When choosing a graphics card for a developing workstation, I often forget how demanding Aero is. The way we used to calculate memory requirements, based on multiplying resolution and color depth, just doesn't work with Aero. Here are the requirements:
- Single Monitor and Mobile Systems
- 128 MB up to and including 1920x1200
- 256 MB over 1920x1200
- 64 MB up to but not including 1280x1024
- Desktop dual monitors
- 256 MB for larger dual monitor configurations
- 128 MB up to but not including 1280x1024x2
Oops, way higher then I expected... Here are Dell recommendations for Levels of Aero Support on Desktops with Two Monitors:
These specifications indicate minimum configurations to support Windows Vista Aero based on current Dell testing*.
High resolution, dual monitor or many open application windows may require additional memory for optimal Aero experience.
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Bottom line is: on a developer's rig, 256MB is a must for dual monitor with high resolutions. I'll try to hook some 128 and 256 MB graphics laptops on a couple of LCDs to check the limits, and post the result back here.
On my first test with NVidia Quadro 135M I setup 1280x800 and 1280x1024 on a 17' LCD. Please note that as 135M has TurboCache, I may be incurring on some performance costs...