Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

Windows Vista on a Compaq Evo N620c

Windows Vista on a Compaq Evo N620c

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Over the past couple of quarters, my team has been demonstrating Windows Vista.  The problem with some of the demonstrations is that my team is using top tier equipment sponsored by Lenovo.  Some of you may not think that is a problem, but what if you don't have the bucks for new hardware?

There was a considerable amount of "buzz" yesterday about this program where high end laptops were sent to bloggers to review Windows Vista on.  It appears Microsoft, AMD, Acer and others were probably involved but I don't have any facts.  Of course, the story then became a story of ethics and credibility since part of the deal was that you could keep the laptop.  Kewl!!!  Someone send me one.  My son needs one and he can't have my Dell D820.

The reason I'm bringing all of this up, is because I've been telling my audiences for the past couple of quarters that if they have a machine that runs Windows XP well, then they should not have too many issues running Windows Vista.  I also mentioned at one point I'd install Windows Vista Ultimate on my aging Compaq Evo N620c laptop.  Huh?  Keith, are you kidding?  Nope!

The Compaq Evo N620c I have is a little over 4 years old.  It's been a trusty machine and has delivered a lot of value.  It ran many a demo and has some great features.  I've used it mostly for a download machine the past year and I'm pretty sure it's downloaded over 70 Windows Vista builds since last January.

My Evo specifications are Intel Pentium M 1.6 processor, 2GB of RAM, 60GB 7200rpm Hitachi drive, and for video it has the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 with a whopping 32meg of memory.  The LCD panel native resolution is 1400x1050.

Windows Vista Ultimate installed without issue and it recognized all of the devices in the machine including the 802.11b wireless module.  I was surprised at that.  My machine received the coveted 1.0 Windows Experience Index.  Now before you fall out of your chair laughing, this score is misleading.  The 1.0 is based on the low scores for the video card and gaming or Aero performance. 

Obviously this isn't a gaming machine and it won't run Windows Vista Aero Glass.  However, the processor rated a 3.3, the memory clocked in at 3.9, and the hard drive received a 4.5.  This machine is plenty powerful and fully capable of running Windows Vista.  In fact, the performance is rather nice.  It's running the Windows Vista Basic color scheme along with all of the other services. 

So here we have a laptop that is getting ready to be five years old running Windows Vista.  This should give you a data point to think about.  As always, the processor, amount of memory, and a fast hard drive are crucial, but that's the case for any operating system. 

Time to join this bad boy to the domain and put it to work downloading Longhorn Server.  Hmmmm...  :)

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  • That 1.0 rating is always a bummer.  My 2-year old 64-bit Acer laptop got a 1.0 because of the integrated video card, but other than the loss of glass, it spanked the llama.  But my 2-week old Core 2 Duo notebook with the Intel GMA 950 runs the Aero interface and looks awesome.  That said, I've tested Vista RC1 on lots of machines and anything above 1GHz and 512MB is pretty decent for the average home user.  My daughters really like Vista too (though they don't much care for the parental controls with the built-in timer ;-)

  • Yea, Windows Vista came too late for my teens.  They are beyond control now.

  • But what about ATI MOBILITY RADEON 7500 driver for Vista?

  • I installed Vista on a P4 1.5 desktop I had sitting around the house. (It hadn't been turned on in months.)  The PC has 1 GB Ram, 60 GB HD and 128 meg video memory.  I didn't think it would work, but I was pleasantly suprised.  It works pretty well, it doesn't get the 4.2 Windows experience index that my primary machine gets, but it was a pretty good test.

    PS.  I added a 2GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro USB Flash Drive to one of the USB ports and saw a performance increase.