Minimum Requirements For Windows 7 RC 1


We’re coming into the home stretch for the release of Windows 7. Tuesday, May 5th 2009, Microsoft made Windows 7 RC 1 available for everyone. In an attempt to avoid a server-jamming rush, there are no time limits on downloading or the number of keys available. The servers are giving good to great download speeds.

So what do you need to get started with this new operating system? Traditionally, Microsoft has understated the minimum hardware requirements for new releases. This practice seems to have peaked with Vista, as those misrepresentations landed MS in court.

WINDOWS 7 UPGRADE ADVISOR Test your system now for hardware and software compatibility.

Today’s requirements for Windows 7 have remained flat, no increases from what was required for Vista. In fact the Operating system works so much better than Vista, using the same hardware, that it’s hard not to call this a reduction in hardware requirements.


1. Processor = 1 GHz

2. RAM = 1 GB 32 bit/2GB 64 bit

3. Disc Space = 16 GB 32 bit/20 GB 64 bit

4. Video = DirectX 9 capable device with WDDM 1.0 or higher

5. Clean installation suggested.

That’s it, what’s not to like? Keep in mind, these are minimum requirements. Minimum requirements don’t equate to maximum pleasure. Heck, compared to what’s available and becoming the norm, I can’t imagine a wonderful experience with these specs regardless of the OS being used. Of course, I’m a hardware freak and find using even 2 year old hardware puts me in a sad mood.

I tried to find some old hardware to give it a whirl, but the garage larder held nothing like this. The other good news is that those who have tried using close to the minimum specs are giving good reports. Some have even given it a spin on their Netbooks using the Atom processors and report limited success. The “limited” part refers more to the lack of Intel Virtualization Technology on Atom Processors.

If there is a negative to the requirements, it seems to be the increased specifications for running in XP mode. Designed mostly as an enticement to businesses, running in XP Mode requires that your computer support Intel Virtualization Technology. Many current laptops don’t have Intel VT. The affected units will include those with Intel Celeron, Pentium Dual-Core, Pentium M, and Atom Processors. Don’t confuse Pentium Dual-Core with Intel Core2. The situation is better for AMD users. The majority of the AMD processors will support XP mode with Sempron being the exception.

This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to run Windows 7 with this hardware, it means you won’t be able to run Windows 7 in XP mode. XP Mode is important for a limited number of applications and will not be a big deal for most home users. I am not running anything close to the minimum specs, so those few times that programs like WordPress need the help of XP Mode, it’s kicked in with no problems or prompts. I do see this as a stumbling block for many business laptop users. I’m thinking I know a few with this problem.

A quick note to gamers, Windows 7 XP mode is not designed to help with Video Games.

The real news here is that Microsoft seems to be getting a lot of things right with this release. Is it possible they are actually starting to listen and consider the users? Competition and shrinking charts can be a wonderful thing.


Toms Hardware,/P>

W7 on Netbook

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41 thoughts on “Minimum Requirements For Windows 7 RC 1”

  1. @Troy R and marc barber

    I have been having trouble with my video card as well. I’m using a Gateway m275 tablet PC and my video card Intel 85822GME (chipset integrated)

    This has been driving me nuts

  2. @marc barber
    I’m trying to do the same with my gateway tablet. Where did or how did you get the video driver to work?
    85822GME video

  3. @marc barber
    I’m trying to do the same with my gateway tablet. Where did or how did you get the video driver to work?

  4. I took the Windows7 Beta (32bit) and tried to load it on an AMD Athlon 1200 (socket A 462) with 1GB Ram 80 GB HDD, 64 MB Nvidia FX 400 Video card..WOULD NOT LOAD….kept getting different hardware errors. Then tried Windows7 RC onto an AMD 3200+ (same socket) with an Nvidia FX5200 128MB Video card with 1 1/2 GB DDR ram…loaded and works fine…Then loaded Windows7 RC 64bit on my AMD Athlon64 socket 754 with an Nvidia 6800GT 256 MB Video card and 2 GB DDR Ram..have had minor program compatibility problems….I have an invoicing program that won’t run on the 64 bit version, BUT it does run OK on the 32 bit version (note: invoicing program written in 1995) so I am seeing MAJOR improvments over Windows Vista.My invoicing program will NOT run under ANY version of Vista….will run in any thing from Win98;SE;ME;2000Pro;XP,Pro and home, and Ubuntu 8.4

