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I want transparency, mini previews when hover on taskbar buttons, etc.

The lowest graphics card that I've tested is an Nvidia GeForce 6100. I've found in the market GeForce FX5200/5500 but I don't know if it works. What is the minimum ATI/NVIDIA graphics card to support Windows Aero?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

This information is available on the Windows Vista System Requirements page from Microsoft:

A Windows Aero-capable graphics card is a graphics card that meets the following requirements:

  • Supports a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver
  • Has a DirectX 9-class graphics processor unit (GPU) that supports Pixel Shader 2.0
  • Supports 32 bits per pixel
  • Passes the Windows Aero acceptance test in the Windows Driver Kit (WDK)

Essentially, any GPU with DX9 and a driver that supports Aero will be capable of running all of the accelerated graphics features like window transparency, taskbar previews, etc. I have successfully run Windows Aero on an Nvidia FX5200, which you asked about in your post.

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Any Nvidia Geforce 5 or above should support it

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