Intel i915 chipset and Vista Aero - HUGE problem

Intel i915 chipset and Vista Aero - HUGE problem

Hi yall :-)

this is my first post here, and Im afraid that the cause for it isnt very pretty. In fact, its downright annoying.

I have a Sony Vaio Laptop w/ an Intel i915GM chipset and the GMA 900 Graphics Accelerator.

Ive also purchased Windows Vista Home Premium the day it came out, installed it, it ran fine (except for a lack of audio output, which was rectified by a driver provided by Sony).

Vista runs very well on this computer (Pentium M 740, 1 GB RAM), and I could be nothing but pleased with it......

.....until I found out that not only Aero isnt working (I had expected this), but Windows Movie Maker and DVD Maker arent working, either.

When I try to open these apps, theres merely a notification saying that my graphics hardware wasnt capable of handlng the transitions and effects of these apps, therefore i couldnt use them... period.

I then did some research on the internet, and I found out that Intel refuses to provide any WDDM drivers for their i915GM chipsets, because they were conceived before the specifications for Vista were finalized.

Hence, the i915 chipset was incapable of running Aero. And Windows Maker. And DVD Maker.

Ha ha, guys.

Seriously, if the GMA 950 can handle Aero, GMA 900 could, too.

Heck, Im running NFSU2 and GTA San Andreas on this thing @ high framerates, albeit at reduced detail settings.

Vista Media Center is running without any hickups, and yes, that thing also has nice little graphics effects and transitions.

Beta testers of Vista are reporting that until around September, the GMA 900 could handle Vista w/ Aero interface, and then, starting with Vista Build 5728, it suddenly couldnt anymore.

All this is leaving a very sour taste in my mouth. I, just like many other i915/Vista users, have a hard time believing that the GMA 900 couldnt handle Aero. The official specifications of the GMA 900 certainly indicate that it *should* be able to handle Aero... easily:

(German language site)

Im utterly disappointed that Intel is leaving their i915 users hanging highndry.

Come on, guys, make it happen and do release those darn WDDM drivers for the i915 chipset as well.

My laptop is a great product and works great, thanks to the Intel components in it.

But i also know that i wont be buying an all new computer just to run Vista properly (heck, my Vaio is only 5 months old!!), and I also know that Intel is going to lose a lot of good will on my side of the fence if they dont come up with a solution to his 915/Aero mess.

Thanks for letting me rant, and please.... do something about this.

From browsing around the internet, Im not the only one dismayed about this, and Vista has just come out two days ago.

How many other i915 users will be "happy" to see Vista run on their otherwise perfectly capable computers.... without Aero?

Its in Intels best own interest to provide a solution.


24 posts / 0 new
Last post
For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.

I'm in the same boat as you.

Have you signed the online petition for this?

Intel has got to do something, thousands of people are in this situation.

Aaah, thanks for the link.

Im going to sign this as well, thanks...


please intel, even there isreally beta one is ok too.


hi, i also want WDDM drivers for GMA900 graphics card.

and please dont ever again say this is not possible because of "hardware limitations and specs of areo were not finally announced as the develpoment of GMA900 ended". this is simply a LIE to the custumers. the GMA 900 was designed in 2004! OK!


it was nvidia's FIRST directx 9 card and in 2002 nobody could even think about AERO !! AND you want me to believe that GMA900 wich is also DX9 and designed in2004 cant handle AERO?

DO you want kidding me? you honestly cant believe your own words!

I'm in the same boat! Just purchased a laptop in 2006 and upgraded to 1.5GB ram for aero. I came to find out that's not the problem its the Intel 915 chip which meets all the minimum requirements. Granted it may cause slow downs, but I think that is up to the user to decide. If we pay for it, we should have the option of choosing between aero or performance. Intel needs to get the wddm drivers out quick or they're really going to lose business.

I'm on the same boat. I spent all this money on Vista because of all these features and now I cant even take advantage of them. I am more upset about the DVD maker and Movie maker than areo though

My laptop is also new, less than a year old. It doesnt seem fair that intel would be doing this.

And just try this (915GM + 1.8Ghz Pentium M)

1) Install the clock on the sidebar (without a second hand)

2) Observe the processor use of the sidebar in Task Manager (round about 0%)

3) Enable the second hand on the clock

4) Observe the processor use of the sidebar in Task Manager (round about 10%)

There is software rendering for you!

Hey,i'm in the same boat!

I've boat a new pc in October and i don't believe that it couldn't support AEREO!

