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 640×480 at 256

colors, but Vista thinks THIS ‘standard’ adapter can do up to 2048×1530

at 32bit color. The problem is that as a ‘standard’ adapter, Vista

configures the screen at 1024×768 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.