The Right Hardware for Vista

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It's no secret that Windows Vista requires a number of hardware enhancements, the more substantial of which are needed by the higher-end versions. That's in keeping with all previous Windows updates and practically every other working OS on the market.


But you still have to hand it to Microsoft for at least offering a number significant toolsets designed to enhance the flow of information between Vista and its hardware environment. PCWorld, naturally, has been highlighting this aspect of Vista since its introduction, the latest update delving into a set of "helpers" designed to optimize enhanced memory systems. The ReadyBoost, ReadyDrive and SuperFetch systems are aimed at boosting the speed of flash memory devices and hybrid drives, allowing some users to forego having to purchase additional RAM.


And just last week, the magazine ran a useful article highlighting ways to smooth the integration of new Vista systems with legacy hardware. It offers tips on how to maximize the Vista Upgrade Advisor and what to do if a certain vendor still hasn't delivered the right Vista drivers.


Our own Rob Enderle had an informative piece in TechNewsWorld on Monday, spelling out some of Vista's key hardware requirements now that the initial complaints period following the release is winding down. DirectX 10 support is key, as is a hefty flash buffer like the Robson or ReadyBoost.


One key issue surrounding Vista and various hardware solutions is performance benchmarks, specifically whether the benchmarks in Vista's Experience Index jive with what's happening in the real world. Tom's Hardware Guide decided to find out, and it's posted a 10-page report examining a number of configurations. I'll let you surf over there to see the results. Suffice it to say, though, that it might benefit you to conduct your own tests.