Vista On Intel Macs Looks Likely

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Editorial

Microsoft has released the required system specifications for running Windows Vista. Does this really effect Mac users you may ask? Well yes, possibly. Since the introduction of BootCamp there has been a lot of talk about compatibility with Vista on a Mac and finally we are getting somewhere in the discussion.

There will be two different levels, according to Microsoft, of Vista compatibility; “Vista Capable PCs” and “Vista Premium Ready PCs.” Most modern Macs fall into the latter category barring the x86 processor and of course we now have that covered with all the new Intel Macs.

The specs are complex however and some believe Macs may not be “Premium Ready” due to the integrated graphics and RAM modules used. To be Vista Premium Ready Microsoft lists the basic specs as being:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.
  • 1 GB of system memory.
  • A graphics processor that runs Windows Aero.
  • 128 MB of graphics memory.
  • 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
  • DVD-ROM Drive.
  • Audio output capability.
  • Internet access capability.

More information can be found here.

Still the question remains; would Microsoft want to sabotage Windows on Mac? Also would Apple want to sabotage Vista on Mac. I really don’t think either company can see a benefit in that and think Vista will run on all compatible machines as soon as Microsoft can ship it.

There are 6 comments on Vista On Intel Macs Looks Likely:

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  1. eternalnewb | May 21 2006 - 01:38

    Those are some pretty high requirements. What makes it need so much of a system? If the system won’t run on anything less than a 1 GHz processor, than how do they expect us to be able to run anything but the system, which is going to lag badly anyway, probably. Microsoft never fails to amaze me. And not in a good way.

  2. Stephen | May 21 2006 - 02:41

    wow, I bet you, computer and computer part sales (in general) will see a big boom when Vista comes out JUST because of those requirements.

    But 15Gigs simply for the OS?? and a full gig of system memory to be premium? Does that mean that if a current computer (PC or Mac) were to run it, that 2 gigs of ram would feel like 1 gig or less?

  3. Matt Hoult | May 21 2006 - 02:44

    Answers to those questions won’t be available for some time, not until Vista hits the shelves. That said I don’t think a 1Ghz CPU is a big ask really, it’s rare to find a computer built in the past 3 years that doesn’t have at least a 1Ghz CPU and most sales of Vista (to consumers) will be made via new hardware purchases.

    The RAM will be interesting for sure, especially as people are only just moving towards a 1GB standard and 2GB top end on average. I agree that new hardware sales will boom but I also think that many “techies” will simply pirate a copy on whatever system they happen to have for a very long, possibly indefinite period.

    I would imagine the reasoning behind the high requirements, based on historical truth, is badly written or implemented code that will be required for all the bells and whistles (viz. transparency etc.). The one thing Mac OS X does well is that it has a very small footprint, something that needs to be worked on heavily by the Windows team and frankly, being this far behind doesn’t give much hope of that. I have to say though that the 15GB HHD space is pretty much as expected given the 10GB+ that most people allow for XP Professional. At this point I would like to point out that Mac OS X Tiger requires less than 2GB, but that is stripped of all unnecessary add-ons and languages. I would imagine Vista to be around 10GB in the same conditions, but that’s a by product of the above statement about their coding and file structure.

  4. purrdeta | May 22 2006 - 08:17

    Well, Vista is a step in the wrong direction even for the windows. I know a lot of people who will switch to FreeBSD if Windows XP ever becomes unusable for them.

    Windows will be interesting… computers sold today are not technically compatable because of the graphics. Low end Dells dont have 128Mb of GFX memory!

    How stupid can Microsoft be… Then again Apple is the one who started putting integrated graphics in their macs… AND they closed the source… They make bad decisions too…

  5. eternalnewb | May 22 2006 - 03:13

    Well, I think that Vista will be like Tiger… but worse. And I have seen Tiger running on some really ancient machines, including a 256 Mb RAM 786 MHz G4, a 256 MB RAM 333 MHz G3, bith of which run it flawlessly. Basically, you can’t run too many applications on them, but the system never takes more than 0.0% of the processor while idle, and even when something like Finder is actively using the system for heavy file moving/copying/rebuilding, it only uses around 20% of the processer. The system is just insanely efficient, and in itself basically uses no resources whatsoever. Vista supposedly NEEDS a 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM, as well as a serious graphics card? That is not an unobtrusive thing to have running on any computer, and when you compare it to OS X’s resource usage… it’s just pathetic, whether it is possible to obtain a computer that will run it or not.

  6. aaron | Jun 06 2006 - 12:57

    it says on the bootcamp website that it will run vista

    “EFI and BIOS

    Macs use an ultra-modern industry standard technology called EFI to handle booting. Sadly, Windows XP, and even the upcoming Vista, are stuck in the 1980s with old-fashioned BIOS. But with Boot Camp, the Mac can operate smoothly in both centuries.”