Windows 11 has finally been revealed, and while the UI is the most obvious change compared to 10, the system requirements for installing the new OS are rather high. To install or upgrade to Windows 11, devices must meet the following minimum hardware requirements:
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC).
- RAM: 4 GB or greater.
- Storage: 64 GB or greater available storage is required to install Windows 11.
- Additional storage space might be required to download updates and enable specific features.
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver.
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
- Display: High definition (720p) display, 9″ or greater monitor, 8 bits per color channel.
- Internet connection: Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates, and to download and use some features.
- Windows 11 Home edition requires an Internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete device setup on first use.
- These requirements may not seem too strict, but having a look at the list of supported processors, you’ll notice that the 1st Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs aren’t supported, and the 2nd Gen Zen+ processors are a bare minimum on AMD’s end and the 8th Gen Kaby Lake-R is the least supported on Intel’s end. Keep in mind that although the OS will run on systems using older processors, it’s “not recommended”. Microsoft’s list of supported processors doesn’t make sense as there’s little to no difference between the 1st and 2nd Gen Ryzen processors. Similarly, the Kaby Lake-R (8th Gen Intel Core lineup) is essentially a rebranding of the 7th Gen offerings.
The fact that DirectX11 isn’t supported means that a lot of old video cards will be incompatible with Windows 11. This means a minimum of Kepler (GTX 600 series) for NVIDIA and the Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics cards on AMD’s end. These shouldn’t be a problem as both vendors have dropped official support for these lineups.
Another major headache that Windows 11 poses is with respect to TPM or Platform Trust Technology. While most modern systems do support it in one form or another, they’re often disabled in the UEFI firmware. This will result in many users thinking that their computers aren’t Windows 11 capable even if they are. TPM is generally labeled as “Trusted Computing” for Gigabyte and “fTPM” on ASUS boards.
Lastly, Microsoft’s DirectStorage feature which is a part of the DirectX12 API will only be supported on Windows 11 for what bizarre reason. It allows the loading and compression of game assets to be transferred over to the graphics cards, making it more efficient and thereby reducing the overhead. It’s basically what NVIDIA markets as RTX IO.