  5. Just thought I’d chime in with my HP Pavillian running a 1 GHz PIII and 512MB of ram and a very smooth running Windows 7 RC and having lots of fun with it. I guess maybe they should say recomended minimum requirements but hey I could be wrong. Or it might just be my 30+ years working with computers talking.


  6. gccradioscience

    I have used Windows XP since 2002 and it has been the best operating system, which much faster than Vista that only ran very slow with 512 megs of RAM when the computer was
    new. I don’t like Vista cause it will not run old 32 bit programs and 16 bit programs. Windows XP is the best and more stable than any other operating system.

  7. Reuven Ben-Daniel

    I am using Windows98se on a 6 year old computer. Office 2000.Why did I not change to XP? The answer is simple. I have many programs,several CAD programs that cannot be replaced,even if I could afford to do so.There are only certain things of XP that I need.For example, Windows 98 has a limit to the size of file that can be downloaded, and I am not sure if it is possible to use a DVD drive with it.I am thinking of dual booting with XP,but that is not possible with the new computers and motherboards.According to computer experts that I have had contact with, it was perfectly possible to have designed both the XP and Window7 OS to enable one to run Window98 programs. As for the old fashioned Office2000,I doubt if many of the readers have the faintest idea what you can do with it. Perhaps in Office2009 it is possible to enter a few keywords, and the computer will write a world beating novel?!!!

  8. I like this insight on Windows 7, I read all the comments, most are valid comments. I think some people though are being a bit unfair to Windows knocking it in infancy. As for going to Apple because windows is no good!!! Noahs ark is a boat, I agree but a modern boat sails better!!!

  9. Once again it just points out the fact that all software engineers should always be given a computer that is at least 2 years old to write their code on. If they can’t make it run there, they are not doing their job. Why is it that when I use new hardware in the office with more RAM, it still takes my Vista and XP machines 10 times longer then my 98 computer running hardware from 1995 with only 250Mb ram to open the same word file being shared by the same server… The only reason I upgraded to XP was that I could no longer open some of the new web sites. Well at least I now know to invest in Dell and Intel…

  10. I have an HP a1540n Media Center tower that is rated “Vista Ready”. Are “Vista Ready” PCs more compatible to Windows 7 OS than PCs that are not “Vista Ready”?

  11. Can I install Windows 7 on my external 500 gb harddrive and run it from there so I don’t have to disable my XP OS?

  12. Mr. Tom Anderson,

    Normally I don’t single anybody out but really, It’s 2009 and recommending Office 2003. Reminds me of my corporate office running laptops in the cubicles because someone in IT said it would save money, sure I take 20 minute breaks while my computer at work is booting up and trying to get logged into the network or complete security checks etc etc, prolem with overdoing security you can’t get crap done.

    Win7 – snappier for me than vista but yes liked vista also. You may need to look into what programs you installed afterwords to slow it down.

  13. I just installed the 64bit version on my I7 920 w/6G DDR3 1600 ram and it uses 14% ram at IDLE. It installed without a hitch and runs beautifully.

    I like the fish. If you don’t like it you can remove it.

    I also like the power management features. I never used them on XP and earlier OS because once my PC would go to sleep, I could never wake it up. This beast wakes up breathing fire now!

  14. Win 7 beta didn’t use ANY resources at idol, sure it was beta and some things microcrap had in the works weren’t added yet. Now with the RC version, 46% of my 6gigs of RAM are used at IDOL. ( which doesn’t slow a duelcore system, but hey, GET REAL!) 35+ programs running WITHOUT the ability to turn ANY of it off. As I said before, SCREW this OS. XPx64 all the way…….

