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Windows Vista and 512MB of RAM – not bad…

August 9th, 2006 by Kristan M. Kenney

During the entire course of the Windows Vista beta program, I have been testing using my main desktop machine, which is a Pentium 4 2.66GHz with 1.50GB of RAM and more hard drive space than I know what do to with.

I decided to try Windows Vista Ultimate on another computer, which only has a Celeron D 2.40GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. The results surprised me.

I formatted the hard drive and everything as one normally would and let setup do its thing (for the record, I tried this using build 5472, the latest build available to Technical Beta Testers at the time of writing); set my user account up and everything, and then logged in. The whole process took roughly 30 minutes, which isn’t too shabby.

The first thing I did was open up Internet Explorer, and I was shocked by how fast everything loaded up. I installed Windows Live Messenger and the 2007 Office System Beta 2 release, along with Adobe Photoshop CS2 and a few other applications.

Multitasking wasn’t too pleasant (things slowed down noticeably once I had Windows Media Player 11, Windows Live Messenger, and a few Internet Explorer windows), but maybe that’s because I’m used to working on a machine that has a boatload of memory. Either way, it was still functioning quite well. Even the Windows Search service returned snappy results, which really surprised me.

Task manager reported with a clean desktop boot-up and the Windows Sidebar running that I was using 74% of my physical memory. Once I loaded up Windows Mail and some other stuff, it actually went down.

Overall, there is lots of performance work left to be done on Windows Vista, but I’m surprised how well the operating system runs on 512MB of RAM. It actually seems to be quite snappy.

Posted in Windows Vista | 5 Comments »

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2006 at 5:43 pm and is filed under Windows Vista. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses

  1. Zack Whittaker Says:

    I’ve got it running on 3 desktops at home… kinda – Vista 5472 on 2 machines and “Longhorn” Server Beta 2 on another. I’ve got the Vista ones running on (no word of a lie), 128MB RAM and 256MB as a… joke 😛 I’ve gotta say, so far, no major problems, just as long as a load of services are disabled and themes aren’t running all the time! 🙂

  2. kenlin@HK [MVP] Says:

    Unbelievable….But 512Mb can only execute 2-3 programs, so 1Gb or 2Gb is the better choice.

  3. Windows Vista and 512MB of RAM - not bad… at Windows X’s Shrine Says:

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  4. Valentijn de Pagter Says:

    I’m hardly amazed things go as “snappy” as you describe. You’re running very basic programs that shouldn’t put forth that much load as it is. I just tried installing Windows Vista RC1 on an “old” (P4 2.8GHz but only 256MB RAM) laptop and it won’t fly because it doesn’t have the required 512MB RAM. I’m disappointed, it should work fine with some HDD swapping. I am going to get some more RAM for it though, just to satisfy my curiosity.

  5. Dave Says:

    I run Windows Vista with just 512mb of ram also and for me
    it runs the same as XP with aero and sidebar both enabled!