Difference between Windows Aero Graphics and Windows Basic Graphics

There are a number of different modes that the graphics drivers can run in under Windows Vista and Windows 7. This article summarises the different graphics modes and the terms used in other articles.

Microsoft changed the underlying graphics architecture between XP and Vista/7. When using Vista/7 you should have the latest Vista/7 compatible graphics drivers installed. The Vista/7 graphics driver can be referred to at the WDDM driver.

When running in WDDM mode, the Vista/7 display can either be in Basic mode or Aero Glass. The difference between these two modes is shown below:

Basic Mode


Aero Glass



DisplayLink recommends customers use Aero glass mode to avoid rendering issues in some applications.


The following youtube video gives a good summary of how to enable Aero graphics mode.

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