2. For Windows Vista users, what are the advantages of an AMD-powered machine?
Through our leadership, technology innovation, and industry relationships, AMD has developed technology that is ready for Windows Vista and delivers stunning end user experiences, changing the way people work and play. Windows Vista is designed to take full advantage of key AMD innovations such as AMD64 technology, dual core processing, Enhanced Virus Protection*, AMD Cool'n'Quiet™, and AMD PowerNow!™ technologies.
AMD delivers the ultimate experience for Windows Vista to mainstream and enthusiast consumers through AMD’s open platform approach that enables customers to choose superior technologies: AMD64 dual-core processors, industry-leading graphics from AMD and Nvidia, and wireless technologies from Airgo, Atheros, and Broadcom.
For graphics, AMD delivers a Windows Vista Premium visual experience. The AMD 690 Series Chipset handles the rich Aero™ user interface and the most demanding workloads with ease. The AMD 690 Series Chipset offers exceptional experience in today's graphics and video applications.
3. Can I upgrade my AMD-based machine to Windows Vista?
According to Microsoft’s recommended requirements, as long as your AMD-based machine is at least 1GHz or higher, it can upgrade to any version of Windows Vista. Other hardware requirements to consider are at least 512MB of RAM, 15GB of available hard drive space, a video adapter that supports DirectX 9, a DVD-ROM drive, audio output and internet access. You can check to see if your PC is ready for Windows Vista with Microsoft’s Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor or AMD’s free assessment tool.
4. What PC configurations are best for each Windows Vista editions?
Three key elements to help Windows Vista perform at its best are CPU, RAM and a video adapter. According to Microsoft’s recommended requirements, you should be able to upgrade to any version of Windows Vista as long as your AMD processor is at least 1GHz or higher.
For Windows Vista Home, you should also consider at least 512MB of RAM, 15GB of available hard drive space, a video adapter that supports DirectX 9, a DVD-ROM drive, audio output, and internet access.
For all other versions of Windows, including Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Enterprise, it is ideal to have 1GB of RAM of available hard drive space and a video adapter that supports DirectX 9 (minimum of 128MB of RAM).
5. What is the recommended graphics card for each Windows Vista edition?
For users desiring a premium Windows Vista experience, AMD discrete and integrated graphics solutions will enable an outstanding, immersive experience. To take full advantage of the latest version of DirectX® in Windows Vista, DirectX 10, you will want an ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series or later.
6. What are the minimum recommended specifications to run Windows Vista Aero? Do I need a video adapter?
For Windows Vista versions running Aero, a graphics card is required that supports DirectX® 9 graphics and that includes support for pixel shader 2.0 hardware and minimum of 128 MB of graphics memory.
7. How do I ensure my hardware is updated to protect against security bugs?
The best way to keep your hardware updated is to keep the drivers updated. With Windows Vista, a simple way to ensure hardware is up-to-date is to use the Windows Update tool. When running Windows Update, you’ll have a chance to view all available updates. One of the categories, called “Optional”, is where hardware device drivers usually reside. Simply check the boxes next to all devices listed, install the updates, reboot and your updates will be complete.
8. Can AMD-based machines fully leverage Windows Vista mobility benefits, even though AMD doesn’t offer wireless components?
AMD-based machines can fully leverage Windows Vista mobility benefits by adding wireless and mobile applications, such as solutions from AMD “Better by Design” partner ecosystem including wireless solutions from Airgo, Atheros and Broadcom. For other wireless solutions, look for products that have achieved the “Certified for Windows Vista” logo or the “Works with Windows Vista” logo. For information on applications with the logo, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/logo.mspx
9. My Windows Experience Index rating is lower than I expected. Does this mean I need to upgrade the hardware before I can add new programs?
A low rating on Windows Experience Index (WEI) does not mean you need to upgrade before you can install applications. The Windows Experience Index rating is simply a number on a scale of 1 to 5.9 that gives you an idea about how well your computer performs with Windows Vista. Moving forward, the scale will increase as new hardware and software programs are released and WEI numbers will be designated to help you gauge whether or not you need to upgrade any of your computer’s components before installing that particular software.
10. My computer scored lower on the Windows Experience Index after I installed a new graphics card. Why did the index rating go down?
The Windows Experience Index rating is intended to reflect how a system will run applications. It measures video memory bandwidth (in mega bytes per second) and converts it to a score between 1.0 and 5.9. If the graphics hardware does not support DirectX 9 graphics, then the system receives a graphics score of 1.0 regardless of driver type. If the system supports DirectX 9, but does not have a Windows Vista Display Driver Model, the system will then receive a graphics score of 1.9 at the most. Assuming the new graphics card you have installed supports WDDM, your graphics card should have optimal performance. An additional option is to refresh your Windows Experience Index after installing new hardware.
11. How is AMD optimized for Windows Vista on an enterprise scale?
Time is arguably the most precious resource in any business, and time spent searching is time wasted - whether it is the legal department looking for an important court-ordered document or a technical writer who has to search for every revision of documentation created for a product. One way in which AMD is optimized on an enterprise scale is with a powerful electronic discovery solution from Index Engines Inc. that is optimized for AMD processors. Index Engines on AMD-processors is a turnkey search tool with a simple and easy-to-use browser-based search interface. Index Engines make it easy for enterprises and employees at all levels to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for without wasting valuable time.
Using AMD machines for Windows Vista deployments can also help enterprises more effectively combat security threats with technologies like secure start-up (TPM), Enhanced Virus Protection (EVP), and BitLocker. Easy-to-use backup and data protection tools that are built into the operating system with AMD’s hardware-based Enhanced Virus Protection (EVP) adds an extra layer of protection against certain viruses that can bring business to a halt.
