower sysreqs and decent graphics capabilities. And people would love it for saying, "Zug Zug."

    Hopefully it's a nail in their home-desktop coffins that suddenly you can't put their OS on a machine that costs 600$, but somehow I doubt it. Xbox 360 for what most people currently use a home PC for, Vista for everything else.

    • I think people getting ready to do some M$ bashing should look into the past and go over microsoft's releases. When they released NT, windows 95, 98, 2000, xp they always went for the median hardware configuration of the upcoming 6 to 10 years. That is part of the reason you could run windows XP on a 32MB Pentium-II (I've done it, and it chugs along just fine, enough to run a browser for surfing and playing flash games).

      From the article: 2GB is the ideal configuration for 64-bit Vista, we're told. Vista
      • by Harbinjer (260165) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:42PM (#13522442) Journal
        While the PowerPC chips in the Xbox 360 may be similar in instruction set to the G5, the chips are VERY different. It uses only in-order instruction execution, and not out-of-order, which has been standard(for powerful CPU's) since at least the Pentium Pro(?) era, excepting the Itanium, which has the compiler do the OOO scheduling.

        The XBox 360 has 3 very small and rather simple PowerPC cores, and the Cell uses 1 such core, and the 7(?) SPU's along with it.
      • by Tim C (15259) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:06PM (#13522657)
        Hang on.

        However, since 64-bit is handling data chunks that are double the size, you'll need double the memory, hence the 2GB.

        64bit data is double the size of 32bit data? Just installing a 64bit version of an OS doubles your RAM requirements compared to the 32bit version?

        Since when?
        • It does when Microsoft implements the 64bit OS.

          64bit _code_ is usually 15% larger than 32bit, and I'd expect the larger address pointers to require comparable increase in the amount of memory for data structures.
        • Insightful? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by p3d0 (42270) on Friday September 09, 2005 @07:22PM (#13523230)
          Every pointer in every data structure now requires twice as much memory. I can't say for all programs, but in the Java world (where I work), about half of memory typically contains pointers. Therefore you expect to see a 50% increase in memory consumption.

          CPU stacks now have 8-byte entries, so they are pretty much always twice as big.

          AMD64 code is quite a bit bigger than IA32 code. Most estimates say 15%.

          None of these double your memory requirements, but it's probably easier for them to prereq 2GB of ram than 1.4GB.

          • Re:Insightful? (Score:3, Informative)

            by Tim C (15259)
            but in the Java world (where I work), about half of memory typically contains pointers

            Ok, I know you put "typically" in there, but it really depends on what you're doing. If you have multi-megabyte data structures (eg in a large cache to reduce db traffic) then I'd be very surprised if you had that many pointers relative to actual data. Of course, it depends on the structure of your data structures...

            it's probably easier for them to prereq 2GB of ram than 1.4GB.

            Possibly, but it's also easier and more purch
          • Re:Insightful? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AaronLawrence (600990) *
            about half of memory typically contains pointers

            No, it doesn't. That's silly. Even in the most extreme case 90% of memory contains DATA.

            The only way that half of memory would be pointers is if your entire computer's memory had a tree or list of integers, and what use is that? All real applications, even computational ones, contain lots of data: strings, images, documents.

            The two biggest users of memory on most computers would be cache (whether the file system, or database pages, or web pages), and images (i
      • by madprof (4723) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:29PM (#13522846)

        This is an inaccurate post in certain ways I am afraid.
        You cannot meaningfully talk about a "median" hardware platform over a 6-10 year time scale. That's at least 2 upgrade cycles in duration.
        When I ran XP the first time I checked to see how much RAM it was using and it was over 64MB without anything else loaded up.
        That's wasn't criminal on its release date and it doesn't tally with (assuming the hyperbole of reports is accurate) Vista requiring high-end hardware on release.

        I am also baffled as to how Vista's alleged requirement for powerful hardware is at all 'foresight'. Of course it'll run better on faster hardware, everything does.

