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back to article Acer sued for shipping Vista-book with GB of memory

Two Middle Americans have sued Acer over its low-cost Aspire notebooks, claiming that the Taiwanese PC giant pre-installed Windows Vista on machines ill-equipped to run Microsoft's latest OS. With a lawsuit filed Wednesday in San Francisco, California, two residents of Fostoria, Ohio seek damages and relief from the world's …

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Jobs Halo

gosh

are people still actually using Vista?

Why? When OSX and the Penguin offer so much more

I guess its the Church of Bill - and we all know, religion is nothing if not stupid/irrational/etc

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Jobs Horns

Mac OS X lol

OS X runs worse. My mate bought a Macbook, slow as hell and crashed a lot too. Brought it back to Apple the next week who insisted on charging him a 'restocking' fee. Illegal as hell me thinks, but whatever. It was his fault he bought that POS in the first place.

Finally bought a ThinkPad, and I helped him configure to dual boot Vista and Linux. He is now a very happy chap.

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I missed out!

I wrote a long post about my horrible experience with an Acer laptop sold with Vista and 512MB RAM, but then I lost it.

Here's an ASCII fish instead: <><

Thanks!

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Ouch!

$157.40 for ram? I added 1GB of ram to a laptop last summer for $50. Some people shop the wrong places. Then again they bought a completely misspec'd machine (probably by buying entirely based on lowest price) so clearly they were shopping in the wrong place to begin with.

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Flame

Raphael

Ultimate editions of Vista will ' run' on 512MB systems.

Unless running the OS isn't your objective but only a step-stone to do something else. In that case your screwed.

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Nonsense

I run Vista Ultimate on a PC with 1GB of RAM and it works just fine. I like and use Linux and OS X also, but lets face facts here, the average user will be stumped by Linux. Yes, I know it has gotten a lot more user friendly, but as a take home OS from WalMart, not quite yet. And you aren't going to find a laptop with OS X for $600, so also not a WalMart buyer option.

A 4GB upgrade for that Acer is less than $50, so it looks like they actually did get ripped off, just not by Acer. If it doesn't do what you want, take it back to WalMart and get something else. This smells of someone who went looking for a name brand notebook they could sue over. I expect they will soon include WalMart in the lawsuit also.

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Anonymous Coward

Upgrade to XP

An OEM copy of XP Home at $89 would have been a cheaper "upgrade".

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Sooooo....

Getting those un-named "professionals" to wipe it and install XP instead (which they should have pushed for) never occured to them?

I'd rather do that than bother with court, they must really have a lot of free time and lawyer fees on their hands.

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Rubbish

Least it has 1GB I saw may early Vista laptops with 512MB (less shared)

Vista bottoms out at about 600mb of used memory and is more usable with a 1gb stick .

Though this chassis of acer laptop is a bit fiddly in the replacement of memory (you have to take the large cover off the back) it is fairly easy to do your self and for far less than $157 . A gig of memory for this laptop can be bought for about £11 in the uk.

The problem with acer laptops is all the extra junk that acer put on them not Vista it self

As for OSX 10.5 I would not want to run that with 1gb . My macbook is on 2gb at the moment and that runs out of free memory quite regularly

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dogs everywhere are coming for you!

Dogs around the world are outraged by the suggestion that they are in anyway comparable to vista's performance.

Pugs, Daschunds, and Bulldogs specifically reared for Crufts, are currently riding the wave of performance (which is emitted by all vista boxes in order to leave your machine with a net negative) in order to challenge you on this.

I think "runs" was a little too extreme a term for vista performance.

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Thumb Up

Perfect

Vista ran perfectly fine with 1GB when I first got my new laptop, but being a linux man it didnt stay on there for long though.

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Coat

@Ouch!

I'm one of those 'unamed professionals' that charged $107.40 on top for time and labour.

My ever-changing, recession-proof pricelist is in the pocket.

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Jobs Horns

Another ambulance chaser with a contingency fee client

@Christopher Soltis

Chris, I think that the key phrase is "Class Action". That means the people in the class who demonstrate that they were somehow damaged by Acer would be entitled it a pittance of a discount coupon from Acer, while "their" attorneys collect their <highly inflated> fees (they expect million$).

