Windows 11 has different hardware requirements (processor, memory, and storage) than Windows 10. Microsoft has revealed that the next generation of its operating system will only be a 64-bit version, and it will require a double amount of memory and storage to upgrade.
Typically, there are no significant changes in hardware requirements from version to version. However, Windows 11 represent the most significant update to Windows in the past decade, and it requires a more powerful hardware configuration.
Windows 11 system requirements
- Processor: 1GHz or faster CPU or System on a Chip (SoC) with two or more cores.
- RAM: 4GB.
- Hard drive: 64GB or larger.
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
- Graphics: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
- Display resolution: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel.
- Networking: Microsoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home.
Windows 11 will require a trusted platform module (TPM) without it, you won’t be able to upgrade or perform a clean installation. You can use these steps to check and enable the module on your computer.
If you plan to install Windows 11 Home, then you will also need a Microsoft account and internet connection to complete the setup. Otherwise, you won’t be able to complete the out-of-box experience, which means that the Home edition doesn’t support local accounts, at least not during the initial setup.
Windows 11 will only be compatible with some processors. For example, it will support Intel Core 8th Gen and higher processors, in addition to some Pentium, Atom, Celeron, and Xeon CPUs. If you are going AMD, the new OS will only support the second-generation Ryzen (including Threadripper) and newer processors, alongside some EPYC and Athlon CPUs. As for ARM support, the new version of Windows will support Qualcomm Snapdragon 850, 7c, 8c, 8cx first and second-generations, and the Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2.
Microsoft has revised the processor compatibility list to include support for the 7th Gen Intel processors, but only the 7820HQ chip. Also, Intel’s Core X and Xeon W processors will also be supported, but only if the device came with Declarative, Componentized, Hardware Support Apps (DCH) drivers.
If the computer doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, you will be able to upgrade at your own risk using the ISO file or Media Creation Tool. However, as long as the device includes a 64-bit processor with at least two cores, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and an enabled TPM 1.2 chip.
You can use the Microsoft PC Health Check app to confirm whether your device is compatible. If it’s not, the app will also show you details of the components that are not compatible. This information will help you to determine steps to resolve the problem or whether it’s time to upgrade the device.
Windows 11 feature-specific requirements
Alongside the minimum system requirement, Microsoft has also published a list of specific hardware required to support specific features of Windows 11.
- 5G support: requires 5G capable modem.
- Auto HDR: requires an HDR monitor.
- BitLocker to Go: requires a USB flash drive.
- Client Hyper-V: requires a processor with second-level address translation (SLAT) capabilities (available in Windows Pro and above editions).
- Cortana: requires a microphone and speaker and is currently available on Windows 11 for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.
- DirectStorage: requires 1 TB or greater NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the “Standard NVM Express Controller” driver and a DirectX 12 Ultimate GPU.
- DirectX 12 Ultimate: available with supported games and graphics chips.
- Presence requires a sensor that can detect human distance from the device or intent to interact with the device.
- Intelligent Video Conferencing: This feature requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
- Multiple Voice Assistant (MVA): requires a microphone and speaker.
- Snap three-column layouts: require a screen that is 1920 effective pixels or greater in width.
- Mute/Unmute from Taskbar: requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output). App must be compatible with features to enable global mute/unmute.
- Spatial Sound: requires supporting hardware and software.
- Microsoft Teams: This app requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
- Touch: requires a screen or monitor that supports multi-touch.
- Two-factor Authentication: requires the use of a PIN, biometric (fingerprint reader or illuminated infrared camera), or a phone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
- Voice Typing: requires a microphone.
- Wake on Voice: requires a Modern Standby power model and microphone.
- Wi-Fi 6E: requires new WLAN IHV hardware and driver and a Wi-Fi 6E capable AP/router.
- Windows Hello: requires a camera configured for near-infrared (IR) imaging or a fingerprint reader for biometric authentication. Devices without biometric sensors can use Windows Hello with a PIN or a portable Microsoft compatible security key.
- Windows Projection: requires a display adapter that supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct.