If you’re thinking about upgrading to Windows 11, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Generally, the hardware requirements for different versions of Windows remain relatively consistent. However, the release of Windows 11 marks a major update for the operating system, and it requires a more robust hardware configuration to support the new security features that are designed to keep devices and data safe and secure. For one, the system requirements for this latest version are a bit more demanding than previous ones. But don’t worry; you can still get the upgrade for free – as long as your Windows 10 computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.
You can learn more at windowsguide.nz, but in short, your PC will need to meet the following criteria:
Minimum System Requirements:
- Processor: 1GHz or faster CPU or System on a Chip with two or more cores.
- RAM: 4GB.
- Hard drive: 64GB or larger.
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module version 2.0.
- Graphics: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
- Display resolution: High definition display greater than 9″ diagonally, 8 bits per color channel.
- Networking: Microsoft account and internet connectivity are required for setup for Windows 11 Home.
Here are the processors compatible with Windows 11 from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm:
Intel supported processors:
- 8th Gen (Coffee Lake).
- 9th Gen (Coffee Lake Refresh).
- 10th Gen (Comet Lake and Ice Lake).
- 11th Gen (Rocket Lake and Tiger Lake).
- 12th Gen (Alder Lake).
- 13th Gen (Raptor Lake).
- Xeon – Skylake-SP, Cascade Lake-SP, Cooper Lake-SP, Ice Lake-SP.
AMD supported processors:
- Ryzen 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000.
- Ryzen Threadripper Pro 59xxWX.
- Ryzen Embedded V25xx and V27xx.
- EPYC 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen.
- Athlon – Gold, Silver, 3xxx, 300x.
Qualcomm supported processors:
- Snapdragon 850.
- Snapdragon 7c.
- Snapdragon 8c.
- Snapdragon 8cx.
- Snapdragon 8cx (Gen2).
- Microsoft SQ1.
- Microsoft SQ2.
If your computer doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, you can still attempt to upgrade at your own risk using the ISO file or USB bootable media. Make sure your device includes a 64-bit processor with at least two cores, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and an enabled TPM 1.2 chip and Secure Boot. It’s possible to install Windows 11 on a device without a TPM chip or Secure Boot through alternative methods.
Windows 11 features requirements
Alongside the minimum system requirements, Microsoft has published a list of specific hardware required to support specific features of Windows 11. Here are some of the feature-specific hardware requirements:
- 5G support: requires a 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 capabilities (available in Windows Pro and above editions).
- Cortana: requires a microphone and speaker (currently available on Windows 11 for specific countries).
- DirectStorage: requires a 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: requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker.
- Multiple Voice Assistant: 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. The app must be compatible with features to enable global mute/unmute.
- Spatial Sound: requires supporting hardware and software.
- Microsoft Teams: requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker.
- 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 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 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 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct.
Before You Decide Whether to Update or Not
To ensure that Windows 11 functions at its best and enables its advanced features, it is essential to meet specific hardware requirements. If you plan on using these features, ensure that your hardware meets the criteria. If it does, you can upgrade and enjoy the new features. If not, you may need to upgrade your hardware or stick with your current version of Windows. Before making any decisions, carefully review system and hardware requirements and back up your important files and data.