12. What are the recommended hardware configurations for enterprises deploying Windows Vista?
When selecting a version of Windows Vista from a professional standpoint, there are two options – Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Enterprise. For both versions, one GB of RAM is recommended. According to Microsoft’s recommended requirements, as long as your AMD processor is at least 1GHz or higher, you should be able to install any version of Windows Vista. ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 discrete graphics card and AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors are optimized for Windows Vista.
13. How can a processor reduce the cost of ownership for my company’s upcoming Windows Vista deployment?
There are four major areas of TCO (total cost of ownership): capital costs, administrative costs, technical support costs and end-user downtime costs. With the right processor, capital costs are reduced by choosing a more inexpensive solution. However, you have to be sure that the more inexpensive solution will still maintain low costs in the other three areas. Choosing a more energy-efficient CPU, such as the AMD 690 Series Chipset, will reduce power consumption across your enterprise, saving a great deal of administrative costs. Choosing a more reliable and stable solution will reduce, and sometimes eliminate, technical support and end-user downtime costs.
Furthermore, a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis conducted by Microsoft at AMD predicted that upgrading AMD’s 5,200 desktop and notebook PCs to Windows Vista from Windows XP and Windows 2000 will provide AMD with a net savings of up to $192 per PC per year, equivalent to a 6-percent reduction in the company’s current annual per PC TCO.
IT labor is predicted to be reduced by 6 percent or $22 per PC
End-user labor is projected to be reduced by 6 percent or $121 per PC
Electricity consumption is estimated to be reduced by 40 percent or $49 per PC
Because AMD plans to phase in Windows Vista through its existing hardware refresh cycle, deployment costs are projected to be minimal at $40 per PC.
Based solely on these TCO benefits, the TCO study predicts a payback period of 7 months with an internal rate of return of 219 percent.
To download the full TCO study, click here.
14. How does using AMD to run Windows Vista help the environment?
When you have an energy-efficient processor, you are using less power to do the same (or sometimes even more) work. Energy-saving technologies found in AMD-based machines, such as AMD Cool’n’Quiet™ technology, help reduce power consumption, making the computing system better for the environment.
15. How do I turn on AMD Cool’n’Quiet™ technology on my Windows Vista machine?
AMD Cool’n’Quiet™ technology is already on in Windows Vista machines, thanks to built-in power management features that do not require additional drivers. To change the power plan, select Control Panel -> Power. The default Windows Vista power profiles that turn on the Cool’n’Quiet and PowerNow! technology features of AMD processors are Balanced and Power Saver.
16. Will a multi-core processor improve my Windows Vista experience?
Multi-core processors offer an immediate and cost-effective technology that can help solve today’s processor design challenges – reducing the by-products of heat and power consumption that accompany the continual advancement of processor frequency, or “clock speed.”
Windows Vista was designed to take advantage of multi-core processors, and all Windows Vista versions are enhanced to support non-uniform memory architecture (NUMA) systems, such as those based on AMD Athlon™ processors. Windows Vista also includes pervasive pre-fetching; improvements to internally-used data structures and algorithms; and an improved DLL loader that creates processes significantly faster; and a much-improved thread pool. These incremental improvements within Vista enhance modularization ensuring distribution and load balancing among cores.
17. Is a multi-core system mandatory for Windows Vista?
Multi-core systems are not required for Windows Vista. Windows Vista can run on a single-core processor of at least 1GHz in speed.
18. What are the benefits and drawbacks of running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista?
One of the primary benefits of using a 64-bit version of Windows Vista is that it provides improved security when compared to the 32-bit version. Security features such as Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and Microsoft's PatchGuard provide an additional layer of security against threats, while increased memory capabilities improve the performance of applications with heavy memory demands. Windows Server x64 editions support PatchGuard technology, which prevents third-party programs from patching the Windows kernel. This can help improve security by helping to eliminate rootkits and other potentially damaging software.
Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit versions also include features specific to the enterprise market, such as Subsystem for UNIX-based application. Ideal for enterprises, this application provides a native 64-bit POSIX subsystem on x64 versions of Windows Vista, the first time such technology has been made available by Microsoft.
When installing a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, it is important to know that 16-bit legacy applications and 32-bit device drivers are not supported. Windows Vista 64-bit versions use the subset of x64-based hardware drivers currently available.
Also, all editions of Windows Vista 64-bit provide increased memory support beyond the standard 4 gigabytes (GB) available with 32-bit editions. For those using Home Basic, maximum memory capacity may reach up to 8 GB. Those with the Ultimate, Business and Enterprise editions can extend to over 128 GB.
19. Will AMD continue to support configurations of AMD CPUs with NVIDIA graphics and ATI Radeon™ graphics with Intel CPUs?
Yes. NVIDIA continues to be an important chipset partner for AMD. We are committed to ensuring our customers have maximum choice and flexibility in choosing the solutions to best meet their unique needs. With the acquisition of ATI, we now have the ability to provide customers with more choice than ever before, whether on a unified or best-of-breed platform.
AMD will continue to be committed to this approach of customer-centric innovation. One of the key pillars of customer-centric innovation is delivering open platforms that provide customers with a maximum amount of choice and flexibility with our products.
20. Where do I find drivers for my AMD system?
- For AMD drivers, including ATI Radeon graphics and AMD CPU drivers, click here.
- For NVIDIA graphics, please visit www.nvidia.com.
Or update your PC with Windows Update at www.windowsupdate.com.