Matt Ayers, a program manager with the Windows Client Performance team, touted the results on the group's blog. "We put quite a bit of effort into making sure that the new visuals were as efficient as possible, and it really paid off," he wrote. "You can run Aero without guilt!"
Principled Technologies measured performance with Aero on and off using a Dell XPS M170 notebook equipped with 1 Gbyte of RAM, a 2.0-GHz Intel Pentium M 750 single-core processor, and a graphics card with 256 Mbytes of memory. The laptop's configuration met or exceeded Microsoft's own minimum system requirements for what it calls a "Vista Premium Ready PC," which is a system with sufficient horsepower to run Aero. Those requirements, for example, specify a graphics card with at least 128 Mbytes of memory.
One important thing to keep in mind here is that this study was sponsored by Microsoft.