Microsoft Windows 11 Can Be Used On Unsupported Hardware, Though It Isn’t Recommended

Don’t expect the best performance from your own ISO, but feel free to make one.

Image: Microsoft

A major upgrade is coming with Windows 11. However, Microsoft wants you to have the necessary hardware before you can get there. Windows 11 system requirements are officially announced in a company blog post published on the company’s website. It serves to clarify some of the confusion caused by the company’s initial guidelines in regard to hardware requirements, while also providing a comprehensive list of processors and systems that will be compatible with the new operating system.

According to Microsoft, the minimum requirements include a 1GHz or faster CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. As well, devices will require Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0, which can be found on most modern motherboards and aids with security clearance.

This list includes Intel 8th Gen and beyond CPUs, AMD processors, and Qualcomm processors compatible with Windows 11. A substantial chunk of Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake and AMD’s first-generation Zen chips are notably absent from the list, which is odd given that both were released in 2016 and 2017. Intel Core X-series processors, Xeon W-series processors, and, specifically, the Core i7-7820HQ processor, used by Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2, are the only processors from 7th generation that are listed as compatible.

First-generation Ryzen chips from AMD didn’t make the cut. We’ve carefully examined AMD’s first two generations of Zen processors with AMD, and have concluded that there are no additions to the supported CPU list,” says Microsoft. The company adds that devices that didn’t meet the minimum hardware requirements “had 52 percent more kernel mode crashes” in Windows 11, whereas those that met the minimum hardware requirements “had a 99.8 percent crash-free experience.”

It is still possible to install Windows 11 even if your device is not officially supported. Either keep your Windows Insider program version or create an ISO file with Windows 11 and install it manually. But make sure you take Microsoft’s warnings about how Windows 11 may perform into consideration.

According to Microsoft, the minimum requirements were established to prioritize things like modern DCH drivers and TPM security. This is part of Microsoft’s overall effort to modernize its long-standing legacy software. Microsoft said the consolidation should lead to a more reliable Windows platform.

To help you in your decision to update to Windows 11, Microsoft will release a new version of the PC Health Check app. Currently, the app is in testing with Windows Insiders, but it will likely become available soon in the coming weeks.

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