  15. W7 rocks it has brought back my old notebook, it will become the new standard and XP will have served its life well. Lets all just forget about Vista like it never happened. Saved from the Apple

  16. Windows 7 x64 outperforms Vista x64 by miles on my gaming PC.
    I had same experience with 7 x64 vs XP x86 on my laptop.
    So Windows 7 has indeed got a howl over on its core, if you like me, disable all the useless “eye candy”.
    I got a few online games running with higher graphic “by driver forced settings” to run with constant high fps.
    So just getting rid of the drops in fps is a step forward.

    For company’s there isn’t much to come after thou, so I wouldn’t suggest a upgrade from XP to Windows 7 as it looks now, that would just be to waste money on nothing.
    But for a new PC, it would definitive be the choice, and in an x64 version ofc.

    Note that when we talk Vista vs XP there is a great difference between talking 32bit version and 64 bit versions vs each other.

    Only sad thing about all this is that Windows 7 is what Vista should have been at release.
    Not saying that Vista runs bad, the x64 version is way better then XP’s, 7 only covers a few missing links, something SP2 should have done but doesn’t.

    Another little nifty thing with / is the ability to use multiple flash devices for ready boost, which gives a little gain even if you have a tons of ram.
    Take note of that newer flash memory is 80-100 times faster than random reads from traditional hard drives.
    Currently I’m running with 4 sticks for testing it out on my gamer pc, and must say that index based operations seem to have a slightly quicker response.

    As for hardware driver support a lot seem to been added between early beta and now, so people that lacked drivers at start should be able to run it now.
    I remember some issues with good old XP and some missing raid drivers ^^
    Hardware developers seem to take Windows 7 serious too, nVidia just released new drivers for both their chipsets and graphic cards for W7, and I got some nice numbers with those on my system.

    Conclusion is that its more a matter of liking strawberry’s or peaches, but if you want to be on edge with newest technology Windows 7 x64 versions is the way to go.

  17. I downloaded Windows 7 months ago, but when I tried to install it the install program didn’t find any drives (I have several) and kept asking me for Hard Drive drivers (?) I have a recent ASUS motherboard with Intel Core2 processor.

    I’m completely baffled by this as I have never encountered this when installing an OS before.

  18. WIndows 7 is incredibly fast, i wasnt on the beta so i cant compare with that.
    I dont understand why people still use XP, its outdated and barely any new technology works, for example direct x 10.
    Every feature in windows 7 that people think slows down the system, can be disabled. It has become a very efficient OS, altough vists is still fine. Its utter BS that vista is slow nowdays, its perfectly fine.

    Also WIndows 7 in most cases doesnt even need drivers, the generic ones that came with the OS got the same FPS as ATI drivers.

    Its fine that some people still use XP i guess, but im happy my superior and more efficient OS.

  19. Thanks for the great info, we senior citizens need lots of help with this new technology…. Thanks again…

  20. I intend to use XP to the bitter end. When Balmy & Co. cut off support, I’m moving to Apple. Easy, a no-brainer.

  21. I installed Windows 7 on my Intel Core2 Duo 8400 2.2Ghz, 3GB Vaio notebook, and after 2 hours of testing it, I decided to reinstall my old and trusty (downgrade from vista) Windows XP. It was impossibly slow and half of my hardware wasn’t recognized. Too bad. I really had high hopes for windows 7.

  22. no funciona sql server no es bueno para eso tener en cuenta esos errores – el xp lo hace perfectamente en ese sentido

  23. I ran W7 Beta for several months as my main working OS, and liked it a LOT. (I have Xp Pro running on another physical hard drive and use my BIOS to “dual boot’ between them.) Except for a workaround for a driver for my Epson 1650 Photo scanner, everything was great. Well, I trashed the beata, installed W7 RC and…ugh! Symantec NIS 2009—which worked fine in the beta—no longer works. Window 7 chokes on it’s “heuistics driver”. Adanced protection is trashed, and I continually get an error message! (I’m using the W7 firewall and a free version of AVG until i FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO.) Needless to say, Norton wasn’t very helpful, since I was using a “beta” OS. Bummer!