        Here's a prediction - Vista will not require the massive resources people are fearing to run that well. At least you'll be able to buy a reasonably-priced PC that can cope fine.
        Anything else would be commercially inept.

    • by KillShill (877105) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:34PM (#13522386)
      hardly.

      have you seen current 600 dollar pcs?

      they far outclass the 600 dollar mac mini and those run tiger.

      by the time vista ships, 600 bucks will buy you a lot more power than you "need" to run vista.

      if you turn off the eye-candy , it'll run as well as xp does today.

      you have it wrong, hardware requirements are not a good reason not to get vista. there are much better reasons not to get it, like the massive DRM and financially supporting ms, which is as good reason as any.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The scenario is less like a monopoly and more like a desperate ploy to grow demand for hardware manufacturers. The current situation is that Windows XP provides all the functionality that most people need. Further, a 128-megabyte Pentium-III-powered box running at 500 megahertz is all the horsepower that most people need.

      When the quality and quantity of supply stabilizes to exactly meet demand, something "terrible" happens. Manufacturers can compete on only 1 "feature": price. The price plummets, an

    • And it's not true.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by scsirob (246572) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:48PM (#13522490)
      I'm typing this from my Vista beta install on a 3-year old Dell Dimension 4400, P4 1.7GHz, 512MB RAM and a Matrox P750 VGA card. Hardly a high-end PC these days. Even this first beta, it's been running well so far, does a lot better on suspend/resume than XP did for me and doesn't seem sluggish. Sure you'll be able to get more bells and whistles up and running on faster hardware, but I have no complaints this far..

      Before you flame me for being a MS zealot, the Vista machine is next to my Slackware 10.1 box and my really old Pentium 166 that is installing SCO OpenServer 5.0.2 as I type this. Computers are fun, regardless of the OS they run..
      • ...that is installing SCO OpenServer 5.0.2 as I type this

        And you are worried about being flamed for running MS software?
    • by ilyaaohell (866922) on Friday September 09, 2005 @07:50PM (#13523380)
      Xbox 360 for what most people currently use a home PC for, Vista for everything else.
      If you ever stepped away from the PC and geek news sources, you'd quickly discovers that sales of the original Xbox are a fraction of PS2's sales, and that sales of the Xbox 360 will likely be even lower thanks to everybody waiting for PS3's release a few months later and people assuming that Killzone 2 is in-game footage.

      It really boggles the mind sometimes. I frequent all sorts of geek news sites and gaming sites. Why is Slashdot so obsessed with the Xbox platform? I mean, ok, it's made by Microsoft, and therefore it's an automatic topic of discussion because computer geeks care a great deal more about Microsoft than Sony or Nintendo. But, let's be honest here, Microsoft's console had negligible impact on the gaming market, much less the computer geekary audience as a whole. Why do the Slashdot horde continually bring up this second tier gaming platform as if the Xbox is synonymous with console gaming? It ain't, PS2 is. And a year from now, PS3 will be.

      Hopefully I won't be modded down too bad for this, but just in case, let me end on this: I do not own either a PS2 or an Xbox.
  • 256mb? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chkMINUS (910577) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:18PM (#13522245)
    Yet another reason to use linux.
    • Re:256mb? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by slycer (161341)
      Well.. interestingly, yeah, it is.

      One reason why - how is game performance going to be affected by the O/S requiring 256M of the GPU memory? How much does it release when you launch D3? How much *more* vid ram would you have by running linux?

      Maybe it's a step for linux to be "the" viable gaming product. If you're seeing a 30fps increase just because you're using a different O/S, I think a lot of gamers will take a second look (of course it's the chicken and egg problem still)
    • No.

      For me and you, probably, the reasons to use GNU/Linux are the same than {ten,five,three,n}-years ago.

      For the [wo]man out there that knows just that "they has Internet, which is that blue icon right on the screen", it is Yet Another Reason to continue using XP/win98.

