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Electronics Production | December 11, 2006

Vista Upgrade to Boost PC<br>Component Costs by 20 Percent

You might know that the software cost of upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista Business is $199. But you might not know that the Vista upgrade carries a hardware cost as well, with about $100 in new or additional PC components required to make the jump to Microsoft Corp.'s newest operating system, according to data from iSuppli Corp.'s Compute Systems Cost Analyzer (CSCA) tool.

Based on an analysis using CSCA, an average desktop PC running Windows XP contains components that collectively cost PC OEMs slightly more than $500. For an average PC running Vista, the cost will jump to slightly more than $600, a 20 percent increase. 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. As presented in the figure below and attached, much of the additional cost for Vista-capable PCs is in the memory area. Although Microsoft has stated that 512Mbytes of DRAM will be sufficient to run Vista, iSuppli believes at least 1Gbyte will be required for optimal performance and for headroom for upgrades. This will amount to 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 Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli.
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