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Microsoft Spells Out Vista's Hardware Specs

Microsoft on Thursday released details of the hardware requirements for its upcoming Windows Vista, ending months of speculation about what it will take to really run the new operating system.

A new section of the Vista Web site, dubbed "Get Ready," outlines two separate programs -- a first for Microsoft with an operating system -- that spell out what's needed for a computer to handle Vista.

Dubbed "Vista Capable" and "Vista Premium Ready," the pair flesh out requirements for machine components needed to minimally run the OS and to handle Vista's advanced features, respectively.

Vista Capable PCs will require a "modern" processor running at 800MHz or faster, 512MB of memory, and a graphics processor capable of handling DirectX 9. Last month, Microsoft unveiled the Vista Capable details, and launched a marketing program complete with stickers to be slapped on PCs sold this year.

Vista Premium Ready, however, compiles a much more ambitious shopping list. According to Get Ready, a Premium Ready machine must have a 32- or 64-bit processor running at least as fast as 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, 128MB of graphics memory, a 40GB hard drive (with 15GB free), and a DVD-ROM drive. Additional RAM on the graphics card may be necessary to run the Vista Aero interface in high resolutions and/or on multiple monitors.

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