      If everybody loved Free OSes we would probably live in a better world. If everybody was able to get along quietly with their neighbour without starting wars every few days, we would live in a better world.

      Unfortunately neither will happen, du
  • And then we can say how great Linux is!

  • Heard this before (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _pi-away (308135) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:19PM (#13522252) Homepage
    Every new version of windows has beefed up the requirements, and I've always found them usable with less than they say.
    • by Jazzer_Techie (800432) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:29PM (#13522346)
      Windows will certainly be usable with less. Most of the GUI "eye-candy" in XP fails to be useful, not to mention less than aesthetically pleasing. The first thing that I do when I reinstall Windows (after patching it all up an installing Firefox) is to set it back to the Windows Classic theme. All of the eye candy inflates the sys reqs. I can't see myself sticking with the new Vista GUI either.
    • Every new version of windows has beefed up the requirements, and I've always found them usable with less than they say.
      I've got a funny feeling that when I run Vista in "classic interface" mode it's going to get by with far, far lower requirements.

      Maybe I'm missing something, but who exactly is it that is slobbering over variable transparancy windows, and flipping backside notation stuff?

    • Every new version of windows has beefed up the requirements, and I've always found them usable with less than they say.

      I recall the first install of Win 95, the packaging said Minimum 8 MB RAM. Yes, if you don't mind paging on those slow old MFM/RLL 20/30 MB drives over your pokey ISA bus. 12 MB was manageable, with patience. 16 MB was tolerable. 24 MB and up was comfortable. This on a 33 MHz 486.

      When I bought my first Pentium with 64 MB and Win 98 it was apparent almost from day 1 that 64 MB was j

    • Re:Heard this before (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cnettel (836611) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:39PM (#13522427)
      In this case, there is even the possibility of turning off Aero and running in a somewhat improved XP. Avalon apps will suffer, but they will still work.

      They want the Aero rendering to be considered fast and snappy. And, oh, it will possibly be so, but only on the right hardware. If they put the official requirements too low, it would just be said that the new interface is so full of eyecandy that it can't perform.

      What's really interesting here is what they manage to pull of on laptops, together with ATI and Nvidia. Will the power management for graphics chips make sense, even when 3D mode doesn't equal "battery sucking gaming mode"? The (public) slides from Microsoft even from the very first mentioning of Longhorn's 3D UI stressed this aspect. It will be interesting to see the solution. If a Mactel box will provide a sleek UI with a charge keeping the machine powered for twice as long, that'll be a very real selling point.

    • Re:Heard this before (Score:4, Informative)

      by guaigean (867316) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:50PM (#13522513)
      For a rate of their beefing up...

      Windows XP: 128MB RAM, 300MHz [microsoft.com]
      Windows 2000: 64MB RAM, 133MHz [microsoft.com]
      Windows 98: 16MB, 66 MHz [microsoft.com]
      Windows 95: 4MB RAM, 386 or higher [microsoft.com]

      I looked for some older requirements, but it's a good start, and shows approximately the equivalent of solid state advances etc. Yes, they beef it up, but fairly on par with new tech.
  • by Boap (559344) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:19PM (#13522253)
    Looks like it is going to be a booming year for ATI and NVIDIA when Vista is released
  • seriously (Score:5, Funny)

    by LiquidMind (150126) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:21PM (#13522265)
    A: "wow, that's a sweet rig, where'd you get that?"
    B: "It came with my purchase of Windows Vista."

    It's kinda like those people that drive with huge-ass spoilers on their tiny cars. Did the car come with the spoiler or did the spoiler come with the car?
    • C: 'You're still paying for both, so it doesn't matter what each cost ...'.

      It would be one thing if MS figured it would be able to stick to these specs for a while (ie several years). But something tells me they ain't thinking like that ...

  • by Paralizer (792155) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:21PM (#13522270) Homepage
    Give me a break! It's an operating system, what technicial leaps must it render that requires so much memory? I can run Doom3 at 1024x768 at pretty high quality with my 128MB card without a problem, yet to render a few windows and a start bar I need twice that?

