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The "Vista-Capable" Debacle Spreads To Acer 133

N!NJA writes in with a Register story on a lawsuit filed against Acer for selling Windows Vista on an underpowered notebook. Of course anybody can sue for anything; it will be interesting to see if this action goes forward in the courts. "With a lawsuit filed Wednesday in San Francisco, California, two residents of Fostoria, Ohio seek damages and relief from the world's third-largest computer maker after purchasing a sub-$600 Aspire notebook that included Windows Vista Premium and a gigabyte of shared system and graphics memory. In its official "recommended system requirements," Microsoft recommends that an additional 128MB is required to run the Premium incarnation of its latest desktop operating system. ... Microsoft says that the Premium, Business, and Ultimate editions of Vista will run on 512MB systems — with certain OS features disabled. In the beginning, Redmond called these 'Vista Capable' machines, and it's facing a separate lawsuit over this potentially misleading moniker."
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The "Vista-Capable" Debacle Spreads To Acer

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  • 512Meg? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot@j a w t h e s h> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @02:36PM (#27371675) Homepage Journal

    Probably even with shared graphics memory, resulting in something like 448Meg usable? Windows XP SP0 and SP1 ran on 256Meg RAM, SP2 seems to need 512Meg RAM, SP3 seems to need a bit more (but I never tried taht one on low-memory machines). Vista on such a machine? Eeeuh.... I don't think so.

    That said, they seem to have paid quite a lot of money to get a RAM upgrade.

    Linux runs fine tough on such "low-memory" (I had harddisks smaller than that, like 20Meg!) machines.

    • Re:512Meg? (Score:5, Informative)

      by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @02:45PM (#27371785)

      Linux runs fine tough on such "low-memory" (I had harddisks smaller than that, like 20Meg!) machines.

      It's a little disingenuous to say that "Linux" (aside from the fact that Linux is just a kernel and that the term "Linux" is now being used in the mainstream for almost any Unix-like OS; but that's another argument altogether) will run in low memory. While this is true, most people wouldn't use it like that. My WRT54g with 16 MB of RAM is running OpenWRT. I had a 386 that only had 12 MB of RAM and I had X running with twm, and it ran only slightly faster than Windows 95, which had a much better looking UI.

      So yes, you can run "Linux" on a low memory computer, but you're sure as hell not going to be running KDE or GNOME or some other good-looking interface with it.

      • by Jurily ( 900488 )

        So yes, you can run "Linux" on a low memory computer, but you're sure as hell not going to be running KDE or GNOME or some other good-looking interface with it.

        256 Mb is enough for a lightly used Gnome desktop. My mom has one, and it's working fine for her.

        Personally, I'd go with fluxbox on that machine, but I'm not the one who needs to use it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Im running Kubuntu on my home built atom 330 box. It has two gigs, but right now it's only using 0.47 gigs according to the system monitor.

          And this is with KDE4, Kaffine playing a video, KTorrent pulling down ...distros...(cough) and of course firefox with a couple of slashdot tabs open.

          I think it's fair to say that a modern linux desktop is perfectly usable with only half a gig.

          • Man, that makes me jealous. My OS X Mini with 1GB ram feels more like 512MB ram, because the OS is piss-poor at managing memory. I usually have to restart Firefox with just 8-10 tabs open, because I keep running out of memory (you know the signs - images/plugins won't load, and sometimes entire pages won't load). I can confirm this easily by looking at the Activity Monitor: almost no memory free.

            The funny thing is, there's about 400MB of ram marked by the OS as "inactive," (no, not even Wired, INACTIVE),

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          256 Mb is enough for a lightly used Gnome desktop. My mom has one, and it's working fine for her.

          Your mom should try XFCE. It's much more lightweight, and for light usage it can be configured to look and act almost exactly like GNOME. I run XFCE on Xubuntu on my 512 MB Dell Latitude with its puny 1.5 Ghz Pentium M processor, and it flys!

          • I run ion3, which is even more minimalist than XFCE most likely, but things can still get sluggish. In particular, Firefox is not so kind on older hardware.

