Among the test machines we got for the new TechRepublic Test Network is
a Dell Precision 380. This machine has 64-bit Pentium 3.0Ghz processor,
2Gb of RAM, and an nVidia Quadro FX 3450 video card. We speced
this machine out to be a killer Windows Vista test machine to get the
full effects of Aero Glass and the works. Theoretically, there's
nothing this machine can't run.
Except for Windows Vista.
Ok- it can run Windows Vista. I've installed Beta 1 and Beta 2
on it and everything went just fine. The problem is in the nature of
beta software. Beta 1 fully supported the Quadro video card. Worked
like a charm. Beta 2 does not. The December 2005 build shows the video
card as being a "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter".
Oddly enough, a 'standard' VGA adapter would only run 640x480 at 256
colors, but Vista thinks THIS 'standard' adapter can do up to 2048x1530
at 32bit color. The problem is that as a 'standard' adapter, Vista
configures the screen at 1024x768 at 32 bit and does so VERY slowly.
Dragging a window around the screen pegs the CPU at 100% and looks like
you're moving XP screens around on a 486. Painful.
nVidia's Web site claims to support the card under Vista, but as of
yet, even they have not written the drivers for this specfic
card. So for now it's just a matter of waiting for the Vista beta
to bake a little while longer until the card is supported.