Windows Vista Aero as resource hog? Not exactly

In the midst of an otherwise interesting account of one IT professional’s experiences with Windows Vista, Andrew Garcia of eWeek lets fly with this bit of misinformed commentary: Aero Glass is an uninteresting resource pig, completely unworthy of all the resources it consumes. Forty percent of my system memory is consumed out of the box […]

In the midst of an otherwise interesting account of one IT professional’s experiences with Windows Vista, Andrew Garcia of eWeek lets fly with this bit of misinformed commentary:

Aero Glass is an uninteresting resource pig, completely unworthy of all the resources it consumes. Forty percent of my system memory is consumed out of the box right now, and Aero Glass is the largest consumer. For what exactly? A 3-D ALT-TAB screen selection screen, translucent window edges and a handful of Sidebar widgets. This feature single-handedly hamstrings Vista installations with only 1GB of RAM, making slower computers swap memory with just one or two applications open.

It’s really hard to know where to begin pointing out the errors in that one paragraph. But I’ll try:

  • Aero and Glass are two separate things. Aero is the full Vista interface, complete with taskbar button previews of window contents and Flip 3-D task-switching option. Glass is the transparency effect used in the Aero interface by default. It can be turned off with a single click.
  • The Flip 3-D hotkey is Windows logo key+Tab, not Alt+Tab.
  • Sidebar widgets have nothing to do with Aero. They run in the context of Sidebar.exe, which can be shut down at any time.
  • You can run many, many programs in 1GB of RAM under Vista. The idea that you’ll run out of RAM with one or two programs open is just nonsense.

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Microsoft, Windows Vista, Aero, Aero Glass, Resource, Hogging