·         Vista RAM Support:

o   Differentiated Feature (Marketing Name) & CPU/Perf on x86/x64

o   Home sku's - 1 physical proc, any number of cores

o   Starter - 1 physical proc, one core, no hyperthreading. But considering the low end proc that starter can only support, this isn't a big deal anyways.

o   Starter:  256 MB/not supported

o   Home Basic:  4 GB/8 GB

o   Home Premium:  4 GB/16 GB

o   All below have 2 CPU sockets, all above have 1

§  Vista Business: 4 GB / 128+ GB

§  Vista Enterprise :  4 GB / 128 + GB

§  Ultimate Edition:  4 GB / 128 + GB        

§  Ultimate and business skus - 2 physical procs, any number of cores.

 

·         16/32/64-bit

o   Differences in x64 mode (only these three, that aren’t in 32-bit mode):

§  Data Execution Prevention:  The 64-bit versions of Windows Vista provide additional layers of security protection. For instance, the 64-bit editions of Windows Vista work with the 64-bit processor’s Data Execution Prevention (DEP) to protect computers against buffer overflow attacks. While DEP is by no means a substitute for a well-designed and well-implemented antivirus and anti-malware deployment, it is an important additional layer of protection.

§  Kernel Patch Protection:  The 64-bit versions of Windows Vista provide additional layers of security protection. For instance, the 64-bit versions of Windows support kernel patch protection technology, which prevents unauthorized programs from patching the Windows kernel. This greatly improves the overall security and reliability of Windows and provides another important layer of defense against malware.

§  Signed Kernel Mode Drivers:  The 64-bit versions of Windows Vista provide additional layers of security protection. For instance, all kernel-mode drivers running in 64-bit Windows Vista must be signed by the developer. While a signed driver is not a guarantee of safety, it will certainly help identify and prevent many malicious attacks.

§  16 bit device drivers are *not* supported on either x86 or x64”.  It’s also important to note that 32-bit device drivers are not supported on x64 as well.  Yes to 16-bit application support on 32-bit platforms, no 16-bit application support on 64-bit platforms  16 bit device drivers are *not* supported on either x86 or x64 (nor on XP http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314495).  Any app that uses the old virtual device driver (VxD) model won’t work.  Not update as yet about VB 6 apps in Office 2007.

      • Not Supported in Windows Vista x64
        1. 16-bit applications or components
        2. 32-bit drivers
        3. Any app or driver that writes to the kernel will now need to be signed
        4. Automatic registry and system file redirection are not available for the 64-bit environment, so new 64-bit applications must adhere to new Windows Vista application standards. 

 

  • EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface)
    • Vista was slated to use Intel’s EFI (new), as opposed to BIOS.  Intel Macs use EFI.
    • Will support EFI once Vista 64-bit ships.
    • XP boots under EFI with a Compatibility Support Module (CSM) in-place
    • EFI (replacement of BIOS) is supported in Server x64 and Vista x64 (but here only as a storage volume, not boot volume

 

 Author: Steve Straub