The RAM issue is only a part of the equation here (albeit, a very big part).
1 gB of RAM will work initially on Vista and W7 systems - but will quickly slow down the system to the point where it's torture to use it.
Even 2 gB on Vista systems is slow.
It's not the OS that causes this, it's the 3rd party programs. As Windows has developed, and as hardware has become cheaper, it's become more acceptable for programs to eat up more resources when running. These programs will work just fine on a recent system, but will cause older systems to react as if they're working in quicksand.
This not only includes regular programs, but also the add-ons that you use to run browsers, etc.
Finally, a system with only 1 gB of RAM is likely to be borderline in other respects (slower processor, older video, etc).
Let us know the specs, but don't expect much in the way of changes to our suggestions.
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