New CAP Vista PC Specs
CAP Vista PC Specs
Hardware SIG 6-16-07

Because Windows Vista is a new operating system, I wanted to stay with name brand components that are on the Windows Vista Hardware Compatibility List.



Link for more info.


Intel® 975X Express Chipset

Link for more info.


INTEL CORE 2 DUO E6600 2.4GHZ LGA775 1066FSB 4MB L2 HT EM64T

Link for more info.

Check out this review of the processor.


Quantity 2 - 1GB DDR2-667 NON-ECC DIMM (2GB Total)

DDR2 stands for Double data rate 2. It's a new version of DDR which is twice as fast as original DDR. DDR2 running at 667MHz is also known as PC2-5300 or PC2-5400 memory.

Hard Drive

We can put in several SATA drives and set up RAID configurations but to start off, we have a Seagate SATA 300GB drive - SG ST3320620AS 320GB SATA 3GB/S NCQ 7200RPM 16MB CACHE

Link for more info.

Key Features and Benefits of this drive:

  • SATA 3Gb/s interface
  • Perpendicular recording technology for maximum drive capacity and reliability
  • 16-MB cache buffer
  • Ultra-fast performance
  • Superb reliability
  • Whisper-quiet operation
  • Enhanced G-Force Protection against handling damage
  • 78 MB/s maximum sustained data transfer rate
  • Clean Sweep calibration and Directed Offline scan diagnostics
  • RoHS (restriction of hazardous substances) compliant
  • 5-year warranty
It's designed for applications running on Mainstream PCs, Performance PCs, Gaming PCs, Workstations, Desktop RAID and Personal external storage devices.



This is described as The Worlds fastest DVD rewriter! 20x 8x 8x / 20x 6x 8x / 12x /16x + 48x 32x 48x Super AllWrite.

Graphics Adapter

I want us to be able to run the cool Aero interface in Windows Vista. To do so requires a modern, enhanced powerful graphics adapter. Windows Aero requires a DirectX 9-class graphics processor that supports the following:

  • WDDM driver
  • Pixel Shader 2.0
  • 32 bits per pixel
  • Adequate graphics memory
  • 64 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at a resolution lower than 1,310,720 pixels
  • 128 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions from 1,310,720 to 2,304,000 pixels
  • 256 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at a resolution higher than 2,304,000 pixels

If your system meets the above requirements and has 512 MB of system memory, you can enable Windows Aero using Control Panel in Windows Vista. Additionally, on some systems with shared graphics memory, it is possible to adjust system configuration to obtain the Windows Aero experience. Contact your computer manufacturer to see if your system is capable of running Windows Aero.

Just as I went with Intel motherboard, Chipset, CPU, etc. I went with nVidia for the graphics adapter for compatibility and performance.


Link for more info.

This is a PCI Express card with 512MB Memory.

The GeForce 7950 GT GPUs bring graphics horsepower with a faster core clock and a whopping 512MB of memory while delivering exceptionally smooth frame rates at maximum settings.

The more expensive, next step up would be the GeForce 7950 GX2 features a knockout pair of GeForce processors on one irresistibly powerful board. This dual-GPU board features an astounding 1 GB of fast GDDR3 memory and support for resolutions up to 2560 X 1600. It's a beautiful thing.

Make sure you get the video interface you need to match your monitor. This card has VGA, DVI, & S-VIDEO interface potential.

Sound, LAN

I went with the sound and ethernet on the motherboard (integrated) because they are quality (Intel) and more than sufficient for our applications. I only get separate sound cards anymore when I have an app that requires it such as heavy duty voice dictation software.

Case and Power Supply

This PC (dubbed Victor Vista) will probably be buried or on the floor so getting a cool case with lots of mods did not make sense. I went with the FoxConn TS082-B BLK/SLV ATX 460W (PS3069)

I figure the system will use about 300W as built so the 460W is plenty.

Operating System

Windows Vista Ultimate.

Ultimate is just as described - the ultimate version. It includes all the features of the Home, premium, Media Center, Mobile and Business versions.

As the ad says, Windows Vista Ultimate is "The most complete edition of Windows Vista—with the power, security, and mobility features that you need for work, and all of the entertainment features that you want for fun."

Link for more info on Vista Ultimate.

Compare Vista Editions.


The Windows® Experience Index is a new feature built into Windows Vista™. It is designed to help consumers understand how well Windows Vista and the software running on it will perform on a specific PC. The index achieves this by assessing the capability of the PC and assigning a score to it. Higher scores indicate a better Vista experience on your PC.

You can see what the scores mean and the minimum you need here.

The overall PC performance is represented by the base score. The base score is derived from 5 subscores for each of the following 5 attributes:

  1. Processor - Calculations per second
  2. Memory - Operations per second
  3. Graphics - Desktop performance for Windows Aero graphics
  4. Gaming graphics - 3D graphics performance. Useful for gaming and 3D business applications
  5. Primary hard disk - The data transfer rate of the primary hard disk

The Windows Experience Index is useful for the following:

  1. When buying a new PC, it is useful for determining the quality of the Windows experience a buyer can expect from a particular PC.
  2. When upgrading a PC, the index is useful for estimating the overall improvement a PC user can expect to get when replacing or adding a new hardware component.
  3. When buying software, the software package may include the recommended Windows Experience Index base score a PC should have in order to run the particular software application well. If a PC has a higher base score than the score recommended by the software, the software will run well on it.

The WEI score of this new PC is a smoking 5.8!

See the score from Control Panel - Performance Information and Tools

Other stuff

  • The system has front and back USB as well as legacy serial and parallel ports.
  • If you haven't worked with SATA drives yet, you will be pleasantly surprised. The thin cable is a huge improvement over the old IDE ribbon cables so they take up much less space, they are easier to connect and the system has better air flow.
  • If you plan on upgrading a PC to Vista, be sure to run the Vista Upgrade Advisor first. It's a free utility that will scan your system and report back to you.
  • You can buy all the components listed or have the system built for you by browsing the Magnum on-line store.
  • Browse the Magnum Desktop PC Store here.

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