Microsoft lists the Windows 10 minimum hardware requirements as:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800x600
In reality, there are a number of factors that affect what hardware you really need. First, it depends whether you're performing a clean installation or are upgrading from a previous Windows operating system. If you are performing an upgrade, then the 16 GB -- or 20 GB for the 64-bit version -- of required hard disk space is inadequate; the existing OS already takes up space.
Another factor that affects the actual system requirements is the workload that you intend to run. Remember, the Windows 10 minimum hardware requirements listed above only guarantee that the Windows operating system will run. Applications typically have their own hardware requirements beyond those of the operating system.
In my experience, Windows 10 runs smoothly with lightweight applications, such as Microsoft Office, with a dual core processor, 2 GB of RAM and a large enough hard disk to avoid concerns of running out of space. The minimum display resolution of 800 x 600 is often inadequate however, because some applications require a higher resolution.
It is also worth noting that additional hardware is required to use some applications and features. For instance, graphically intensive applications might require a DirectX 10-compliant video card. Similarly, the operating system's speech recognition capability can only be used on a PC that is equipped with a microphone. Another example is the Windows Hello feature, which requires special hardware that can be used for biometric authentication.
How to upgrade to Windows 10
Ace your next hardware demo
Why you need inventory management tools
Dig Deeper on Windows 10
Related Q&A from Brien Posey
Are you ready for your next data migration project? Take the Myspace migration failure as motivation to implement data source and backup best ... Continue Reading
IT shouldn't overlook the benefits of on-premises desktop hosting, such as more choices for virtualization software. Cloud-hosted desktops also fall ... Continue Reading
The threat of ransomware has evolved over the past few years, causing many organizations to re-examine how they plan to recover data in the event of ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.