Windows Vista System Requirements and Recommendations

In case you can't get the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to work properly on your PC or you want to take a quick look at what it takes to run Windows Vista, this section covers the system requirements and recommendations. In addition, you can refer to the next several sections on how to manually check the specs of the different system components on your PC.

First, you can take a look at the bare-minimum system requirements to install and run Windows Vista:

  • 800MHz processor

  • 512MB of memory (RAM)

  • 20GB hard drive with at least 15GB of available space

  • Support for Super VGA graphics

  • CD-ROM drive

It's important to keep in mind that you won't experience very good performance and won't be able to use many of the neat new features of Vista if running on a system just meeting the bare-minimum requirements. Therefore, you might want to only install and use Windows Vista on a system exceeding the recommended system requirements, as shown in Table 1.1

Table 1.1. Recommended System Requirements

Home Basic Home Premium/Business/Ultimate
Processor 1GHz (32-bit or 64-bit)
Memory (RAM) 512MB 1GB
Hard drive 20GB (15+ available) 40GB (15+ available)
Graphics Support for DirectX 9 graphics with: 32MB of graphics memory Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:

128MB of graphics memory (minimum)

32 bits per pixel

WDDM Driver

Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
CD drive DVD-ROM
Audio output Recommended
Internet access Recommended for Windows activation, updates, and other tasks


Common Units of Measure

If you are not familiar with the units of measure for hertz and/or bytes, the following list might help you understand the orders of magnitude:

kB (kilobyte) = 1000 bits

MB (megabyte) = 1,000kB (1,000,000 bits)

GB (gigabyte) = 1,000MB (1,000,000,000 bits)

MHz (megahertz) = 1,000kHz

GHz (gigahertz) = 1,000MHz

For example, 500MB is half of a gigabyte and 3GHz is 3,000 MHz.

This should help when comparing system specifications.


You can use the following sections to manually look up your PC specs, so you can compare them against the requirements and recommendations.

*.* Source of Information : Que 100 Things You Need to Know About Microsoft Windows Vista


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