We all know what Microsoft will suggest for Windows 7 as the system requirements may be slightly off. But how wrong are they? What are the actual system requirements for Windows 7, and how can you tell if your system can really handle the newest operating system from Microsoft? Below are the ACTUAL system requirements, along with what we recommend for smooth performance.
The official system requirements (from Microsoft.com):
- 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
What we recommend for the system requirements:
- Dual Core processor with at least 1.2 GHz
Windows 7 is not extremely heavy on the CPU itself, however Windows 7 is famous for the multi tasking abilities, and therefore a dual core processor is strongly recommended, especially because Windows 7 is able to take advantage of the processor itself.
- 4 GB Ram
It is absurd for Microsoft to claim that only 1 GB of memory is required to run Windows 7. On system idle (based on many machines) Windows 7 hovers at almost 50% usage on 4 GB of ram. That means that just to run Windows 7 you are taking up 2 GB of memory. You will want to have some excess memory for when you run a taxing program such as Adobe Photoshop, and therefore we recommend 4 GB as a great number for your computer to have.
- 32 GB Hard Drive space
32 GB of hard drive space is a bare minimum that I would suggest you install Windows 7 on. Nowadays, 32 GB is clsoe to nothing, and for a normal, streamlined experience I’d invest in no less than 200 GB of hard drive space, especially since it is so cheap to purchase a hard drive in this day and age.
- DX9 Graphics card with 128 MB on board memory
Windows offers DX10 and 11 support and you should look into a DX10 compliant graphics card, but if the budget it tight I’d say you would be fine with the minimum recommended video card by Microsoft, and I would not disagree with the official Microsoft Windows 7 system requirements on the video card requirements.
Here is a screen shot of how my system was idling with some taxing programs open:
With your now accurate Windows 7 System Requirements, I hope you feel confident to invest in the great operating system and use it to its fullest!