Dell recommends 2 GB of memory for Vista

Chicago (IL) - After Samsung, Dell is the second major company that tells its customers that Vista may need more system memory than what Microsoft is listing in its system requirements. According to a report in the Seattle Post Intelligencer (SPI), chief executive officer Kevin Rollins promoted an upgrade to 2 GB.

You may be used to the procedure of doubling your system memory every few years or so, when a new operating system is introduced. We have seen this tradition with Windows 95, when the memory went from 4 to 8 MB in the mainstream or more recently with Windows XP when most users went from 128 MB to 256 MB. Windows Vista won't make an exception, even if you are already running your XP with a comfortable 1 GB of RAM.

"I think they tell you maybe 1 gig of memory is OK," the SPI quoted Rollins, who spoke Thursday at Shanghai's Jiaotong University and referred to Microsoft's system requirements. "No. Two gigs of memory would be great," he said.

We heard the same message already in March of this year, when Samsung told us that 1 GB of memory is expected to become the standard in your average $600 PC, while the mainstream between $1000 and $2000 will be quickly moving towards 2 GB. Earlier this year, it was believed that the average computer had 620 MB of memory installed. By the end of this year, this number will have climbed to about 871 MB and by the end of 2007 to more than 1.1 GB, according to Samsung.

The cost to upgrade from 1 GB to 2 GB of memory is about $130 for Dell's computers and is about in line with earlier memory upgrade costs driven by new Windows versions. With Vista, more system and also external flash memory could result in similar or even more performance increases than memory upgrades have shown in preceding versions: For example, Vista will be offering a feature called "Super Fetch," which will cache frequently accessed data in DRAM (and Flash) - and it will cache more data with an increasing capacity of DRAM: At least in theory, this feature promises to bring much faster launching applications.