View Full Version : Running VISTA...how much ram and processor speed needed??

Jan in CA
04-15-2008, 08:42 PM
I am going to get a new computer soon and I'm looking at Dell since they've been good to me. I know VISTA needs more RAM... Is 3G enough and does it need more processor speed or something else as well?

Also...I would like to be able to play Roller Coaster Tycoon and Sims type games..what video card is necesssary? I got a new one for this computer a few years ago and it still tends to bog down when there is a lot going on on the screen. Maybe it's not the VC? :??

04-15-2008, 09:40 PM
I don't know what Dell is doing about Windows in the consumer market... but if you don't really want Vista, I'd suggest you push them to give you a machine with Windows XP. I believe they're still selling it on their business side. I don't know exactly what RAM to recommend, but in general it's often cheaper to just take whatever their base offering is, and then buy & add your own memory upgrade separately.

I don't know much about video cards, but I'd suggest looking at the system recommendations for the games you're interested in and starting there.

04-15-2008, 09:49 PM
Jan, I'm a computer tech, although I don't really know the specs required of that.

What I can tell you is that if you get a good graphics card, up your ram. Get the most that you can get on the front-end. It's much cheaper that way.

Jan in CA
04-15-2008, 10:07 PM
Most of the systems I'm looking at have 3 or 4 gigs of RAM. I know I can install more myself and I have, but I'd like to start with a good computer to begin with.

Oh and they do have some XP models still, but they are older ones and I don't want to start out any more obsolete than I have to. :teehee:

Here's the one I'm looking at as it seems to have the most bang for the buck.
Dell XPS 420 (http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsdt_420?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&%7Eoid=us%7Een%7E29%7Expsdt_420_anav1%7E%7E)

Look at the memory and video card options. This is where I really get tripped up. Upgrading memory is cheap, but is it better to stick to 3G and go up to 800mhz or go for the 4G and 667 or 800 mhz?????

The video card is more expensive. I've seen the nVidia 8800 on some gaming systems so I'm assuming it's better than the one that comes with it??

Gad this is difficult! Or maybe I"m just making it so.. :hair:

04-15-2008, 10:37 PM
is it better to stick to 3G and go up to 800mhz or go for the 4G and 667 or 800 mhz?????
I'd go for the extra memory myself.

04-16-2008, 12:01 AM
Well, as a Linux user I am obligated to say that Winblows sucks and Vista especially.

But as to your question, a faster processor with as much RAM as the board will support is always a good thing. A top notch graphics card helps a lot.

04-16-2008, 12:11 AM
I have Vista and all of the Sims games. I bought a new graphics card when I bought the computer and have three gigs of RAM besides the half-gig on the graphics card. Everything on my computer runs fine and I have a LOT on it. Be sure, though, to download updated drivers for a graphics card if you install a new one. They tell you that Vista requires a whole gig of RAM to run properly. I'm not sure if that is really true.

04-16-2008, 07:26 AM
Hi Jan,

I found this article that may help:

PCstats (http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2163&page=2)

Basically, this guy says that while there is an increase in performance if you increase your RAM from 1 gig to 2 gigs, there isn't a performance increase if you go from 2 gigs to 4 gigs.

So, 3 gigs should be fine.

Just so you know, my dh uses pcs and I think he's gone back to XP on all of them. I don't think I know anyone who actually likes using VISTA.


04-16-2008, 10:01 AM
I like it fine but just had to get used to it.

04-16-2008, 11:52 AM
Vista is fine, it just looks different and take getting used to. I have no complaints about it but I am a casual computer user. (Meaning that I don't use it very much, not that I don't know how to use it, which I DO! :))

04-16-2008, 12:11 PM
Vista is fine on new computers that are built with the proper hardware. Most of the problems that you hear about with Vista are peope who have tried to upgrade older machines. There are many compatibility issues with pretty much any hardware that is not brand new, while some of these issues can be worked out, it often takes more time and expertise than the average user is willing to put into a system. In other words, don't worry about Vista.

As far as the RAM question, while 4 gigs may not be absolutely necessary now, it cannot hurt to have it if you can afford it. As programs get bigger and more resource intense you will be happy about having it.

Jan in CA
04-16-2008, 12:20 PM
Thanks for the help! :thumbsup:

BTW... when XP came out a lot of people went back to the earlier version of windows (Windows 98?) because XP looked and felt different and had the usual new software bugs. I expect Vista will be the same so I'll at least give it a try.

04-16-2008, 12:21 PM
I did buy my computer the week that Vista came out so it was already built into it. As far as RAM, I say get as much as your system can handle. I guess you don't need it if you don't use your computer for much, but I live on mine. I play games and store a TON of files there. You will never regret that you have too much RAM but you may someday wish you had more.

04-16-2008, 01:13 PM
For anyone wondering, my parents bought a computer shortly after Christmas and got XP on it. It's a Dell laptop. I'm not sure of the specs on it, but I do know that Dell will put XP on it if you are leery of Vista.


Jan in CA
04-16-2008, 01:27 PM
For anyone wondering, my parents bought a computer shortly after Christmas and got XP on it. It's a Dell laptop. I'm not sure of the specs on it, but I do know that Dell will put XP on it if you are leery of Vista.


I did find that they have some computers with XP still, but they were earlier version computers. My computer now is over 5 yrs old and I would like to get as new/updated as I can afford since I like to play some games and do some photo stuff. If all I did was email and basic internet then that would be ideal. ;)

I'm not really leery of Vista, I just wanted to make sure my new computer could run it properly.

Jan in CA
04-16-2008, 02:56 PM
I can't actually order till we get our "economic stimulus" money, but here's what I'm looking at based in part of input from you and others -

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)

OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium with Digital Cable Support

MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4 DIMMs

HARD DRIVE 320GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache

OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capabilityMONITORS

No Monitor


Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

SPEAKERS No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)

KEYBOARD Dell USB Keyboard

MOUSE Dell Optical USB Mouse

FLOPPY & MEDIA READER No Floppy Drive or Media Reader Included

WI-FI AND MODEM No Modem Requested

I chatted with a Dell rep and he said my old monitor was compatible so I'm good to go. Thanks for all your help!

04-16-2008, 02:58 PM
Glad to see you doing your part to stimulate the economy. I don't think catching up on a gas bill is what they have in mind but that's where mine is going!