Have you been wondering: Do I need to upgrade my PC hardware to install and use Windows 8?
The answer is NO, if you are currently using Windows Vista or Windows 7.
According to Microsoft, Windows 8 can run on any PC that is using Windows 7 currently. And for Windows 7, the computers running Windows Vista were good enough. So, clearly Microsoft has been working overtime to make Windows more resource efficient. That’s very good news for us PC users, since you won’t need to spend anything on hardware upgrades in order to try out or switch to the new releases.
Based on user data available on the internet and recommendations from Microsoft itself, the minimum hardware requirements for using Windows 8 on a PC should be:
PC Hardware Configuration I:
- HDD – Internal Hard Disk Memory – Greater than 25 GB (use external hard disks for more data)
- RAM – Computer Memory – Greater than 1 GB (use USB or Flash drives as ReadyBoost for more RAM capabilities)
- Processor Speed – Greater than 1 GHz
- Graphics Card – Video Card Memory – Greater than 128 MB
- USB – Typically decides the data transfer speed limit – USB 2.0
Now, while these are the minimum requirements for a Windows 7 PC, and consequently also a Windows 8 PC, your computing experience would be much smoother and faster if you have the following recommended minimum PC hardware configuration:
PC Hardware Configuration II:
- Internal HDD memory – 50 GB
- RAM – 2 GB
- Processor Speed – 2 GHz
- Graphics/Video Memory – 512 MB
- USB 2.0 and/or USB 3.0
With the above-mentioned configuration II you can again improve performance and data storage capabilities of your PC by using USB/Flash drives as ReadyBoost for supplementing the RAM and external USB Hard Disks for file storage. Even with USB 2.0, a decent external Hard Disk will give you transfer speeds up to 40 MB/s or 320 Mbps. With USB 3.0, the transfer speeds would be multiplied 2x or more.
While the recommended configuration II should be sufficient for basic PC users for word processing and web browsing, watching movies and listening to songs etc. it would probably be inadequate for advanced video rendering and gaming. So, here’s a third configuration for advanced PC users requiring more capable hardware for handling resource intensive applications:
PC Hardware Configuration III:
- Internal HDD memory – Greater than 100 GB
- RAM – Greater than 3 GB
- Processor Speed – Greater than 3 GHz
- Graphics Card/Video Memory – Greater than 1 GB
- USB 2.0/USB 3.0
- Highly efficient Cooling System to prevent overheating.
IF you do not want to use external hard disks or USB/flash drives for supplementing the inbuilt PC hardware, and mainly watch movies/videos and browse the web, here’s a fourth configuration:
PC Hardware Configuration IV:
- Internal HDD memory – 500 GB or more
- RAM – 2 GB or more
- Processor Speed – 2 GHz or more
- Graphics Card/Video Memory – 512 MB
- USB 2.0
If you want a custom recommendation for PC hardware configuration and your requirements do not match any of the above four, let us know! What PC hardware configuration do you use on your Windows 7 computer?
I’m a Generalist Researcher working on a Theory of Reality, Horticulturist, Blogger, Natural Systems Analyst and Amateur Architect