What are the Minimum Requirements for Windows 10?
You will regularly reach a point when it’s time to upgrade some aspect of your computer. Whether it’s a piece of hardware or an installed application, there’s always the question of how it will perform afterward.
When it comes to the operating system that runs everything on your machine, you may be asking yourself “Can I run windows 10 on my computer?”
If the machine is brand new, it most certainly comes with Windows 10 already – so let’s assume you need to update older one with a prior version of Windows.
Requirements Needed to Install Windows 10
Let’s start with the system requirements just to get the Windows 10 operating system up and running. You will need to look no further than Microsoft’s own recommendations.
1 GHz or faster
1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver (the latter is the graphics architecture for video drivers)
- Hard disk space:
16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
You will also need a network connection that allows updates and built-in features (such as user account integration and so on).
Are Windows 10 Minimum Requirements Enough?
The listed requirements are just enough to get the O/S installed – but that’s about it.
Getting the software bits of the operating system to install doesn’t mean it will run smoothly – even for basic applications. If it does manage to run, performance will be slow. So, how much do you really need?
The answer will vary.
Today, it’s probably wise to have at least 4 GB RAM, a 2.0 GHz processor, and at least 250 GB of hard drive space. Beyond that, it really depends on what uses you have planned for your computer.
Moving Beyond the Operating System Requirements
The minimum needed to install (and run to some extent) Windows will only get you so far. You must consider the various applications and services that will regularly be running on your computer.
At some point, it becomes as much of an art as a science in determining what you’ll need. Once the operating system is installed, you should rely on the individual requirements of applications you install or the operations you attempt. There are some general areas to consider, though even these can be vague.
Consider this field to be broad so take any suggestions as just that – suggestions.
Whether your computer is a glorified web browser, document repository, or a place to store photos, you can probably get by on the aforementioned 4 GB setup – increasing hard drive space as needed. General activities don’t typically require a lot of processing power.
Streaming services, such as Netflix, YouTube or Twitch, have become quite popular. Aside from a good network connection, you’ll need plenty of memory and hard drive space.
If you’re streaming video (or audio), consider at least 8 GB RAM, over 2 GHz processor and preferably 500 GB of hard drive space. In addition, using a dedicated video card – with at least 4 GB RAM – is typically wise.
If you get into higher resolution (let’s say 4k) steaming, you may need to double those RAM, hard drive, and video specs.
The ultimate workout your computer will likely get is with gaming software. This can range from graphically stunning single-player to resource-hungry online (MMO) software.
Regardless, you can bank on needing at least 8 GB RAM, a 2.5 GHz processor, and nothing less than 500 GB of hard drive space. A graphics card would be considered a requirement – at minimum 4 GB, but preferably more.
Don’t be surprised if even that provides you a mediocre gaming experience. While turning down framerates and resolution can alleviate some performance issues, it will also impact the experience. You will certainly want to refer to the game manufacturer’s minimum requirements – then figure on adding to that.
Gaming PCs can get quite powerful and expensive. Let’s be honest and say that if you are gearing up for such a computer, the minimum requirements for Windows 10 are the least of your worries.
Other Minimum Requirements to Consider
System resources have been the main focus of this article. Still, there are other items to consider when ensuring your computer has the basics of what is needed to keep it running smoothly.
High-speed internet connections, hi-resolution monitors, and fast external devices are also important considerations. Also, the software that runs those devices – known as device drivers – needs to be updated to the latest version.
Automate the Task of Updating Device Drivers
Keeping device drivers updated can be a tedious task. Software, such as Driver Support, can take away the burden of having to constantly search for and install the correct versions.
Once you register the Driver Support service, it will update any drivers that are missing or out of date. You can stop spending valuable time searching for drivers – and use that time to explore your newly upgraded operating system.
Driver Support has been trusted since 1996 to assist in keeping device drivers up to date.