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The ongoing trend towards integrated graphics cores in office and home personal computers may soon slowdown, as Microsoft recommends those, who would like to install Windows Vista, to get standalone graphics cards due to their higher performance when rendering graphics user interface (GUI) of the upcoming operating system (OS).

“The new graphics capabilities in Windows Vista will require a powerful graphics engine if you want to take full advantage of all the new and cool stuff, such as the new Aero Glass look. You probably want to avoid the low-end of the current GPU range and make sure you get a GPU that supports DirectX 9 and has at least 64MB of graphics memory,” a special article by Microsoft dedicated to hardware requirements of Windows Vista explains.

Windows Vista Aero Glass, Aero Express and Diamond themes (interfaces) use DirectX 9.0 pixel shaders to render the GUI and everything on the screen. This puts pretty high requirements for graphics processor used for rendering, as rapid appearance of dialog boxes and windows is crucial for comfortable and fast work of a user. Given that graphics cores integrated into chipsets generally provide relatively slow performance under substantial workloads, Microsoft seems to be correct in advising customers not to expect those to be sufficient choice for Windows Vista.

It should be noted that DirectX 9.0-supporting graphics card with 64MB of memory is an entry-level of Microsoft’s recommendations, which means that higher-end graphics cards are preferable for the Vista’s advanced interfaces, such as Aero Glass, Aero Express and Diamond.

“If you chose a system that has built-in graphics, again make sure that the system has a PCI Express or AGP slot that will let you add a graphics card later in case the onboard graphics chipset doesn't fully support Windows Vista,” Microsoft advices.

Still, Microsoft’s Vista will have a cut-down version of its interface in order to support notebook computers that do not tend to have high-end graphics, as more advanced GPU means shorter battery life. At this point Microsoft has not yet made its mind about the range of supported mobile graphics solutions as well as minimal graphics chips required, so, customers looking towards Windows Vista should look at machines with more or less advanced visual processing units by companies like ATI Technologies or NVIDIA Corp.

Other recommendations Microsoft gives about the hardware that provides adequate user experience with Vista include a 64-bit capable chip from upper end of the processor spectrum of AMD or Intel, 1GB of memory; a Serial ATA HDD with 7200rpm motor, 8MB cache and Native Command Queuing; a DVD±RW optical drive; in addition, Microsoft recommends rapid networking technologies – 54Mbps or 100Mbps to be supported by a PC that runs Windows Vista.

Discussion

Comments currently: 40
Discussion started: 08/05/05 07:28:58 AM
Latest comment: 08/25/06 01:51:28 PM
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1. 
Microsoft says:

"Stop buying Intel integrated graphics because we want to be the only company that as a Monopoly in the world"
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/05/05 07:57:52 AM]
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- collapse thread

 
I would agree, but recent news from Intel says that they are withdrawning from the Entry Level chipset market.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/05/05 11:09:33 AM]
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2. 
Integrated Graphics is rubbish anyway
If you're after a cheap but capable graphics card that supports DX9c then how about a PCI-Express 6200 TC 256MB for $59
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/05/05 09:20:01 AM]
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TC 256 only has 16 or 32 or some other low amount of RAM onboard. It uses the remaining 256MB from the system (memory).
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/05/05 11:10:23 AM]
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That is correct MonkRX the 6200 TC-64 256MB is equipped with 64MB of 64bit DDR-550, and during 3D it allocates another 192MB of system RAM to the video card
The 6200 TC-32 128MB is equipped with 32MB of 64bit DDR700 and allocates another 96MB of system RAM during 3D

But since we're talking about inbuilt video, let's compare with Intel's GMA 950, the most powerful inbuilt solution to date which utilises upto 224MB of system RAM

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2427&p=3

[img]http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/945g%20graphics_05230550547/7507.png[/im g]
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/05/05 09:07:28 PM]
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What are you talking about? ATI’s Xpress 200 is more powerful than Intel's GMA 950, which is shown by the link you provided.

Think of all the windows licenses running on computers used in government and corporations not dealing with computer graphics (i.e. 99.9...% of them). How many of these do you think have integrated graphics? Almost all, because that is all they need. Just the thought that a few percent of these will buy e.g. the 6200TC must make nvidia really excited, because the market is huge.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/07/05 05:53:50 AM]
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Ooops, meant to say Intel GMA 950 INTEL'S most powerful inbuilt solution to date

Regardless

A 6200 TC 32/64 still railroads the ATI Xpress 200
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2427&p=2
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2427&p=3
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2427&p=4

Inbuilt video is evil, it was released under the guise of being used to lower the price of office computers which needed little [or rather no] 3d acceleration but it has ended up being used in most pre-built PCs in order to screw more money out of consumers who don't know enough about computers
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/07/05 08:37:04 PM]
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3. 
The interesting part for me was at the end, where they talk about processors. There they recomend a "64-bit capable" processor. Sounds like a really good hint that Longhorn will be fully available in a 64-bit version, or there will be a unified version that works with 32 or 64 bit processors (even better).
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 08/05/05 11:39:44 AM]
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