Come on Intel, give us the driver!Make we happy!


Intel's popularity has just hit rock bottom for all users witha 915gm and lack of WDDM drivers.

-> Even if the graphics chipset cannot support Aero (although all other effects, transparency in siderbar, transitions in media center) just release them to prove it wont although it seems it can after the early beta's.

There are over 2041 signatures on the online petition ( intel - your next action is obvious.

Please release a WDDM driver...

You're right. And it sucks all the more that OpenGL is not supported either. So games such as Quake3, Doom3, Jedi Academy don't work!!

This is just to force us to buy new hardware, and let me tell you I won't be buying Intel again... AMD/Ati all the way from now on... My 4 month laptop can't run a few windows and animations? Are you kidding me? In the same time I 'm playing a lot of 3D games that should be more demanding than a few windows... Won't install Vista, won't buy Intel... I just installed Ubuntu Linux with Beryl and let me tell you that the 3D desktop is beautiful and running smoothly...

I agree with you, you're right it really sucks!

Unfortunately it more about corporate greed and forced upgrades then it is about "doing the right thing".. They can't possibly think that anybody believes their official statement. Intel has some of the smartest engineers/developers in the world working for them and if they wanted to develop WDM drivers they could. I believe that the code is probably been developed but the marketing dept said NO..

Do the right thing Intel, others would. Don't let big ego's ruin your reputation, the user's that your dissin may be a drop in the bucket, but bad news travels much faster than good.


same boat as you lot im affraid, this is stupid i had all the vista betas and had aero on them! now i spend alot on ultimate and cant get aero, the betas are better ffs, make this driver for the thousands and thousands of people that need it


My friend, sign here :

Lol, there are so many people in this boat it ain't going to hold up much longer.

I was reading the FAQ regarding the Vista Drivers for a 915gm chipset and it seems that it can support it just Intel don't believe it will make the end-user able to use the computer fluently.

"Given this, there are hardware limitations in the 915 Express chipset
architecture that would limit graphics performance and memory capabilities when
attempting to run WDDM on Vista"

Limit Performance and Memory Capabilities - (the chipset isn't going to explode is it?)

I must be reading that wrong. I used one of the first windows vista beta's
(before all this WDDM stuff) and it ran fine, in fact i was surprised that a
build of windows vista that was optimized for DEBUGGING, yes thats right,
not Performance, managed to run in a satisfactory way. Now the retail
version with optimized performance and an optimized user interface
- wouldn't that run faster?

I have tried contacting technical support to push the issue but they just
stone-walled me with a 4 line response telling me to visit the FAQ which
is infact where i found that quote above, that response and the action chosen
by intel, in my eyes, is not satisfactory performance.

(i don't think intel can read the '3122' []
currently residing on top of the online petition for the release of 915GM WDDM drivers)

Thankyou for listening to my rant,
Sign the Petition! (

Intel is really upsetting a lot of people in the market and they are losing face quick. I'm not talking hundreds or thousands, but there are millions of people out there affected by Intel's refusal to release WDDM drivers for the 900 series graphics chips. I find it hard to believe these chipsets are not capable of support WDDM. Really hard to believe based on what I've done in the past with companies. I have extensive background working with high end technologies and chips setswith companies like Raytheon and HP and I just dont see the hardware limitations there that Intel talks about that correctfirmware upgradescouldn't correct and make compatible. I am currently the Asst Director of Information Technology with a company supporting over 9200+ users based all over the country. Our IT commitment is to refield computers after 2 years of service. We have been very loyal with IBM/Intel for many yearsand we have hundreds of thousands of dollars in laptop purchases invested. We have started integratingWindows Vista onto our networks, but because of the refusal of correct drivers for Vista for Intel 900 chip sets, we are moving to new vendors that supports AMD technologies. We are quite disgusted by Intel's action or inaction for that matter regarding this issue. I dont know how many other companies, on top of the individual users, there are out there making the same decisions, even today, but the decisions made today will carry through tomorrow and people dont forget easilly. I can only imagine that many other companies will soon make atransition like we did. Any search on the net will yield people complaining about this subject in great detail with no responses from Intel, further promoting the look and feel of bad customer service practices in the eyes of it's potential buyers.

I just bought a new Core 2 laptop and intentionally ordered a model that had XP, not Vista, because it's just not compatible enough, yet.

