Microsoft promises Vista will be much more secure than Windows XP and will give you a three-dimensional view.
TIPS: Ask Kim
These and other new features are going to require lots of horsepower. Problem is, it’s not entirely clear what "lots of horsepower" means. Microsoft has not yet issued its formal system requirements for Vista.
So, what’s a new computer buyer to do? You can get around this issue by shopping carefully, but you’re probably best off by waiting. If you buy a computer in January, it likely will come with Vista.
Unfortunately, not everyone can wait. Dribs and drabs of information have leaked out about system requirements. Keeping in mind that things could change, here’s what we think we know so far:
Processing: Microsoft says you need a "modern CPU." It does not define that but links to the AMD and Intel websites. Given the information on those two sites, it appears that practically all of their chips are acceptable. So, essentially, the microprocessor is not an issue. Buy a computer with an Intel or AMD microprocessor, and you should be fine.
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I would like to provide more emphasis on the processing power. Go for an AMD Athlon X2 or Intel Pentium D, both available in dual core. Choosing a Celeron or Sempron to run Vista efficiently with all of its bells and whitsles is just selling yourself short.