You need to score between four and five to be able to run Aero Glass, the Eva Glass like sexy graphic user interface. After we played with the user intertface for a while we decided to try to play some games under the mighty upcoming DirectX 10. The card that we tested is DirectX 9.0c only as there is absolutely zero DirectX 10 hardware at the moment, but we didn't have any problems to play this very popular game.
We decided to use our Athlon 4000+ - a good old single core CPU - and we plugged 2x512MB of Kingston HyperX DIMM Kit 1024MB PC4300 DDR CL3-4-4-8-1T (PC533) but we clocked it at a rather standard 433 MHz. After installing Episode One, we wanted to see whether at least we could run the game. To our immense happiness and ecstatic surprise, the game ran without any problems, and the performance was rather good. At 1280x1024 with the FSAA and Aniso on and all other settings at high we were getting between 40 FPS where we had a lot of reflections to 120 FPS in some less demanding scene. On average, we were getting 80 FPS which was not that bad at all.
We took some memory screenshots as it transpired that Vista needed only 800 from the available 1024MB of physical memory. To save myself from answering some mails, we know that the Page file is not the same as the physical memory that we like to call RAM but it reflects how much memory was used.
Overall Half Life 2 episode one is working great under Vista. After all this new operating system has some gaming potential. I can easily advise to prepare you for getting an additional 1 GB of memory. Two GB should be the optimum for Vista ultimate gaming experience as the games such as FEAR and Battlefield 2 already wants more than 1 GB even under XP.
We think that Vista Release Candidate 1 has a lot of potential but there are still a few bugs that we would like to see fixed. Some of the SATA drivers are acting weird as my older 120 GB SATA one drive tends to crush explorer but just when you browse this drive while the other 160 GB one works flawlessly. Well MS has some three months to fix the bugs before it ships the OS. We will try more games and will let you know about it. ?
* BUT PERHAPS it would be wise to wait until Vista Aero and Eva and Harta Glass are released before you buy a graphics card, No? Ed.
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