    Eye-candy doesn't result in functionality Microsoft... shift your attention towards usability.
    • Does anybody have comparisons for OS X machines? They render much of their OS in the GPU, right?
      • Does anybody have comparisons for OS X machines? They render much of their OS in the GPU, right?

        A lot of the lower end machines still ship with 32 Megs on the card, and run fine (provided you've got a decent amount of system memory). Obviously that's too low for serious gaming, but the OS has no troubles with that amount of memory on the GPU.

        Having 256 on the GPU would be on the extreme high-end (only the highest end powermac ships by default with a card that big), not "a happy medium" for OS X.
      • Well, in comparison, MacOS X 10.4 (which most definitely DOES use the GPU for a lot of the graphics work) required 256MB of system RAM - and a massive 16MB of graphics RAM!

        http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/requirements.h tml [apple.com]

        Which does raise the question as to what the hell Microsoft are doing that means they require the same amount of graphics RAM as MacOS X needs for the system!
        • Which does raise the question as to what the hell Microsoft are doing that means they require the same amount of graphics RAM as MacOS X needs for the system!

          To be fair, Microsoft doesn't require a 256MB video card for Windows Vista. The requirement will probably be similar to Mac OS X: a video card that can display the resolution you want, at the colour depth you want. That's it.

          The 256MB figure is for the new eye candy, and not just that, it's for the new eye candy to run at full speed and not start chugg
    • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:35PM (#13522394) Homepage
      > ...and if sales started dropping that's exactly where their attention *would* go..

      Right now, the bulk of windows purchasers are the same people who don't know any better and are more impressed with flashy graphics for their home PC than features that 99% of them will never use or never realize they are using.

      Windows is the OS of the masses, yes it can be a good OS and in some respects it is, however... the bottom line is that Windows is being designed to appeal to people who buy the system based on what they *see*.
    • by IgLou (732042)
      Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

      If the O/S uses 256 MB of graphic RAM how much of that will get released by the O/S when I want to run a really high resolution game?
      HL 2 looked fairly good on 128 MB (what I have now). I wonder if they are purposely bloating the req speculatively or if this is the ideal just to run the O/S. *shudder*

      Oh and who wants to bet on the number of companies that will buy these insane-o high powered systems to run Vista because XP won't be supported at that point
  • by Joe U (443617) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:21PM (#13522271) Homepage Journal
    Of course the requirements are going to be bulky by mid 2005 standards. Vista is due in 2006/7 and will reflect the mid to high end computer design for late 2006.

    Also, these seem to be optimal, not minimum requirements, and from the article "minimum system requirements for Windows Vista will not be known until summer 2006 at the earliest." So, I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that your average system today will work fine with Vista, but you won't have all the bells and whistles.

    Finally, the '512 MByte is "heaps" for a 32-bit system. For a 64-bit system, however, "you're going to want 2 gigs of DDR3 RAM."' is off. If you are happy with 512, you'll be happy with 1GB. If you play lots of games, you most likely have 1GB now and you'll be happy with 2gb. And if you play EverQuest 2, you'll be happy with about 20gb, but it will still skip in places and you can't use the ultra-high resolution.


    • The article actually says that it's due out next Christmas, though I was also under the impression that it was 2006/7.

      Even then, the specifications are obscene. If I can render a GUI with a 800MHz CPU and 128MB RAM total, then how the Hell do they claim a need for 256MB solely for graphics? And a recommended 2GB in general. That's obscene.

