TO-Tech Blog Todd Ogasawara’s Tech Blog


Full Aero Glass on a Cheap PC?

Given the advisory warnings about the video, sound, and networking hardware on my cheap PC, I was a bit worried that my PC would be less than fully functional after upgrading it from Windows XP Media Center Edition to Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. Since the PC provided video using Shared Video RAM instead of a dedicated graphics card, I did not expect to see the full Aero Glass Features (transparency, Flip-3D, etc.). In fact, this had been my experience using a Dell Optiplex GX280 desktop and Dell Lattitude D600 notebook during Vista beta-testing. The Optiplex did not have a dedicated video card and did not display Glass features. The Lattitude had dedicated video card with 32MB video RAM. But, that was below the 128MB RAM required for Glass. So, it didn't provide me with Glass features either. So, imagine my surprise when I saw this on my cheap PC...

YouTube Video: TO-Tech Demo of Aero Glass on a Cheap PC

The transparency effect was immediately noticeable after the login. And, pressing Windows-Tab brought up the Flip-3D effect. This eMachines T6420 with just Shared Video RAM had full Aero Glass Features working on it.

I guess I did not understand the Vista Aero Glass requirements at all. It appears that you do not need 128MB of dedicated video RAM. You just need 128MB of video RAM (Shared is ok) and the right graphics chip on the system board (an nVidea 6600 in this case).

Comments (9) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You have a 6600 graphics chip in there…of course it’s going to run Aero. The 6600 is a good graphics adapter. You’re YouTube video mislead me to believe you did not have anything worth a darn in there.

  2. Tyler: I said it was a “cheap” PC. And, at $500 I think that is correct. I didn’t say it was a “cr*ppy cheap” PC. :-)

  3. Ripping my hair out setting up Vista. The PC I’m running is a lot better than your $500 one. Most of my drivers are NOT SUPPORTED by vista. Not 64bit. 2G ram no 3D flip, no sound, thinks the DVD buner is just a DVD. Keep going back to US defalt settings. I went back to XP. The computer is a NEC.
    With the 3D flip my 12 year old has a old P3 450 running linux and has 3D flip.
    Need REFUND on vista.

  4. Alan: Sorry to hear about your experience. Yep, upgrading from XP to Vista is an iffy proposition. I was shocked my upgrade went so well. Given the warning I received from the Vista Upgrade Advisor prior to the actual upgrade (see my earlier blog post), I fully expected to not have network connection or sound support after the upgrade.

  5. Hi,
    what about the drivers for the video card and audio?

  6. btw…
    I found that there is a new vista driver from realtek for the audio.
    And nvdia has vista video drivers too.
    Have you tried using them?

  7. Can you tell me how to set this up so that i can run Windows Aero on my PC? What do i have to change in the BIOS? And how do i do it. Please reply with simply instruction to the following e-mail address…


  8. Would it work with the following…

    AMD Hammer Family Proccessor – Model is Unknown – 1.60GHZ
    735MB RAM
    32 Bit Operating System
    Windows Vista Ultimate
    Radeon 7000 Edition Graphics card

    If you know, please reply to

  9. I just finished installing Windows Vista x64 Ultimate on my HP a1130n. To my suprise aero glass worked as well.

    Here are my specs:
    AMD 3500+
    1GB (shows 956MB in Windows)
    Radeon Express 200 with (64MB of shared RAM)

    It is very interesting how neither my system RAM or video RAM meet the requirement.

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