Microsoft Reveals The Official Windows 10 System Requirements
The new operating system is set to debut on July 29, and ahead of this momentous date, the titan has published the entire list of system requirements for Windows 10 — and for the most part, they are quite similar to what is required to power Windows 7 and 8.1.
Meaning, if your computer or devices can run the above two operating systems, you should see no performance difference when upgrading to Windows 10.
With that said, here are the official Windows 10 system requirements:
- Processor 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- HDD space 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display 1024×600 pixels resolution or higher
Apart from these typical system requirements, you will also need special hardware if you want to use some Windows 10 features. These are:
- Cortana is only currently available on Windows 10 for the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.
- Speech recognition will vary by device microphone. For better speech you will need a
- High fidelity microphone array
- Hardware driver with Microphone array geometry exposed
- Windows Hello requires specialized illuminated infrared camera for facial recognition or iris detection or a finger print reader which supports the Window Biometric Framework.
- Continuum is available on all Windows 10 editions by manually turning “tablet mode” on and off through the Action Center. Tablets and 2-in-1’s with GPIO indicators or those that have a laptop and slate indicator will be able to be configured to enter “tablet mode” automatically.
- Music and Video stream through the Xbox Music or Xbox video available in certain regions. For the most up to date list of regions, please go to Xbox on Windows website.
- Two factor authentication requires the use of a PIN, Biometric (finger print reader or illuminated infrared camera), or a phone with WiFi or Bluetooth capabilities.
- Device Guard requires:
- UEFI Secure Boot with 3rd party UEFI CA removed from the UEFI database
- TPM 2.0
- Virtualization Support configured on by default in the System Firmware (BIOS)
- Virtualization extensions (e.g. Intel VT-x, AMD RVI)
- Second Level Address Translation (e.g. Intel EPT, AMD RVI)
- IOMMU (e.g. Intel VT-d, AMD-Vi)
- UEFI BIOS configured to prevent unauthorized user from disabling Device Guard hardware security features
- Kernel mode drivers need to be Microsoft signed and compatible with hypervisor enforced code integrity
- Only available on Windows 10 Enterprise
- The number of applications that can be snapped will depend upon the minimum resolution for the application.
- To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multi-touch
- Microsoft account required for some features
- Internet access (ISP fees might apply)
- Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database
- Some IT administrators may enable Secure Logon (Ctrl + Alt + Del) before bringing you to the log in screen. On tablets without a keyboard, a tablet with the Windows button maybe required as the key combination on a tablet is Windows button + Power button.
- Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance
- BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 10 Pro only)
- BitLocker requires either Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2, TPM 2.0 or a USB flash drive (Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise only)
- Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2 GB of RAM (Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise only)
- Miracast requires a display adapter which supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.3, and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Direct Printing requires a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct and a device that supports Wi-Fi Direct Printing
- To install a 64-bit OS on a 64-bit PC, your processor needs to support CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF
- InstantGo works only with computers designed for Connected Standby
- Device encryption requires a PC with InstantGo and TPM 2.0.
So you’re looking at pretty modest hardware when it comes to the standard system requirements, but several of the more advanced features require their own special hardware.
Essentially, if you want the full Windows 10 experience, you’re going to have to need new peripherals.