One of the new aspects of Vista thats gotten much more than its fair share of attention is Aero Glass, the new operating systems hardware-accelerated user interface. Most of the fuss focuses on whether Aero Glass will force organizations to purchase new, more powerful hardware. Aero Glass does require a gaming-level graphics cardwe had to swap out our test systems Nvidia Corp. GeForce4 MX 420 card for a more powerful GeForce FX 5950 Ultra to enable all the eye candy that the system could offerbut as far as we can tell, the only thing Aero Glass gets you is translucent window decorations. The translucency looks cool, but we found that the effect made it difficult at times to discern where our window borders were, and it led to fumbling when dragging windows around.We expect that Vista will run well with 512MB of RAM and pretty much any CPU that has shipped during the past few years. Next Page: Dealing with Data.
We also tested Vista on a notebook system with no 3-D capability, 256MB of RAM and an Intel Corp. 900MHz Pentium M. Although we had to downgrade to the Classic style (which looks just like Windows 2000) on this level of hardware, Vista worked fine for us, without loss of any real functionality.