Windows 10: Will your PC run it?
The Windows 10 Technical Preview has been out for some time now, which means that it won’t be long until the Windows upgrade cycle kicks into high gear once again. But if my inbox is anything to go by, a lot of readers are still confused as to whether their existing hardware will allow them to make the leap to Windows 10.
OK, so what do you need to run Windows 10? Well, fortunately for us, Microsoft has already published the system requirements for Windows 10. Fire that page up because I’m going to step through the important bits of this document.
First thing that should pull your attention is this:
“Basically, if your PC can run Windows 8.1, you’re good to go. If you’re not sure, don’t worry–Windows will check your system to make sure it can install the preview.”
This is an oversimplification (we’ll get to why in a moment), but it’s a useful one nonetheless. Basically, most people running a Windows 8/8.1 system are good to go. And if you’re not sure, the installer will run a check to make sure before trying to shoehorn the operating system onto hardware it’s incompatible with.
So, what if you’re not running Windows 8/8.1? How can you decide if your hardware is up to the challenge of running Windows 10? This is where the hardware specs come into play.
Here’s what Microsoft says you need to run Windows 10:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Free hard disk space: 16 GB
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
A Microsoft account and Internet access
Now if you’re the sort of person who is a walking encyclopedia of tech trivia, then you might notice how these specs are the same as those for Windows 7. But there is one gotcha that you need to be aware of, and this only becomes apparent if you pull up the specs for Windows 8/8.1 and look closer at the processor specs:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
So in order to be able to run Windows 10 (or Windows 8/8.1), you need a processor that supports PAE, NX, and SSE2. Without this, your Windows 10 fun comes to an end.