      Time to play up Linux's potential for running on low-power systems.
    • The reason this is bull is that Vista, due out in 2006/2007, will be performing similar operations to 2004/2005 Macs. If you put OS X on a Vista class system in 2006/2007, and compared to Vista, who would win?
  • Thanks, Bill! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by appleLaserWriter (91994) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:21PM (#13522272)
    If a basic Windows box requires 256 MB of video RAM to run, then Macintosh OS X on x86 will definitely be the less expensive PC.
  • by KingEomer (795285) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:21PM (#13522273) Homepage
    We should be able to run this on our new 6.8Ghz 2TB HD 1TB RAM laptops!
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:22PM (#13522276) Homepage
    My company has been on a gradual migration away from Microsoft products. We haven't made any aggressive step as of yet -- our desktops are mostly WinXP. Our servers are Linux and Novell with the occasional utility server running some form of MS Windows or another. We are testing Novell Linux Desktop but we aren't even close to a deployment plan yet.

    But the capital expenses associated with this "upgrade" is needless and ridiculous even if we weren't planning to migrate to Linux.
  • by quickbasicguru (886035) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:22PM (#13522277)
    Three things that I can see happening:
    1)GNU/Linux goes mainstream faster
    2)Macs go mainstream
    3)Both 1+2
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:23PM (#13522281)
    Is _this_ why hardware vendors like MS so much? MS continually drives up hardware requirements as time progresses, allowing hardware vendors to pack more into PCs and making people pay more for a PC they wouldn't normally need?

    I don't know about you, but I really don't like this system of forced upgrades due to "enhancements." If I buy a computer that is 1000$, I expect it to be good for quite a long time. I think computers are at a point now where they can be treated as appliances, lasting for decades. If people just kept on using windows 2000/xp, a current day $500 PC would be good enough until the hardware dies. The problem is, that hardware just doesn't last that long these days. Ah well, maybe it's not a giant conspiracy, but I can see why Dell and such like their partnership with MS.

    Well, maybe there are enough people like me who are fed up with upgrades, and they'll just stay with windows 2000/xp or use linux/*bsd.

  • Ho-hum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brunellus (875635) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:24PM (#13522294) Homepage

    We're covering this as if most users were going to upgrade from XP to Vista, and will be thus compelled to shell out big bucks for new graphics cards, ram, disks, etc for their current computers just to run the new OS.

    This is, of course, not the case. Most users who cannot upgrade will march blithely on with the OS they already have. I'm writing from work, where we're still using Windows 2000. The computer next to me is an ancient Pentium 133--and it runs Win95.

    Home users will encounter Vista when they decide to buy a brand new computer, and from that perspective, they'll have gotten a shiny new OS with their shiny new hardware. Nobody will see the cost of the OS and the cost of the hardware to run it as separate things.

    • Quite honestly, I am still slowly upgrading my hardware ever since I put XP on my comp over a year ago, and it still isn't running a smooth as XP should. And I built this rig not more than two years ago!

      I have no desire to get Vista. Why would I? What will it have that XP can not do already for me? Espcially if I'm gonna have to build a new comp altogether. No, I just can't justify that kinda money cause it's new.
  • by mgpeter (132079) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:24PM (#13522299) Homepage
    I am betting on it being released when the DOJ restrictions are lifted - November 2007

    MS will never play fair, why should they start now (even though they are required to by law).
  • Hahaha! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dhaos (697924) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:25PM (#13522302)
    What's the deal here? Are they -trying- to shoot themselves in the foot?

    Businesses already have almost -no- incentive to switch to Vista. Now, instead of just buying expensive licences, they have to upgrade the graphics cards on their vanilla work PCs??

    Has someone at MS gone patently nuts?

    Yes, I know you will say "Microsoft will pull support for XP, and thus force everyone to upgrade." Maybe. But I think there will be backlash here.

    And if you think that Vista is going to be exclusively for consumers, please tell me how Dell will provide $400 dollar machines with such beefy video cards!! It defies logic!

    This is madness! Madness I say!
    • MS has repeatedly explained that if you don't have a dedicated video card, it will simply fall back into a software rendering mode with less bling, similar to what is used in XP.
  • So how is it my poor little iBook can do HW accelerated OS stuff with 32mb?

  • Just another good reason to not even consider upgrading at all.

    What will it take to get me to Vista?

