While surfing around the Internet I stumbled upon a Microsoft website which has a tool which tells you whether or not your PC is ready to run the upcoming Windows Vista operating system and which version is best suited for you.
On the surface, the tool appears to just test out your hardware drivers and open applications. It doesn't appear to actually test system components, as far as performance goes. Interestingly, I'm running an Intel Core 2 processor clocked at 3.3GHz with 2GB RAM and DX9 graphics card (GeForce 7900GS) and the tool says I'm only good for Windows Vista "Business Edition". Of course, we know my PC will run the top-end "Ultimate Edition" without any problems, but the tool detected some issues with the current hardware in my system.
The main system requirement issue detected was my HD audio. It says, if I install Vista my audio controller might not work but that's only because I don't have the Vista driver for it yet. My CPU, System Memory, DVD and Graphics Adapter are all up to the task according to the tool and since I'm using a hardware DX9 graphics card, I'll be able to run the Windows Aero interface without any issues. As far as drivers go, a lot of my Windows XP drivers will work in Vista according to the tool but performance wouldn't likely be that great since they aren't optimized for the new OS. It was interesting to note that even my graphics card will work in Windows Vista without any driver change - it may use the current driver presuming I upgrade to Vista or if I do a new install, it might come with drivers already in Vista. Either way, both nVidia and ATI already have Vista drivers on their websites, so it's a non issue.
The only drivers the tool says I will have issues with are in relation to the Intel P965 chipset and the HD audio controller but this will be easy fixed by downloading the Vista drivers for these devices. This all a good sign as Vista is just around the corner and we shouldn't have too many issues with drivers in Microsoft's latest OS. Intel doesn't list any Vista chipsets drivers on their website yet but Vista will include chipset drivers for the major companies, so it's not much of an issue. You can update to the latest Vista drivers when they come out which will likely offer performance improvements.
So, as far as drivers go, is your computer ready to run Windows Vista? What did the tool recommend you? Let us know by posting your comment below!