About Windows 8: The Minimum System Requirements

Windows 8 isn’t going to run perfectly on just any old computer you try to install it on. Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system has a list of minimum system requirements that your computer has to meet, just like any regular computer program or game. By taking a closer look at these minimum system requirements you can help to determine whether Microsoft’s new operating system is right for you, or if you should just stick with Windows 7 or an older version on your personal machine.

Processor Speed

Both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of the Windows 8 operating system require at least a 1 gigahertz processor. That same processor is also required to support for PAE, NX and SSE2 functionality. Though it may be possible to run the operating system on a computer that does not meet this requirement, even the basic functions of the computer will run much slower than they should. It will also be difficult to operate even basic computer programs.

RAM Requirements

The 32-bit version of the Windows 8 operating system requires at least 1 gigabyte of memory for proper use. If you’re running the 64-bit version of the Windows 8 operating system your computer needs to have at least 2 gigabytes of memory. As with all other system requirements, for optimal use of the operating system your computer should not just match these requirements but exceed them.

Hard Drive Requirements

The 32-bit version of the Windows 8 operating system will take up 16 gigabytes of space on your hard drive. The 64-bit version of the Windows 8 operating system exceeds this number by 4 gigabytes, bringing the total required amount of storage space up to 20 gigabytes. It’s important to remember that this space is required specifically for the files that allow the operating system to function. This does not count the additional space you’ll need for downloading files, installing programs and saving all of your personal information and content.

Requirements for other features

The Windows 8 operating system offers a variety of functions that each have their own specific requirements. For example, the Windows 8 operating system is optimized for use with touch screen hardware. To actually use these features, however, your computer needs to have touch-enabled hardware. Your computer monitor needs to have a resolution that meets or exceeds 1024 by 768 in order to properly run Metro applications in Windows 8.

Windows 8 versus Windows 7

The minimum system requirements for Windows 8 are virtually identical to those of Microsoft’s previous operating system, Windows 7. The only exception is in regards to the Windows 8 processor requirements. Windows 7 did not require you to have a processor that supported the PAE, NX and SSE2 technologies. Likewise, because Windows 7 was not optimized for use with touch screen interfaces, the requirements for touch-based hardware were not in place. If you owned a computer that could run Windows 7 the odds are excellent that the same machine will be able to run Windows 8 without any issues.

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