          • by bitrex ( 859228 )
            I have XFCE running on an 8 year old Emachine with 512MB and a Pentium III Tualatin based 1.2 Ghz Celeron that I found and stuffed in it - it can be a little sluggish when there are 15+ tabs in Firefox open but in general it's quite usable. Unfortunately YouTube performance isn't good, I'm pretty sure the problem is that even the highest clocked first generation Celerons are just too pokey to handle applications like Flash 10. One thing I've noticed is that on this older machine JavaScript and Flash appli
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Maelwryth ( 982896 )
            "my 512 MB Dell Latitude with its puny 1.5 Ghz Pentium M processor, and it flys!"
            Oh, f%$k me! Now I feel old. :(
          • I favour LXDE for my lightweight needs. It's even lighter weight than XFCE, but still looks and feels snazzy enough for my tastes.

        • And 512 Meg leave my RHEL and Debian systsems running _fine_. Leaving out most of the semi-graphical debris in the Windows toolbar is a big help, as is the superior Linux handling of virtual memory. (Windows NT and XP memory handling is basically from VMS, and while it's done fairly well for the kernel, for the programs, it's not well used.)
      • Re:512Meg? (Score:4, Informative)

        by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot@j a w t h e s h> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @02:53PM (#27371881) Homepage Journal

        Yes, indeed... You are of course right. However, I implied (that wasn't perhaps clear) that a 512Meg machine runs a Full Linux-Based Desktop like Gnome just fine. On my Asus EEE PC 701 4G, I rarely exceed 300Meg used.

        But your points are well taken....

        • I keep forgetting that 512MB is considered "low-memory" nowadays.

          • Oh, I remember when 1024KByte RAM was overkill (my first, okay, my dads first machine had that... and most people were at 512KByte then) Anyway, I must have pissed off someone. I don't think those Troll mods were deserved.
          • I know, spoiled kids nowadays. I am typing this on a 1.1GHz Celeron that has been running 9 years straight now that started out with WinME(EEEK!) and 128MB of RAM. I of course quickly sent that pre Vista of evil to the hell that it deserved and put on the blessed Win2K of goodness. Over the years I have managed to snag the chips to max it out at 512MB and this machine is a great Netbox. And as for WinXP, I have a 733MHz office box sitting in front of me that is maxed out with 384MB of RAM and XP SP3 and it

            • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

              Now, now... WinME is just fine if you turn off system restore and apply 98Lite in default mode. Did that to mine (test box) and it never crashed again (and it ran 24/7 for a couple years, rebooted once in a blue moon, before that box got XP as its main OS). ME's resource management still sucks, but that's largely IE5.5's fault. IE5.5 will fuck up Win98 too. (And try opening about 10 Nero windows on XP, and watch it zero out the resource heap...)

              As to Vista... oh yeah, the topic!! They hung themselves with t

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

                While I think your idea of bringing back plus packs is a GREAT idea, as it would cut the bloat without having 400 fricking versions of the OS, there is another idea from that time I believe they desperately need to bring back as well: The WinNT/Win9x divide. Remember how if you remember how if you wanted a HOME OS you could actually BUY a home OS, and if you just wanted to get your work done there was an actual business OS? Now they put out the same bloated as hell, multimedia choked, bling bling to the top

                • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

                  You won't hear any disagreement from me!! Except that I don't think there *needs* to be a disconnect between home and office OSs (when there is, you get crap like XPHome, which rather than being a lesser OS, is a BROKEN version of XPPro... hence Pro runs about 3x as fast on the SAME hardware.)

                  Except for a few kids who still love shiny and bling over functionality, everyone I know and support would prefer a simpler OS on their home machine, rather than the current trend toward a 3-ring circus. The #1 complai

      • So yes, you can run "Linux" on a low memory computer, but you're sure as hell not going to be running KDE or GNOME or some other good-looking interface with it.

        Bear in mind that one needs neither KDE nor Gnome to have a full featured desktop experience based on Linux. While I no longer dabble with 386's on a regular basis, I can state with some authority that "Linux" runs great on a P54c-233 with 64MB of RAM. Web, e-mail, word processing. Flash video on footube tends to get bogged down a bit, but otherwise an A+ computing experience.


