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December 10, 2006

Vista to push hardware OEM costs up 20%

Upgrading to Microsoft Corp's new Windows Vista Business operating system from Windows XP will push PC hardware component costs up by 20% or roughly $100, according to new research by iSuppli Corp.

By CBR Staff Writer

The average desktop running XP contains components that cost an OEM a little more than $500. But for the average PC running Vista, the cost will jump to slightly more than $600, a 20% increase, iSuppli figured.

Because this figure represents the cost of the components and not the actual price of the PC, users will pay significantly more than $600 to buy a Vista-ready machine due to the PC makers’ added margins, noted the researchers.

Most of that additional cost to OEMs is in memory. While Microsoft said that 512MB of DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, is enough to run Vista, iSuppli reckons at least 1GB will be required for optimal performance and for upgrades headroom. This means a doubling in memory costs per PC.

When configuring the memory, think today – and think tomorrow – because application and user demands on memory change over time, said iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins, in a statement.

Companies also need to consider upgrading their graphics capability if they want to use the 3D functions of Vista’s interface, said the researchers. Or they can simply disable the 3D feature.

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