    The Killer App that I need to run, and can't be run on anything else.

    And what is that Killer App?

    Haven't got a clue. Can't even imagine what more I'll want to do on a computer that I can't already do now.

    Good luck, Microsoft.

    • "Haven't got a clue. Can't even imagine what more I'll want to do on a computer that I can't already do now. "

      640K ought to be enough for anybody. -- Bill Gates, 1981

      Just for some perspective.

      Now I'll get off your lawn.
  • Gigantic Leap (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spy Handler (822350) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:27PM (#13522328) Homepage Journal
    Windows XP Professional: 128 megabytes [microsoft.com] of RAM or higher recommended

    Windows Vista: 2 Gigabytes of RAM recommended

    WTF??
  • by mistermark (646060) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:27PM (#13522329) Homepage
    Hmmmz, my SGI Indy didn't need 256MB of videomemory to have vectorized icons... somehow I get the feeling Vista isn't the most efficiently programmed software/OS we've seen... ;-)

    (and the Indy *did* ship with a journaling filesystem... XFS...)
  • Ya, so? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by T-Ranger (10520) <jeffw.chebucto@ns@ca> on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:29PM (#13522343) Homepage
    I could argue that 256mb cards will be a dime a dozen in 15 months, but all I have to say is:

    256mb of vram should be enough for anyone.

    Talk to me in 10 years and tell me then if you think that thats stupid.
  • A few things (Score:5, Interesting)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:31PM (#13522365) Homepage
    I am no Microsoft lover but I have to speak out here. Nigel Page originally said it would "work best" under that rather steep hardware configuration, any OS "should" work best under that configuration.

    As of the beta 1, the unoptimized version works kick ass on an 1800XP, 512MB DDR & Radeon 9700. Unless you want to use crap like "Aero Glass" you won't need a high end vid card. Personally speaking, I'm still worried about the DRM monitor requirements and I am also a bit uninterested since so many features (i.e. anything I really cared about as a windork) were dropped from the upcoming release.

    There couldn't be a larger piece of disinformation circulating the net right now.
  • I remember the days when my PC used to run win98 with 32MB RAM and later I had shelled out around 100 bucks to upgrade it to 32+64=96MB. WinXP's minimum memory requirement was 128MB and recommendation was 256MB. At that time it felt outrageous.

    The article claims that because Vista will require 1-2GB of RAM, it will drive the memory prices up. I don't think that was the case in the past and as far as I remember memory prices came down steadily after windows-XP was released. I doubt that WindowsVista will
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:34PM (#13522385) Homepage
    About half of corporate America is still running Windows 2000. And, after Vista comes out, probably half of corporate America will still be running Windows 2000, less further migration to Linux.

    There just isn't enough new in Longhorn/Vista to justify the buy. Where's the return on investment here? Why buy a new computer for everybody in your call center? Hello?

    There's nothing wrong with rendering the entire user interface in the GPU. Softimage was doing that under NT 4 in 1997, using OpenGL. It was clunky back then, but it's worked fine for years. Multiple windows tend to run slowly in OpenGL on Windows, but that's because of a common bug that allows only one window to update per refresh. Buffer swapping needs to be better worked out for the multiple window case. But all of this requires relatively minor improvements.

  • HDCP the new enemy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RentonSentinel (906700) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:39PM (#13522426) Journal
    If they think they can strong arm me into purchasing some DRM monitor they are absolutely off their rocker.

    Now slashdotters, it is our mission to raise the awareness on these HDCP monitors. They are the new Palladium, the new NGSCB, the new (circuit city) divx.

    I am feeling the red mist of rage!

    Macintosh will be the viable "store bought" rig to recommend friends and relatives purchase. And for use, we will need to get Linux working with HD-DVD and Blu-ray in short order!

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday September 09, 2005 @05:42PM (#13522445)
    Microsoft believes that you're going to see the amount of video memory being shipped on cards hurtle up when Vista ships.

    Hurl chunks is more like it when I see the bill.