        • I have an old laptop, maxed out at 96meg of RAM, and a screen that can't go past 800X600. For about the same type of usage as you list, I find Puppy Linux and JWM (Joe's Window Manager) works just fine. From the time I hit Enter at the Grub menu to the time I have a full, wor4king desktop is just over 90 seconds, about three times as fast as Win98Se booted, assuming that nothing hung. I don't need no steenking iCandy on my laptop; if that's what I'm looking for, I've got all the gosh-wow enhancements I n
          • To bring this slightly back on topic, I don't really see why any laptop needs to have all those flash-and-trash iCandy effects that Visa is so "famous" for, but then, if you take those out, what do you have left that's worth having?

            My sentiments exactly. If you want to experiment with eye-candy on an 800x600 Pentium laptop with 96 megs, you might want to try an e17 (enlightenment) based distro. See if you can snag the live CD and give it a go. Granted, it's not Vista/OSX/Compiz level bling, but it'll be better than TWM.


      • On my first laptop (Pentium based) I did a fair amount of web development work, so I often had a database (Postgres), web server, Netscape Communicator, and emacs all running at the same time, along with 6 xterms on an X desktop with FVWM2.

        Total memory? 40 MB.

        My current laptop has a spacious 1 GB and Linux, with Firefox and OpenOffice running doesn't even use half of it. Upgrading memory? Not worth the bother.

        • my preious machine had a gig and half and i never, ever touched swap, even when using gimp, firefox, downloading torrents, and running compiz at the same time. (My single core celeron M was running at 100 percent though) On my new laptop I have 4 gigs of ram (It came with vista, but I never booted into it) I had trouble installing the 64 bit version of ubuntu so I just installed the 32 and called it good enough. It reconizes 3.1 gigabytes of ram which is more than I will (probably) ever use on the system.
      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        fvwm or blackbox are good enough for most cases.

        Gnome and KDE are Windows wannabees...

      • (aside from the fact that Linux is just a kernel and that the term "Linux" is now being used in the mainstream for almost any Unix-like OS; but that's another argument altogether)

        *starts the other argument*

        I dunno...I, for one, have never, ever heard Mac OS X or Solaris (both of which are Unix-like operating systems) ever referred to as "Linux". I've only ever heard the name "Linux" in reference to either (a) the Linux kernel itself or (b) operating systems that run on the Linux kernel. So, either "mainstream" isn't quite where you think it is, or you need to back up your point.

        tl;dr version - [citation needed], I think.

    • by Narpak ( 961733 )
      My sister bought a Windows XP laptop wtih 512mb Ram (shared). It ran horrible, it was hard to have a browser and open office open at the same time for instance. I purchased 1gb chip and that made everything fairly smooth. However I am still thinking Dell kind of ripped her (and others off) selling a computer with less RAM than it needs to run the OS shipped with it.
      • Hmm... I never used Windows XP with more than 512 MB ram. With a fat firewall software, antivirus, a fat messenger software, winamp and Firefox running. And I never felt it to be slow. My current machine, running Linux/GNU/Gentoo/KDE/Compiz with 2 GB ram and a on-board Geforce 7050PV (with shared mem) actually feels slower.

        So I wonder if you had some botnet client running in the background... ...or if it simply is the graphics card...

        But 512 MB definitely was enough to work well with XP SP3.

        • by Narpak ( 961733 )
          Nope. When I got hold of my sister laptop I re-formated it, ran anti-virus and SpyBot from the start. No viruses, no HD damage, up-to-date drivers; in short; the works. Still it was absolutely horrendous to work with; slow, sluggish and over-all not a working product (in my mind). Though buying 1gb of RAM fixed all of those problems right up.
          • Probably the reason you needed a GB is that Dell laptops typically tend to use Intel 8xx, 9xx, and GMA graphics adapters. Typically these use main memory for video RAM, which eat up a big chunk if say, 128 MB or more is dedicated to the to the graphics card, you'll see significant slowdowns, especially if she's running a bunch of memory hogging apps (MySpace messenger, AIM and YIM come to mind). Additionally, some other things that teenage girls like to install are either spyware or memory pigs or both:

