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Windows Vista Versions Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Windows Vista Versions. If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, you can find additional computer support via our Free Technical Support
Form or our Free Computer Help Forums.

About Windows Vista Minimum System Requirements
How much will Windows Vista cost? I have just purchased a new computer with XP on it, how can I tell if it is Vista ready?
What should I purchase, Vista Ultimate 32bit or Vista Ultimate 64bit Should I upgrade to Windows Vista?
Can I Download Vista Online? Why should I run the 64 bit version of Vista?
Why would I choose the Vista Business Version?  

Use the Information below at your own risk.  See "Terms of Use"

About Windows Vista

Windows Vista makes huge strides forward in personal computing. Vista improves reliability, security, ease of deployment, performance, and manageability. With Vista, you can:

  • Surf the Web more confidently knowing that Vista is safeguarding both your system and your personal information.

  • Organize your work in new exciting ways.

  • Play in a powerful new playground.

  • Connect faster and more seamlessly with other people and computers.

Vista users will love the speed in which it Starts up and how quickly it awakes from sleep state. IT departments will love the new tools Vista deploys to help diagnose trouble. Fewer user problems and greater reliability creates better productivity for your organization.


Recommended minimum system requirements for Windows Vista

The following information is what Microsoft recommends as a minimum system hardware requirement for the Windows Vista operating system. While the actual hardware requirements may vary depending on specific system configurations and program features. However, the information below can be used as a guideline.

Windows Vista Home Basic:

  • 800 megahertz (MHz) 32 bit (x86) or 800 MHz 64 bit (x64) processor

  • 512 megabytes (MB) of random access memory (RAM). If your system combines the use of system memory and graphics memory, then at least 448 MB needs to be available to system memory.

  • DirectX 9-class graphics card

  • External or Internal DVD drive

  • 32 MB of graphics memory

  • Internet accessibility

  • 20 gigabytes (GB) hard disk

  • Audio output capability

Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions:

  • 1 GHz 32 bit (x86) or 1 GHz 64 bit (x64) processor

  • 1 GB system memory

  • 40 GB hard disk

  • 128 MB graphics memory

  • External or internal DVD drive

  • Audio output capability

  • Internet accessibility

  • Windows Aero-capable graphics card that meets the following criteria:

    • Supports a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver

    • Passes the Windows Aero acceptance test in the Windows Driver Kit (WDK)

    • Supports 32 bits per pixel

    • Supports Pixel Shader 2.0

    • DirectX 9-class graphics processor unit (GPU)


How much will Windows Vista cost?

The suggested retail price for all of the different Vista products are as follows:


Suggested Retail Price

Windows Vista Home Basic $199.00 or $99.00 for upgrade
Windows Vista Home Premium $239.00 or $159.00 for upgrade
Windows Vista Business $399.00 or $259.00 for upgrade
Windows Vista Enterprise Available to large businesses only *

* Windows Vista Enterprise is sold on a "per license" basis. The larger the business, the more licenses required.


I have just purchased a new computer with XP on it, how can I tell if it is Vista ready?

Microsoft has designed two new logo's to help consumers identify a new computer system as being "Vista Ready". One logo reads "Windows Vista Capable, which means that the machine has enough resources to run Windows Vista. However, this logo will not guarantee that the system will run all of the new graphical features of Windows Vista. The other logo is, "Vista Premium Ready". This logo signifies that the system will run all of Windows Vista's features.


What should I purchase, Vista Ultimate 32bit or Vista Ultimate 64bit?

There are a couple of factors to consider here:

  1. Are you needing the 64bit version to run 64bit applications?

  2. Do you need to support more that 4gb of RAM?

If you have answered "Yes" to either of the above questions then go ahead with installing the 64bit version. However, I have to warn that you could run in to problems with drivers for this version. Many vendors do not have 64bit drivers available yet.

If you answered "No" to the questions, then go ahead with the 32bit version. Keep in mind that both versions will reside on the disk that you purchase, so if you decide later on that you would like to give it a go, then all you would need to do is perform a clean installation of the 64bit version.


Should I upgrade to Windows Vista?

Q: I currently have XP Home SP2. I am thinking about upgrading to Windows Vista. I have read in many forums that it isn't all that stable yet and some recommend that I wait until at least SP1 is released. Is this correct?

A: You will read in many forums how unstable and slow Vista is. You should keep in mind that only those that are having trouble with Vista are the ones that are usually posting to these forums. The general users that are simply enjoying the experience are never heard from. I really couldn't say which group out-weighs one or the other. I can tell you that if you are considering upgrading your current installation, you should do some homework to give yourself the best chance of a successful installation and pleasant experience with Vista. Things to look in to would be:

  1. Is your current hardware compatible with Vista and will it run Aero efficiently?

  2. Will the software you have run under Vista?

Once you have determined that your system is fully compatible with Vista and you have located all of the current drivers needed. I would say you have a good chance of enjoying your Vista experience.

Still, you need to ask yourself why you are considering the upgrade. Is it just because you would like to see the neat 3D effects of the Aero feature? Or, do you have a specific need to have the latest technology, whether it be gaming or business?

If you can sit tight with your XP Home installation and wait for Vista to become a more stable experience for the masses, you might be better off. You see, Vista is new (obviously) so software makers and hardware manufactures are playing catch-up trying to get their products to function correctly under Vista. Just like any new Windows release, these things take time. Just my 2 cents worth.

I hope that I have helped you with your decision to upgrade.


Can I Download Vista Online?

You can purchase an upgrade from Windows Marketplace, but I certainly wouldn't advice it. It is much more advisable to have the Installation DVD in your possession. There isn't a price difference anyway.


Why should I run the 64 bit version of Vista?

The one thing that makes the 64 bit architecture more desirable is the fact that you can use more than 4 GB of memory. This makes very graphical and data intensive programs perform much better. However, since obtaining 64 bit drivers can be a little tricky right now, many users will find running the 64 bit version pretty frustrating. Eventually, as drivers become more readily available, I see everyone running a 64 bit operating system.


Why would I choose the Vista Business Version?

Vista business is geared toward the business user just as Windows XP Professional was. Because Vista Business supports accessing resources on a Windows Server domain, you can remotely access your office PC via the Remote Desktop feature and retrieve files while away from the office.


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