Windows 11 reportedly will require 16GB of RAM for AI tasks

The next major refresh of Windows 11 may include higher memory requirements for AI tasks.

Windows 11 16GB of RAM
Windows 11 16GB of RAM / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • Microsoft is reportedly considering raising the RAM requirement for Windows 11 to 16GB for AI tasks.
  • It’s likely that the new memory requirement could be a recommendation to use some specific AI features.
  • The company has not made any official announcement, but this may not be a requirement to install Windows 11. 

Microsoft may be planning to increase the RAM requirement of Windows 11 from 4GB to 16GB to run AI tasks, but it’s unlikely that this amount of memory will be the requirement to install the operating system. According to a report from TrendForce, the next major version of Windows may require 16GB of physical memory to use the Copilot AI features.

Although this might be true for some AI features, this may only be necessary for more advanced features, and it’s unlikely that this would be a case of new devices requiring more memory to run the operating system.

If your computer already runs Windows 11, the hardware will likely support future releases of the operating system.

However, this may be one of many requirements changing since processor companies like Qualcomm, AMD, and Intel are also working on integrating Neural Processing Units (NPUs) into their chips to handle more advanced tasks.

An NPU is a component inside a processor designed to accelerate and optimize AI-related tasks. Unlike the traditional processor, an NPU excels at handling repetitive and computationally intensive AI workloads.

It’s important to note that since an NPU is capable of handling AI tasks, it will also make the main processor and memory work more efficiently. As a result, the Neural Processing Unit will also help to minimize the system memory usage.

This is not the first time we have heard rumors about the changes to the hardware requirement. In March 2023, a rumor was circulating about the company planning to bump the RAM requirement from 4GB to 8GB to accommodate the “Cloud PC” service in the next version of the operating system.

Last year, I also heard rumors of the company planning to require its Pluton security chip in the next version. However, since this component is still not widely available, it’s unlikely that installing the operating system will be required.

Regardless of whether the hardware specification could change, you should always consider getting a device with at least 16GB of RAM to help the system work more efficiently when running multiple apps or playing games.

Finally, the next major refresh of the operating system focused on deep integration with AI is expected to roll out during the second half of 2024. However, Microsoft will likely release it as Windows 11 24H2, delaying the release of “Windows 12” until 2025, which also coincides with the end of support for Windows 10.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].