          • by Teun ( 17872 )
            You do realise modern malware is less of a drain on resources than any type of AV?
          • I'm the guy below who worked with a P-III 600MHz/512Meg RAM machine. It might be something else: originally my machine had an horrendous slow harddisk. I changed it and that made more difference than upgrading from 256Meg to 512Meg. (It was a 4200RPM HD and I upgraded to a 5400RPM disk)
      • I ran a P-III 600MHz laptop with 512Meg for two years (begin 2005 to begin 2007) and I could run Thunderbird, Firefox, OpenOffice, iTunes at the same time without a problem. Sure, I did an installation from scratch and I do know how to keep programs from hogging the systray. That, and I run Limited User...

        Something else was seriously wrong with your sisters machine...

      • Business editions sold by Dell are great machines. Consumer versions are likely riddled with spyware. I know for a fact that Compaq's low-end consumer machines are shipped with spyware pre-installed. Back when a 1ghz machine was really hot, my wife ordered a Compaq. My AMD K-6 450 was faster than her brand new Athlon - Until I reformatted the hard drive, and installed WinXP Pro (Pirate Edition) THEN they were about even, until I added another 512 MB of memory, THEN the Athlon flew!!
    • I've run XP SP3 on 256MB RAM before, it worked fine. None of the machines at my office have more that 512MB Ram, and they're all current, running XP SP3 and IE7 (but IE is disabled on most of them, with Firefox set as default). They run fine, so long as they're kept clean, however crapware and tracking cookies slow them down if they're not maintained well.

      SUSE, like Windows is slow on a machine with 512MB RAM, I'm going try installing Ubuntu to see if that's better. KDE is crabby like Vista, Gnome is much

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      I haven't seen any computer that's able to present Vista with a decent experience yet.

      Most of today's computers are still barely able to provide a decent experience with XP.

      So to be really Vista capable (with a decent experience) - that's still some years away.

      • I *just* bought an HP HDX-18 [].
        * Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1
        * Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad Processor Q9100 (2.26 GHz)
        * 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
        * 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 130M
        * 500GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
        * 18.4" diagonal High Definition HP Ultra BrightView Infinity Display (1920x1080p)
        * Blu-Ray +/-R/RW with SuperMulti

        The Vista experience meter gives it a *THREE POINT EIGHT* on the usability scale.
        If this less-than-a-year-old, Quad-co
        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          Let's run this down...

          I get a 4.5 on my DV9825NR.

          1.83GHz Dual Core T5550
          4GB PC-5300 DDR2
          512MB GeForce 8600GS Mobile
          320GB SATA-II 5400 RPM
          17" 1440x900 16:10 widescreen
          Dual-Layer 16X DVD+- RW Lightscribe drive.

          How the hell does your computer score LOWER when it has better hardware than my laptop?

          Something is seriously fucked up about Vista's rating system - and Microsoft needs to be taken to court over it, using our laptops as the examples. This is absolutely misleading advertising.

    • XP can be tweaked quite well to run on low memory systems, I've seen XP sp2 Systems use about 600meg of ram by the time they finish booting, which I guess is fairly typical on the other hand there are some "releases" of SP3 that are up and running using less than 256k ram and a much smaller foot print.

      I wonder where you stand legally assuming you have a retail or msdn key. perhaps even an oem license might be acceptable provided its used on the oem equipment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2009 @02:37PM (#27371687)

    Thanks Vista for making that a thing of the past.

    • Yes, thank you Microsoft. I love to buy GBs for a very low price.

      Now if only they would make windows 7 ECC RAM only, then I could fill up my server with the cheap stuff too.

      • How about when a 40MHz 386 with 4MB of RAM, 40MB Hard drive, a 128kb video card was a "killer" machine ;)

      • True, I had to pay out of the nose for Registred ECC RAM too to upgrade my SMP machine (before dual-cores were the norm). That said, buying it in the US was 3 times cheaper than buying it here in Europe. Even the import tax (which is high) didn't matter. That was before the dollar tanked.

