Can Your Computer Run Windows 7?
Paul Watson, PC Technician Wednesday, October 21st 2009
Windows 7 System Requirements
If you hadn’t initially planned to run Windows 7, the system requirements may have slipped past you. The OS does have some specific operating requirements so you’ll want to make sure your computer is up to snuff.
Start with a processor that’s 1 GHz or better and you’ll be in good shape. Windows 7 will run in either 32-bit mode or 64-bit mode. If you plan to run XP in virtual mode, you’ll need a processor that can do virtualization. This is absolutely critical. To determine whether your processor can virtualize XP, use the Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. This can be downloaded at Microsoft’s Web site. Generally, processors that can provide virtualization services include Intel VT processors and AMD-V processors.
If your processor is a 32 bit processor, you’ll need to have at least 1 Gb of RAM installed. If you’re running in 64-bit mode, double that to 2 Gb. Add another 1 Gb of RAM if you plan to run XP in virtual mode.
Windows 7 takes up 16Gb-20Gb of hard disk space. The larger hard disk space requirement applies to 64-bit setups. Add an extra 15 Gb if you plan to run Windows XP in virtual mode. You’ll also need a DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver. Windows installation also requires a DVD/CD drive to accommodate the installation media.
For users who are running Windows Vista Home Premium edition or a Windows Vista Professional edition, an upgrade path is available and you merely need to do an “upgrade installation.” If your computer currently runs Windows Vista Home Basic or an earlier version of the Windows OS, you’ll be required to do a clean installation, which will require you to back up all of your data before installing the new OS.
After you upgrade, you’ll find that Windows 7 boots faster, runs faster and is generally pleasant to use. You should also find that there will be a host of available drivers from third-parties, due in large measure to the efforts of Microsoft to press manufacturers to have drivers available on release date.
Photo Credit: AussieGall, via Flickr