    However, since 64-bit is handling data chunks that are double the size, you'll need double the memory, hence the 2GB.

    You've got to be kidding with this statement. Does this person even understand the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit processors? I don't think so.

    NCQ allows for out of order completions - that is, if Vista needs tasks 1,2,3,4 and 5 done, it can do them in the order 2,5,3,4,1

    Excuse me, but Vista isn't the one doing the reordering of hard drive accesses. NCQ is done in the controller and drive itself.

    NCQ is supported on SATA2 drives

    And selected SATA-1 drives.

    AGP is 'not optimal' for Vista. Because of the fact that graphics cards may have to utilise main system memory for some rendering tasks, a fast, bi-direction bus is needed - that's PCI express.

    Will there be an AGP system left that can meet the rest of the Vista requirements? And I thought AGP had an option to use system memory in the specification as well.

    no current TFT monitor out there is going to support high definition playback in Vista.

    What if they release Vista, and nobody bought? If the consumers finally said We've had enough of this sh|t?

    This isn't really Microsoft's fault - HDCP is something that content makers, in their eternal wisdom, have decided is necessary to stop us all watching pirated movies.

    Oh yes it is Microsoft's fault. Without Microsoft enabling this the whole concept would be DOA. And Trusted Computing isn't even mentioned.

    Tell me again, please. What is the compelling reason to upgrade to Vista?

    • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:28PM (#13522838) Homepage
      What if they release Vista, and nobody bought?

      As if people have a choice. If you go to a computer store in 2007, every computer will have Vista preinstalled. (Except the Macs.)

      What is the compelling reason to upgrade to Vista?

      It doesn't matter, since most Windows sales come from new machines.
  • by tlambert (566799) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:00PM (#13522593)
    SATA NCQ does *NOT* give SCSI performance.

    This is not to say it's not a hell of a lot more useful than not being able to do disconnected writes at all, but pre-insertion of write barriers instead of post insertion via scheduling is really a poor-man's version of I/O concurrency.

    Unless you go out of your way to do a FUA (Force Unit Access), on SATA, there is no guarantee that write data has been committed to stable storage, rather than just cache.

    In SCSI tagged command queueing, you can be guaranteed that the write has been committed to stable storage before the write is acknowledges as completed (yes, it's optional to turn this off in mode page 2, but only idiots do it).

    The upshot of this is that the OS must issue FUA on writes and stall the pipeline for other writes that don't require a commitment to stable storage (e.g. FUA for metadata and journalling, no-FUA for other data).

    This is (effectively) the difference between DOW (Delayed Ordered Writes) and SU (Soft Updates), which is what makes SU so much more effective than DOW.

    Further, it means that the OS can't use the acknowledgement to schedule future operations on the disk, without knowing ahead of time the FUA is necessary for a given write.

    The issue here is that if I'm, for example, updating the contents in a single directory entry block on disk in two different processes, instead of deciding to delay the second update until I know the first one has completed (via the acknowledgement), I must issue the first one as an FUA command, and then the second one as an FUA command, which adds latency to my pipeline.

    "Mr. SATA, I've worked with Mr. SCSI, and you're no Mr. SCSI".

    -- Terry
  • by Zedrick (764028) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:04PM (#13522634)
    I once had a colleague who was training to get an MCSE. Out of curiosity I took a look at the introduction course, at the very begining they were bragging about how Windows NT consisted of 50 gazillion-something lines of code.

    Now, most Slashdotters would read that and say:
    "bloated software."

    The average non-techie computer user will think:
    "wow!"

    When seeing these silly requirements for Vista (oh, what a stupid stupid stupid name!), most Slashdotters are thinking:
    "Incompetent idiots."

    The average non-techie computer user will think:
    "wow!"
  • by Logic Bomb (122875) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:06PM (#13522646)

    Mac OS X 10.4 is capable of rendering the entire interface using the GPU (they call it Quartz Extreme [apple.com]). The system delivers some incredibly cool visual effects (see Core Image [apple.com]), and it does it on systems with as little as 64 MB of VRAM on the graphics card. So what the hell is Vista going to do where 256 will be optimal?