Standard scam with the US legal profession. Nothing to see here... move on please.

Since I do not care for "The Steve", he will be the demon on the graphic.

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Anonymous Coward

"Windows Vista is nothing more than a dog"

And yet Windows 7 which is nothing more than a glorified service pack is getting plaudits from every journo, despite only being slight faster than Vista.

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Tom

So what's the problem?

"Shortly after purchasing, they discovered that "their computer would not run properly and that it experienced numerous 'crashes,' 'freezing,' and was operating very slowly."

It seems to have been working normally then, despite the possible lack of RAM.

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Gates Horns

Last two

These must have been the last two people on the planet who had not heard what a dog vista is. Why on earth buy it in the first case.

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Anonymous Coward

Cheaper Ram

Good heavens,

Where are people buying this memory at such high costs? Shop around on the internet. It's much cheaper by half!

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osx and 1gb rubbish

Sorry, but all this rubbish that you can't run OSX in 1G of ram is absolute rubbish.

Ran 1G and 10.5 on my new Macbook when it was new and it was absolutely fine. Its only because Parallels swallows memory did i upgrade it to 4gb.

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Flame

...yikes!

I didn't even know you could get a Netbook with Vista installed from an OEM, I must live a sheltered life. I propose a three step solution:

1) Acer must be punished for offering such a choice to unsuspecting customers.

2) Microsoft must be punished because Vista is their creation.

3) The two people named in the lawsuit must be punished for ambulance chasing.

Did I miss something?

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Jobs Horns

OSX on 1 gb? ya right

I've been doing dev work regularly on a mac with 1gb of ram and xcode constantly freezes up on such difficult tasks as opening a menu. It's constantly out of free memory. Sadly not in a position to replace/upgrade said hardware yet, though I'm getting close to chucking it out a window.

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crashes and freezing

well, there's the lawsuit lost. If they can explain why not enough memory could ever cause something to crash or freeze. Running slowly is a separate issue.

If you run out of memory, for the last 20 years or so, it's just been paged to the hard disk causing it to be a bit slower, if you also run out of hard disk space, then things start to go wrong.

can you sue a computer manufacturer for it being a bit slow, when you knew it was under specced before you bought it? If you didn't know it was underspecced before buying, then you're an idiot for buying it without understanding what you were getting.

would you buy a 1litre family saloon car and then sue the manufacturer because it won't go 150mph?

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Thumb Down

wtf is it with everyone bleating on about osx

Having a MacBook Pro I can safely say that it's NO more reliable than windows Vista, and if you tried to run anything on OSX with 1gb of ram you would be contemplating throwing your shiny mac out of the nearest window

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Flame

OS with 1GB

Of course it runs perfectly. The OS itself, running mostly light apps (Plex, iTunes) on my mac mini is more than happy with 512 KB. And it runs perfectly on my iMac G5 with 1GB, no problem with Xcode and transcoding videos. A desktop OS shouldn't need more than 1GB if you're not using memory hungry apps (Java,.Net, Virtual Machines, large DB's...) If it needs more, the OS is broken.

I haven't used Windows for more than 5 years now (only OSX/Linux), and I couldn't be happier. Hell, I can't even remember how to do the simplest tasks with XP, let alone Vista (which leads me to... why do people think that Windows is easier to use? I guess that a space shuttle is easier to drive than a bike, if you've never seen a bike)

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Unhappy

1GB Pah!

My Amiga runs in 512K.

Mind you, it's shit.

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Thumb Up

Could I just ask

that El Reg refrains from anymore articles about OS's?

Anymore more of my OS is better than your OS and my OS's brother will beat up your dad's OS with my sisters boyfriends uncles OS, and I think I will actually lose the plot and have to kill you until you die with my superior OS...

Amstrad CPC464 would kick your asses anyday!

meh!

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No one has mentioned

that they come with Norton Internet Security 2007. That will make it run slow. They should be forced to return the unit to Wally world with a note on the box "We are too stupid to own a computer".

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Anonymous Coward

Vista Ultimate runs fine on 1GB here

The only reason I upgraded my Vista Ultimate box to 2GB was to speed up my panorama stitching software; which in all fairness was stitching a 27 RAW file HDR when I finally decided to upgrade the RAM.

