The Problem With Windows Vista

The more I think about Windows Vista, the bigger my headache gets. Ever since Microsoft announced the ship date for Windows Vista Home Premium, I’ve been pondering on how to handle upgrading my gaming rig to the latest and greatest. The upgrade path is ever so uncertain.

On the software side, Windows Vista won’t happen anytime soon. With the Mac being my primary system 99.9% of the time, upgrading to Mac OS X “Leopard” that’s coming out later this year is a higher priority. Maybe someone will give me a copy of Windows Vista for my birthday in August (hint, hint).

On the hardware side, things are more difficult. I could keep my existing hardware since it meets the minimum hardware specs for running Windows Vista. But running any version of Windows at the minimum hardware specs gets too slow in a hurry. I could upgrade the memory and get a new AGP video card that won’t transfer to a future system. I could get a new motherboard, CPU, and video card while still keeping the same memory as a halfway measure. Or I can bite the bullet by spending $500+ USD to build a whole new system. Not sure where I would get the money for any hardware upgrades this year.

John Carmack of id Software, creator of the Doom and Quake video game engines that has driven the hardware upgrading scene for the last ten years, said in Game Informer that he’s taking a wait-and-see approach on Windows Vista because there wasn’t enough demand for either hardware (i.e., new DirectX 10 video cards) or software (i.e., games requiring Windows Vista). Maximum PC recommends not upgrading to Windows Vista until the current hardware compatibility issues are fix.

Since the video games I want to play in the near future don’t require Windows Vista, I might not upgrade my gaming rig until next year.