  • OEM Windows (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaptainPinko (753849) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:14PM (#13522719)
    Hoe much do you want to bet that Microsfot realizes that most people only pay for Windows when they buy it with their computer thus they will aim to require a new computer for each next majour release?
  • Fsck Hollywood (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Detritus (11846) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:16PM (#13522734) Homepage
    Fsck Hollywood, if they think that I am going to replace perfectly good displays, which weren't cheap, with HDCP-capable displays, just so that I can cater to their paranoia about piracy. These same asshats expect home theatre owners, who've spent thousands of dollars on high-definition video hardware, to dump their current hardware because it doesn't support HDCP.

    HD-DVD and BluRay can join DAT, SACD, and DVD-Audio as formats that were killed by greed.

  • by complexmath (449417) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:23PM (#13522802)
    2GB is the ideal configuration for 64-bit Vista, we're told. Vista 32-bit will work ideally at 1GB, and minimum 512. However, since 64-bit is handling data chunks that are double the size, you'll need double the memory, hence the 2GB.
    Does this make sense to anyone? It sounds like he thinks the memory footprint of all applications will double just because the address size has. Or perhaps this is just what they're going to tell users when the next version of MS Word occupies 200 megs of RAM.
  • The Vista Cruiser... (Score:3, Informative)

    by kaoshin (110328) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:32PM (#13522878)
    I performed a test installation of the Vista Beta 1 (build 5112) on a Dell C640 Latitude laptop, which is equipped with a modest Mobility Radeon 7500C and 16MB graphics memory, and 256MB system RAM. I didn't do benchmark tests, but I can say that although the installation took almost FOREVER (seriously, I drove home, went to lunch, came back and it was still nowhere near complete) and the installation media was HUGE, the resulting ghost image itself was only 1.1GB compared to a base XP ghost image of half that size which I don't think was too terrible in the disk space department. The OS itself ran only a little slower than XP SP2 does under those hardware limitations. There were noticeable lags, but it functioned as well as I would expect anything Microsoft related to function on limited specs. I personally think the new interfaces are cute, but doesn't hold a candle to aqua or enlightenment, etc. I work for a corporation with a little under 30,000 users and the word from the boss is that we are not going to go to a Windows Vista image (which means, unless they get screwed into having to).
  • by angelasmark (856143) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:34PM (#13522899) Journal
    I'm convinced I know the real reason MS needs you to have spiffy video card. We've all pissed clippy off by making fun of him... Now we're gonna log into windows and BAM! 3D clippy. And if he finds open office icons on your desktop hes gonna kick them around like soccer balls so Joe6Pack can't use it... thats my conspiracy theory of the day....
  • We Told You So (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Friday September 09, 2005 @10:48PM (#13524182) Homepage

    You want to stay with Microsoft?

    You pay the hardware cost.

    I can't wait until the corporations see that every secretary in the office has to have 2GB of RAM - or they have to support 2000 and XP themselves after "end of life" - which will be about five minutes after Vista ships, since Gates may be an asshole, but he's not stupid.

    I can't wait to see the minimum disk space, too. Forget about putting Vista on a Bart's PE flash drive...even if you have a 4GB one.
  • wank (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smash (1351) on Saturday September 10, 2005 @05:07AM (#13525335) Homepage Journal
    To render the screen in the GPU requires an awful lot of memory to do optimally - 256MB is a happy medium, but you'll actually see benefit from more

    Funny how MacOS X has managed just fine on a 32meg card for the past couple of years... even Tiger.

    Microsoft is trying to tell us that rendering a Windows desktop requires more 3d memory capacity than the PS2 uses for something like Gran Turismo 4? That their own X box has 1/4 the capacity needed to render a Windows desktop?

    Pfft..

    smash.

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