That said, it's not a shared memory system, and it has a pair of 7k2 drives. Vista definitely benefits from fast IO, and non-shared memory gfx.

As for crashes, can't remember when I last had one. Even my mother seems to be running her Vista box fine, and she's one of those people that seems to click on every dodgy link in christendom... If the hardware and drivers are solid, it actually works very well once you get used to it.

As for the average person-in-the-street running Linux, if the amount of confusion Vista caused them is any indication, I'd say they're more likely to sprout wings and fetch green cheese from the moon than they are to make the transition to Linux successfully. If you provide them with free endless support *maybe*, but even then I'm not convinced it's going to happen. More than happy for someone to prove me wrong though!

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Paris Hilton

Only in Ohio...

Fostoria is about 30 miles away from here... So imagine my surprise when I hear about this in El Reg and not the home town bird-cage liner... Knowing what I know about the area, this is less about the technical inadaquacies of a piece of equipment and more about a quick grab for money.

Sad.

I'm truly embarassed.

I chose Paris because even she knows Vista is nothing more than a pig with lipstick on it.

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Why . . .

. . . aren't they suing Wal-Mart ?? Acer may have built the lap-top, but the shop stocked and sold the device at that spec. If we go with the assumption that someone shopping in Wal-Mart expects things to work as advised by the little sticker, then the fault lies with Wal-Mart for stocking something that wasn't fit for the purpose advertised.

If they bought direct from Acer, that would be a different story.

For example, if they bought a pint of milk that turned out to be contaminated/off/inedible, would they sue the dairy or Wal-Mart ??

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Let's hope Acer

counter-sues these idiots for being, well, idiots.

You seem to be able to sue anyone for anything in the US, so surely such a case would have more merit than most lawsuits?

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Linux

@AC

I can prove you are wrong. Linux runs fine out of box for majority of average lusers. I was (and still is) mainly M$ OS geek. Before I started using Linux, all I knew was how windows works, background of M$ DOS command line (really a cheap rip off of Unix command), a few Unix command. That was it, no Linux experience what so ever. Now I can break and doing some geeky stuff with Linux.

My father, is one of your average Jo. He can browse the interweb, type in "word" or "excel", watch movies on computer. That's about it. He had no problem to use a Linux installation on his laptop for a year, with no difficulty of what he does. I had to change the OS back to XP for a software reason (a doddy browser plug-in only run in Windows, and it is must have for him to recieve web tv/movies from our own language programs).

If you have the right Linux installation, majority of "normal" (aka. people who have no idea what they are doing on a computer) users would not have any problem at all.

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Windows

I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate (64bit) on a dual core laptop with only 1GB ram. Sure it doesn't run as fast as my (now broke) desktop with 4GB, but its fast enough to do mundane tasks (like write this comment) and it also runs Aero quite well.

I've also ran Vista x64 Premium on this laptop, again with 1GB ram and shared VGA, Aero works fine, everything works fine, its just not a powerful machine so it is going to run slower than my desktop (even though assessment puts my desktop CPU at 4.9 and my laptop at 4.8).

I've also installed OSX onto this laptop, it didn't stay on very long, it is without a shadow of doubt the worse OS in history, Linux... love it, Solaris... love it, Windows... love it, OSX, in the bin.

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Stop

Vista basic vs opensuse11 same machine

I'm writing this on a dell inspiron 1501 (1GB) which has just had vista basic wiped from it harddrive.

It was utterly woeful with vista _basic_, constantly flashy flashy harddisk, utterly useless for anything other than web browsing, forget anti-virus etc, that just slows it right down. I even stopped the workstation service along with 90% of apps / services. My sister asked me to "do something" and make it usable, and since I didn't have a legal copy of XP, I installed opensuse 11 on it.

No more flashy flashy hdd, everything works better including wifi -- amazingly -- and suspend to RAM as on OSX.

And to the OSX 1GB naysayers, I had a G4 with 512MB and OSX ran perfectly fine with tiger - a hell of a lot better than vista basic does with double the RAM. I did add an extra 1GB and it never swapped out after that, no matter how many apps I launched.

If you are a devellopper, then you will need a beefy machine, lots of RAM, processor and HDD speed. That goes for devellopping on any OS so you don't count Mr. Anonymouse Coward.

