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Intel integrated graphics and Vista

by on28 February 2007

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Review: Dual Channel Memory or forget about Aero Glass

Vista is out and it sells ok. The memory manufacturers sales increased as new Microsoft OS demands a lot of memory for your PC.

We have already seen that it is possible to install and run Vista with only 512MB RAM but that’s not nearly enough in order to run the OS properly, especially if it's only single channel memory and integrated graphics. 

Aero Glass is what Vista is all about. Unlike XP, working windows have very sexy look where the top of each window is neatly designed and is look like it is made of glass. The OS also has very nice dynamic reflections and very relaxing animations. It looks very nice, handsome is the right word.

Anyway, back to memory. We decided to test Intel DG965 motherboard with one and then two memory modules. We used integrated graphics from the G965 chipset. It is interesting that the DG965 motherboard has Vista compatibility certificate, which means that it can run Aero Glass.
You can read more details about the motherboard itself here.

Microsoft claims that the minimum amount of memory you need to have to install Vista is 512MB. So let's say you bought Intel mother board with integrated graphics and own only one 512MB memory module. We can prove that you won't be the happiest person in the world.

There is a catch with Vista. The Aero Glass in integrated boards will not work without two memory modules. Intel is no exception and its integrated graphics accelerator X3000 demands dual channel memory. In order prove the claim we installed Vista using 2x 512MB Corsair DDR2 memory. Picture below clearly shows nice edges of Aero Glass windows with dual channel memory. 


The result of Vista performance rating tool is based on the weakest link of the system. In our case, with 2x512MB, the graphics accelerator is the weakest link and it scores 3.8. The memory scored decent 4.5. Just to mention we have used expensive and high quality Corsair XMS2-8500 modules that worked at 800MHz on our previous test.

After few hours of very pleasant work and completed testes we removed one of the memory modules and turned the system on. Disappointing fact was that Aero Glass did not work anymore as a single 512 MB even the expensive memory didn't helped.  


Aero Glass with one memory module does not work.  




Performance rating tool now scores much lower grade to our system. The weakest link this time is the memory with 2.0 score.  We have proven that you do have to have two memory modules especially if you are using Aero Glass integrated graphics. This again proves how much does the amount of memory really effect the work of the system. We will bring you more memory vista related tests. Stay tuned, we just started.

Last modified on 01 March 2007
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