        Anyway, now consumer computers do seem to have a 2Gig to 4Gig RAM standard these days. My work laptop has 4Gig and still Vista seems to give me a few second wait. I don't get it. I dumped Debian Lenny on it, and don't

    • I remember thinking I was pimp shit for spending $500 and getting 4GB of RAM for my gaming setup 4-5 years ago. Obviously I wasn't thinking far enough ahead in the future. Now 4GB is nothing and also costs somewhere around $40.
    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      Thanks Vista for making that a thing of the past.

      Have to hand this honour to OS X, which did it years before Vista was even released.

  • Slashdot called this a 'Funny Capable' comment, and it will face a lawsuit if this turns out not to be true!
  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd,bandrowsky&gmail,com> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @02:43PM (#27371749) Homepage Journal
    I've actually had Vista running in a 512mb virtual machine on my Linux box. My whole Linux box had but a gig at the time, and I had Ubuntu, KDevelop, the virtual box, Vista in it, running Visual Studio 2008 to develop an Excel application. I was rather impressed that it all worked.
    • You probably had to tweak it though? I bought a lower-midend Acer Desktop ($450-500, without monitor, with some dual core AMD chip) about a year ago and it was nasty even with 2GB ram. It was just meant for the wife to browse on, but out of the box, you would start it up and you could hear the harddrive, CPU, and fans working the entire time even though it was advertised as a quiet system.

      They did absolutely no optimizations at all at the factory, and the problem corrected itself once I turned all the gra

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Z34107 ( 925136 )

        At work, we have an old, repurposed desktop at our help desk for doing troubleshooting over the phone. It's either an old HP D310 or DC5000; I forget which. Has the worst kind of horrible, integrated Intel graphics and a gigabyte of RAM. 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 processor.

        The Vista partition runs fine on it, and in fact runs faster than the XP partition. (Although that's due to all the garbage the other help desk workers have thrown on the machine; they stay away from the Vista partition because "Vista is slow

      • The only thing that stopped me from installing Ubuntu on the spot was that it came with no Windows Recovery disk and if murphy's law struck and she wanted some windows program

        fyi, you can use any vista dvd with any serial key. So all you need is any copy of the vista dvd, and the key on the bottom/back of the computer case. Unlike XP, you can get a clean install on any system (some drivers, and bloatware not included).

      • by Khuffie ( 818093 )
        I ran the Vista beta on my 1 gig machine (ati radeon 9700 graphics card) and it ran quite well. One thing is that Acer's bloatware tends to be absolutely horrendous in bogging down the computer it's absolutely disgusting they decide to throw all that crap in there...and it's Acer's own software, not some demos or trials that other companies pay them to throw in. I can't fathom why they would do that, and pretty much refuse to buy an Acer laptop because of that. They even threw it in on their netbook!

      • by tjstork ( 137384 )
        You probably had to tweak it though? You obviously are not running Aero in a low memory configuration, that's the key. In fact I don't even think you could run it in a virtual server because you can't get hardware accelerated 3d in VM hosts. But I found that without the glass effects, I still preferred the desktop to XP and even Ubuntu, which prior to Vista had been my favorite. I actually can't stand how new computers of any kind come with so much junkware. My wife's pre-loaded with Vista ACER noteboo
  • You mean "safe mode", right?

  • Does the OS run on the notebook? Is it able to run the basic applications, even if the HD is swapping like crazy? If so, they're going to have trouble succeeding with the lawsuit.

    You can't buy the cheapest thing available and expect it to run WELL. Only to run.

  • capable? sure. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It works fine with 512... Its just incredibly slow!

  • "Premium" edition? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr. DOS ( 1276020 )

    Guys, I know Vista has way too many versions, but is it really that hard to remember that it's Windows Vista Home Premium (and for that matter, Vista Home Basic), not Vista Premium and Vista Basic?

          --- Mr. DOS

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by icebike ( 68054 )

      But all of those versions run like crap on a small machine.

      Turning off Aero helps some, but the machine was underspeced for ANY version of Vista, and the manufacturer should have realized that.