I no longer have a mac, and I've only started using linux on a desktop, I'm no OS advocate - any OS for that matter -- but please, vista really is shit, I know because I have a 2GB vista dual core and my 6 year old P4 is way faster.

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Anonymous Coward

Vista runs poorly?

I installed Mandriva Linux on my Acer Aspire 5315 and have no problems even with the Aero-like 3D desktop graphics run in full acceleration. I purchased several Acers for family members and "upgraded" their version of Vista to Windows XP which runs fine as well. Vista is just a broken, bloated operating system; Windows 7 looks much like it.

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Pirate

Arrrrr Mateys

Hate to be the pirate (in the "hijack your sense of self-righteousness" way) of the group and hence the avatar, but I've had no problems with Vista Ultimate. It's not the dog you say so please just go back to your niche systems and let the world move on. Windows will always be "the" option until the other guys gain widespread game support or can effectively virtualize games for the masses (i.e. the average Joe won't have to tweak a hundred lines of code to run it properly). Apple is closer than Linux, but market forces have weighed and measured the two OS's and found them wanting compared to MS. Don't get me wrong, I'm no MS fan-boy, but you have to give them credit for making so much current and legacy c*r*a*p work together or close to together on one operating system while trying to move forward in supporting the business, gaming, and whathaveyou worlds. The only thing I am p*i*s*s*e*d about Vista is that I will have to shell out $190 for a new operating system in a matter of months, partially due to holier than thou MS trashers who probably haven't put any serious time in the OS. As for the two mentioned here, the lawsuit should be dismissed or included with the other one; whatever happened to researching something before buying it. Americans are so pathetic we have to sue everyone, sigh.

Ok, my bit is said, commence with the fan-boy diatribes on my intelligence, blah, blah for using Vista.

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Its not vista on the Acer laptops its the Drivers

Acer had horrible drivers with the early vista laptops. I have one of those Laptops from Walmart and half the drivers couldnt be reloaded when I reimaged the machine.

Sure it was slow but it wasnt vista pe'se

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Anonymous Coward

Now that we have 4GB ram in our computers ...

... we can finally do futuristic things like read our emails. You Vista haters just want to drag us all into the past where all we could do was render special effects for TV and films.

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Anonymous Coward

A small dog

We have a small dog that can literally run circles around Vista or anything else. He usually goes in circles but is much more entertaining than anything from Redmond :)

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Flame

Performance

duh --- Required memory depends upon what is running.

And please give it a rest with the OS wars. The subject of this article is obviously a Windows Vista PC. If you have nothing helpful to contribute please shut the hell up.

The last Windows machine I had I had to take the commercial anti-virus software off and replace it with AVG. Ran much better after that

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Anonymous Coward

How Does One Get In On This Lawsuit..?!

Yes, I am in Canada so sub-$600 is what not, but the notebook that I used to have is the same as in this article; to get it to run better I had to go and buy 4GB -- granted only 3GB is seen by the OS -- so who can I contact?!

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Jon
Alert

@Ouch! / @Cheaper Ram

> $157.40 for ram? I added 1GB of ram to a laptop last summer for $50

Apples and oranges. You probably just bought it on the internet and fitted it yourself.

The people in this article had a problem with their computer. They took it to a local techie. The techie first had to diagnose the problem, then get the RAM and fit it. Hence there are labour costs, and the cost of having a physical presence. The techie probably also keeps RAM in stock, which is convenient for his customers but means he might pay more for the RAM (if prices are falling and he bought it a while ago), and also means he has the cost of keeping stock - there's capital tied up in stock, and he has the risk that his stock might not sell. The techie also has to pay sales tax, which you probably didn't.

Let's guess it took an hour of labour (look for viruses etc beforehand, fit the RAM, then test it to check the problem is fixed). Then we can guess some numbers like $75 labour, plus $25 premium on the RAM, plus $7.40 sales tax. That seems reasonable to me.

<Obligatory car analogy>It's the difference between me taking my car to the garage and saying "it's broken, please fix it" and someone else diagnosing the problem themselves, buying a part mail order and spending a morning fitting it. I may pay 3 times as much, but since I don't have enough car knowledge/skills to fix it myself I don't really have much choice.</car analogy>

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Anonymous Coward

@"I've a gig of ram, works fine"

Even if you have a laptop with only 1 gb of shared ram, remember that many of the netbooks (particularly SSD models) have virtual memory disabled.

