Microsoft Urges Against Integrated Graphics for Vista

Who is the leading graphics manufacturer in the world? Is it NVIDIA? Could it possibly be ATI? How about Matrox? It might surprise many to learn that it is in fact Intel. Many OEM PC's from Dell, Hewlett Packard, Sony, and others ship with Intel processors running on Intel motherboards with Intel chipsets, and, you guessed it, Intel integrated graphics. ATI, SiS, and other chipset manufacturers also feature products with integrated graphics. However, the trend towards these solutions may change as Microsoft recommends that all uses planning on upgrading to Windows Vista equip their systems with a standalone graphics card to handle the advanced visual effects Vista offers.

Most integrated graphics solutions are fine for 2D rendering, but under 3D environments many fall well behind today's standards. Microsoft recommends a 64MB graphics card with DirectX 9 capabilities for Windows Vista, which hardly any integrated solutions support, and those that do do not perform all that well. Keep in mind that the recommendation is for low-end entry level systems, and you see the problem. The higher end visual styles in Vista all use pixel shading to render the entire GUI, so a beefier graphics card is in order.

Of course, Vista will offer less visually pleasing environments for users that have no choice but to run smaller, slower machines, such as notebook users, but a majority of uses will want to run the Aero Glass, Aero Express, and Diamond themes. When final requirements are made more clear, you can bet that Neowin will be ready to help you outfit your system for Vista.

News source: X-bit labs

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