      By simply bundling in another 512meg of memory the manufacture could steal a march on their competition. Yet they chose to knuckle under to Microsoft and Intel.

      • I'm a little confused. I mean, I understand that Microsoft probably intentionally lowballed the requirements for Vista, but how did they knuckle under (buckle?) to Microsoft and Intel by skimping on RAM? I think the real problem was manufacturers skimping on RAM despite the fact that DDR2 prices have plummeted (and are still plummeting). My parents' computer from 2003, which finally died a few weeks ago, was the cheapest thing at CompUSA and it had 512MB RAM. You'd think that by 2008 we would have moved pas
  • Strange story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @03:15PM (#27372093)
    Why can't they reduce the memory allocation of the graphics to 256 or 128Mbyte? Why did an extra SODIMM cost so much? And how much is the lawsuit going to cost them?

    If the machine kept freezing and crashing, why didn't they return it under warranty rather than go to law? If I buy a computer and it is obviously faulty, I should expect to exhaust the warranty process before starting a lawsuit, and I should not have to provide a technical explanation of what the supplier did wrong. It's broke, fix it.

    Nowadays the concept that you get what you pay for seems obscure to some people. But then, looking at the number of rich and famous people who thought Bernie Madoff's "too good to be true" interest rates were somehow possible, it looks like stupidity is no respecter of class, celebrity or even IQ.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) *

      Why can't they reduce the memory allocation of the graphics to 256 or 128Mbyte?

      Doesn't that depend on the laptop/BIOS/Chipset? I have Fujitsu-Siemens Pa1510 and it reserves 256Meg by default for the graphics card. Originally the machine had 1Gig, I upgraded it to 2Gig, which results in me having 1.8Gig available (still enough...) I only use it for 2D stuff, so I would be more than comfortable with 16Meg Framebuffer (1280x800x24bit=24576000bit=3072000Byte ~= 3MByte required) The BIOS has next to no optio

    • Why can't they reduce the memory allocation of the graphics to 256 or 128Mbyte?

      You seem to be misunderstanding what an Acer sub-notebook is.

      I just bought an Acer Aspire One 120gigs/1 gig of ram/1.6/8.9 inch screen/Windows XP Home for my mom (it cost me $369 refurbished from tiger direct -- which included the price of second day delivery)

      The Acer Aspire One is a nice machine, I did my research on it, and my mom absolutely loves it, but I was really surprised that I couldn't install some Adobe software init

      • by fermion ( 181285 )
        All this may be true, but the article states that Acer sold it with Vista pre installed. It is not surprising, because, as you mentioned others have done the same. The problem is that today, unlike the 90's, nobody warrants their machine for basic functionality after you leave the store. Apple was the last on to so do. So, the only recourse for these types of problems where the machines does not work as advertised is to sue.
    • Well I did RTFA and will throw out my suspicions

      1. system was equiped with 2x 512M sticks of memory
      2. Tech replaced both with 2x 1GB sticks
      3. System refused to boot due to bios limit of 1.5GB - diagnostic charge
      4. Reinstalled single stick of original 512M memory and incompatible with new 1GB - diagnotic charge
      5. time spent checking Acer website to find compatible memory listing

      In this case, I've seen plenty of Acer laptops that have a bios limit of 1.5GB for memory and then you have to figure out if the damn 1GB stick go

  • Turn off the Theme service and Vista Home Premium runs fine on a Netbook with 1GB of RAM, as my Fujitsu U810 proves. It's not terribly speedy, but quite usable unless you're in power-saver mode. All that UI gloss just makes things slow.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hechacker1 ( 1358761 )
      Aero offloads the GUI onto your graphics card if it is capable of DirectX 9. It provides a faster, tear free interface, and if you notice DWM.exe (Desktop Window Manager) uses only 0-1% of CPU during use.
      If you disable Aero and fall back to GDI, DWM.exe will disappear, and explorer.exe instead takes the load, usually using 1-5% of my CPU (at least on this machine).
      In general, you should get better performance if you have a decent video card. If you are using the desktop anyways, why not utilize the GPU?
  • by hduff ( 570443 ) <> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @03:53PM (#27372391) Homepage Journal

    I purchased 4 of these at Wal-Mart. Mine got Mandriva Linux; I can run compiz with all the gee-whiz effects with no problems. The system is fast and reliable.