It's probably more likely that these people were know nothings in technical terms, I mean who else would buy from WalMart? I wouldn't go and buy a computer from Tesco ever, even though I've heard they do sell them. It's just asking for trouble.

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Paris Hilton

@ "And please give it a rest with the OS wars."

No, let them continue. I am really interested on what people do with their computers. Why won't anybody else be also interested?

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Happy

I'm surprised

They have a wobbly-mart in fostoria? Now we know what the problem is...

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Silver badge

Problems with this.

I can name a few:

1) WalMart. Look EVERYTHING at WalMart is CHEAP. They insist on it. If they didn't have the laptop at 1Gb, with minimum configuration, WalMart wouldn't have sold it.

2) Vista: Enough said.

3) Class Action Lawsuit. Just another money grab by a lawyer looking for plaintiffs. While it might be a good thing, the net effect of this is that the ones that actually were "harmed" will get some silly coupon for another purchase (that will expire in 30 days), while the lawyers (and the "lead plaintiff") will rake in the dough.

4) 1Gb of memory. Time was when this was a large hard drive. Yes times have changed, but the real fault is that the operating system and environment needs this much ram just to boot the thing. The fault is that software expands to fill up the space available, and then some more for good measure. While ALL software suffers from this, it seems that operating systems from Redmond are by far the biggest offenders!

So, we wait for the legal process to wind its way through the courts, and nobody will win in the end (almost, the lawyers will make a buck or two). Life will go on and eventually W7 will appear, with more lawyers getting rich. (*SIGH*)

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Coat

I bought a Hyundai Excel....

And it was COMPLETELY USELESS as an Amphibious Assault / Helicopter Carrier!

I'm going to SUE Hyundai, because they sais the Excel can do everything!

Mine's the one WITHOUT reading glasses.

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Flame

My two pence...

I have been into computers for over two decades.

I have been a Windows Tech for over ten years.

I know how to optimize Windows to run as fast as possible on the machine trying to run it.

I just purchased an HP HDX18.

This is an Intel Quad Core 2.2GHz, 4Gb RAM, 1Gb dedicated VRAM NVidia, 500Gb 5400RPM SATA equipped system that came with Vista Home Premium 64 Bit.

It comes, out of the box, with a Vista "Usability Score" of *three point eight*.

If a system like THIS doesn't even rate a Four, what chance in HELL does a netbook of running Vista worth a damn?

I spent two full days tweaking it to run as fast as possible, and in the end had to DISable most of the functions (Aero, indexing, etc) in order for it to be as responsive as my old (AMD 64 single core 2GHz, 2Gb RAM, 512Meg ATI, 200Gb 5400 RPM SATA) system running XP Pro...

I ended up swapping the original HD for another 500Gb 5400 RPM SATA, installing Ubuntu, and never looking back.

I should not EVER have to disable half an OS for a machine (especially one of those specs) to run smoothly.

Flames icon, because Vista wasn't worth the match it would take to physically burn the DVD it came on.

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Anonymous Coward

HUm funny

I have a vista premium laptop with 1 Gig Memory and it takes mem for GFX, runs fine no crashes with no issues?

Maybe these people had dodgy 3rd party software.

To all the people saying "MS must be punished as vista is crap", have you actuallly used vista, i mean properly instead of just hearing other idiots on the web say its bad. I mean it can be slower at times on certain things, but it isn't a bad OS all in all. But windows 7 will be lot better.

Can i ask that el reg actually bother to moderate comments, you know, get some of the obvious BS from peoples comment out, specally the stuff that ISN'T TRUE.

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Flame

Mac OS

Mac OS is the only real solution to windows problems. Unlike another chappy on here, I've had no problems in running xcode with a fairly large codebase (around 300 obj-c and c++ files) in 1GB or RAM. My little Mac mini with it's Intel mobile graphics runs admirably well, even when you take into account my not being used to the Apple keyboard layout.

Anyhow...I thought it was the job of the OS to run my computer, not the other way around. This is the main reason I won't be going near Windows until they sort out the "minimum system requirements".

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