WHEN WILL INTEL RELEASE THE WDDM DRIVERS FOR THE Intel 915 chipset !!!, and is there any way to enable aero without the drivers ???? or atleast a good explanation from intel ....


As proffesional consumer, i think its safe today, that thanks to you, i had to cancell orders from dell and ibm for notebook
computers, with an order value in excess of a million dollars, because of your lack of support for this chipset, and
im even more agry at the fact the first order (now delivered) 7 of the 90 notebooks run AERO PERFECTLY
no performace issues, if anything, they run faster than the others, as the Global head of a major Project Management
team, im miffed at why just these 7 run and not the others.


Where are the "Release or at least Beta Drivers, this card was designed beofe AERO, but the finalized specifications
are well within the chipset capability.

But more to the point, i havnt lost out, Intel as a group have, ive simply cancelled all of our orders for
equipment that contains INTEL COMPONENTS

I have placed new orders with AMD. and to put perspective on this, we have just finshed construction on a our own
2floor 14,000SQ Ft data center, that will now be entirley AMD

Hope your satisfied, as a loyal user of intel i am discusted with this "bullshit" and that is the best way to put it,

In 20years of my job, i have never ever ever heard so much shit

Bye Bye Intel
HELLO AMD - Lets Tango

Heh but all in all, its saved us more than $1 million USD so my bosses are happy
Chew on that

Thanks And Regards

Mark Shirely

Global Technology Head
OCS Hosting Ltd / GS Project Management Asia Ltd / GS Project Management Europe Ltd / GSPM Ltd (USA)

I same to you is not to use the DVD maker and Movie maker than areo though

All brother:

Don't not use this Windows Movie Maker version, this version is low than in vista 3.0 Movie Maker version, and after install was delete your Movie Maker version 3.0!

And version 2.6 is give lower device chipset for use!example:no 3D chipset, no dir X 9

Intel i915 chipset is ready dir X 9,is not low level of hardware

OK, guys, here's the deal.

There's "Vista Ready" and "Vista Premium Capable". Microsoft decides which is which:

The 915 graphics chip is "Vista Ready". It runs Vista just fine. It is NOT "Vista Premium Ready". From the above Microsoft site:

Some Windows Vista Capable PCs have been designated Premium Ready. These PCs will provide an even better Windows Vista experience, including the Windows Aero user experience. Features available in specific premium editions of Windows Vista, such as the ability to watch and record live TV, may require additional hardware.

Confusing? Yes. Deceptive? Well, some people think so, and have brought a lawsuit against Microsoft for this exact issue:

In fact, since that lawsuit, Microsoft has gone back and made a change to that paragraph I quoted. Read about what it used to say:


To everyone who bought a laptop with Intel 915 graphics, because it was labelled "Vista Ready", you were NOT deceived. It IS "Vista Ready". It runs Vista just fine.


If you somehow thought that "Vista Ready" meant that you could run the cool 3D tab flipper, and the fancy "Aero Glass" high end 3D interface, you were wrong.

I'm sorry you didn't understand what you were getting when you bought a system with an old, low end, legacy graphics chip. I'm sorry the Microsoft marketing material and logo labels confused you. I really am. I wish none of us had to deal with this.

Is Intel ever going to release a "beta"/unofficial driver for 915 graphics?

I'm not the "official" person to answer this, but I'd say "no".


Because it's an old, low end, "legacy" part. There aren't any people at Intel dedicated to writing new drivers for this part. Intel laid off 10% of its workforce last year - 10,000 people. Ten thousand. The rest of us that are left are trying to get all the work done. Obviously, we can't do the same amount of work. Some things have to get dropped. Decisions have to be made about what projects are going to happen, and which ones are going to get cut. Like I said, I'm not the "official" person to say, but my guess is that there just aren't people sitting around, collecting a paycheck, that could be thrown at writing an unofficial "beta" driver. Wouldn't it cool i
f it happened? Of course. Would Intel like to do it if we had the resources? Certainly! But we live in the same reality that you do, and we have to make our budget balance just like you do. We can't always do everything that we'd like to do.

I hope this serves as a "final word" on this discussion. If you have more questions, please do continue to discuss it here, email me, whatever. But I'm hiding anything or holding anything back - I've laid it all out on the line, here, and I hope it helps you guys understand.

And if I could buy everyone a drink to make you feel better, or a brand new "Vista Premium Ready" computer to run the Vista eye-candy, I would. But there's that whole "reality" thing...

Leave a Comment

Please sign in to add a comment. Not a member? Join today