  24. I have installed RC1 (both 32-bit & 64-bit) on several PCs for testing purpose. Win7 x86 works perfect on an “old” Athlon XP 1700+ processor with 1 Gig RAM. Problems? Most on-board sound cards disagree with Win7.
    64-bit Win7 works nicely on newer hardware…it does seem faster than Vista x64 SP1 on the same hardware. Very stable…could not get it to crash even using buggy RAM hungry software (Adobe’s Premiere Elements 5).
    In all: liked the new OS and will have it installed on all new computers, but it is not a compelling upgrade: I will not upgrade my Vista equipped PCs. Too much upgrade money and Win7 is just an improved Vista.

  25. You’re correct darkassain.

    It’s Sempron that’s not supported and yes, AMD-V is their virtualization. Nice pickup, thanks.

  26. I installed Windows 7 RC on a spare hard drive for my laptop. I am not impressed, although I was initially impressed with the beta. Installation was quick. Startup and shutdown were also quick.
    That quickness disappeared.
    I am afraid Microsoft does not care about the end users that I work with. Business users are not looking for fish on the desktop. They are looking for an operating system that works for them and then gets out of the way.
    The developers must be in love with each other and with new technology for its own sake.
    Windows 7 RC is no better than Vista. It has gotten clogged with fancy extras that do little or nothing to improve productivity,(somewhat like Office 2007).
    Unless I see some improvement, I will continue to recommend Windows XP and Office 2003

  27. Adhere to step # 5. The easy approach is put a new hard drive in your system or partition off some space from your current HD. Win7 will lead you through this (remember you need at least 16 GB for Win7).

    Install Win7 on new empty HD or partition. When you reboot, you’ll be asked if you want XP or 7. XP is ready to go. Win 7 is just the operating system. You need to install all your programs.

    If a program is a standalone, e.g., all the files are in the folder in Program Files with its name, you could copy the entire folder to the drive with Win 7. Or you could just create a shortcut on the Win 7 drive pointing to the exe file on drive C:. However, if the program made entries in the XP Windows folder, you must reinstall it with Win 7 running.

    It doesn’t hurt to “test” for standalone programs that will not need to be reinstalled. Just copy that program’s folder from the Program Files folder under Win XP and paste it into the Program Files folder under Win 7. Locate the exe and double click it. If the program starts up, its a standalone.

    Now right-click the exe file and create a shortcut. Paste shortcut to Win 7 desktop. Add shortcut to start menu.

    Many utility programs are standalone; more complicated programs are not and will need to be reinstalled in Win7.

  28. I’m running happily enough with a pair of 1/2 + 1/4 GB DDR333 memory in an old HP Pavilion (Athlon XP 2600+), the disk space used so far with openoffice, wamp and mozilla components and all my usual utilities is 11GB on an ancient WD Protege 20GB drive. I turned off indexing, I bet that helped. It would thrash if I let it but I don’t. I’ll go back to Slackware in the Autumn but I thought I needed exposure to what’s happened to Microsoft. They’ve done fine.

  29. isnt it supposed to be ( in this sentence:The majority of the AMD processors will support XP mode with Sempron and AMD-V being the exception.) supposed to be 1st generation opterons or basically anything am2 except the opterons
    as AMD-v is the name of the virtualization technology…
    or did i misunderstand something?

  30. in where you specifying AMD Cpu’s shouldnt it be 1st generation Opterons/ or anything not based on the AM2 pin set?
    as AMD-V is the name of the virtualization technology?
    or i misunderstood something?

  31. “Windows Upgrade Advisor has encountered a problem and needs to close down….” I got this 4 times in a row. Not a confidence builder!

  32. I have been running the Windows 7 Beta on a 5 year old Gateway tablet, OS runs good, the trickery was to get a video driver to work on the Intel 85822GME and still get native resolution. Windows runs on my old junk ! Yay !

  33. thanks for posting the link to help me test my system. I’m certainly not a techie and I needed the help.

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