10. August 2006 03:05
A little over a week ago Paul Stovell and I had an amusing run-in with a computer-store sales guy when Paul went to buy a new graphics card to run Vista. He told us that Vista which would be shipping in “about a year” would require a graphics card costing $900 (Paul thinks he said $1900...either way, a lot). I'm nothing if not a spiteful pedant, and after doing some research I decided I would prove just how wrong this guy was by buying a sub-$100 AUD graphics card from THE VERY SAME STORE. One that runs “Aero Glass”/composable desktop/flip 3D and all the other flashiness that is built into Vista. I chose a AGP Sapphire Radeon 9550 - it was the cheapest graphics card I could find in the store with 256MB of video ram (128 MB cards could still be capable of glass, but I had 2 x 1680x1050 monitors and I wanted a nice experience). Also the Ati Radeon 9550 was on ATI's list of chips that were supported for their Vista Beta2 Catalyst Driver.
After some deliberating about if it was worth $100 just to know how wrong this guy was, if this was a productive use of my time and energy, and much soul-searching I purchased the card today. Paul came along too. Unfortunately I didn't get “the guy” but he was at the counter helping another customer when I finally made the purchase. I noted loudly that “vista is going to run great on this” - Paul said I received “a look” from the guy but unfortunately no more outbusts about Vista re-writes were forthcoming. The ATI drivers (about 2 weeks old) work great for a single display but have some serious problems running “Aero Glass” on both desktops - the drivers that came with Vista Beta2 don't have any such problems so I'm up and running with them basking in the glory of 3200+ pixels wide of hardware-accelerated desktop. I bet WPF apps will look nice on this...