    The other family members got WindowsXP "upgrades" using TinyXP after they complained about Vista slowness. Wow, what a difference! Fastest Windows machines I have seen since 98Lite.

  • Honestly, I don't understand what Vista can possibly be doing that it requires so much memory. What is it using it all for?
    • Not sure, but you could say the same about other OSes and other environments. Mac OS X, if you don't load aqua, has a really small memory footprint but then balloons once aqua is loaded. Same with KDE and GNOME.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        There is one problem with vista though. On my brother's machine It only uses half the ram, but it has the swap file full and is swapping in and out like crazy. Any suggestions as to what the hell is wrong?
        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Posting AC as I'm moderating.

          There's "use" and there's "use", and I'm not sure which one you meant. If you're normally a Linux user and used to the way it uses swap, or if you're a tech that's just not familiar with the swap strategy Windows uses, it can get confusing, but see the next paragraph. However, if you mean the machine isn't seeing all the RAM and therefore not using it at all, that's different. One cause of that may be a 32-bit machine with more than 3 gigs RAM, due to the PCI device address s

          • AACCKKK, slashdot now kills moderation even if you check the post annon box! So much for modding THIS story!

            I guess one has to post using another not-logged-in browser if one is moderating, now. I wish I had known that before I posted the above as AC, I'd have just posted regularly. Well, at least /. is giving more modpoints now. I got 15 this time instead of the usual 5, so the couple lost modpoints don't hurt quite so badly. But unnecessarily posting a comment as AC that's useful enough a lot of folk

    • To give you an idea, my Windows 7 install is currently using about half of my RAM but the other half is being used as a cache. I have 20MB of unused RAM but another 500MB or so available for instant use. Vista does the same thing, it just doesn't explain it quite as well.

  • 1 GB for $9.99 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cskrat ( 921721 ) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @04:17PM (#27372547)

    According to Acer this laptop ships with 1GB from the factory. And according to NewEgg upgrading to 2GB would be about $9.99 plus $2.99 shipping or going to 4GB would be just under $40.00. How the hell did she spend $157.40 on an upgrade that maxes out at $40 in parts and $30 in labor?

    Vista does run reasonably with 872MB available to it as long as you stick to basic applications. OpenOffice, Firefox, Windows Media Player and etc. all run well enough. Crysis, Fallout 3, Photoshop CS4 and Visual Studio will run like dogs, if at all.

    Vista capable is just like a DOT highway safety rating, just because your Kia is roadworthy doesn't mean that it will compete with a BMW for either performance or luxury.

  • Bah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wildBoar ( 181352 )

    thing that pissed me off was the so called free upgrade to Vista that was advertised. When I went to get it I was asked for 80 euros. Dirty robbing thieving bastards. Service charge and postage - absolutely mad and a total con.

    So I'm still happily using XP (and Centos)

  • Vista can run with 512MB RAM, yes... But running Vista and using one more program at the same time like Visual studio, Word, PSP7 is... Painfull... Vista as SO and Eclipse IDE for example? You 512MB PC will commit suicide before this
  • Run W$ Vista having only 512 MBs of RAM??? The only possibility I see for that to be accomplished is to run it on a quadcore with 1 GB of cache. And I have serious doubts for it to work. I don't know a single vista user who runs it on a machine with less than 2 GB of RAM, because with 1 GB its performance is poor. In my opinion, Vista is like those very cheap clocks that you might use on your bedside table. The first time you buy one of those you feel it weighed, but when you open it's just a simple and li
  • by kenh ( 9056 )

    The Microsoft requirements page listed in the Register article says (at the bottom of the page):

    Windows Vista minimum supported system requirements Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Ultimate

    • 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of system memory
    • 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
    • Support for Super VGA graphics
    • CD-ROM drive

    The bottom-line is that if we take Microsoft's word as gospel, then the liability is on the Mfg. to have followed MS instructions and disabled certain OS functions by defaul

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!