Windows 7 – how low a spec will it go to ?

Talking to people about Windows 7 one of the frequent things we mention is it works better on low end hardware. The major difference is the smaller memory foot print – using 100MB less memory makes little difference to a machine like my 4GB laptop, but on a 1GB netbook it’s a big difference. I’ve been thinking I might put it on my home machine (perhaps using boot from VHD to test it). So I was interest to come across a piece on NeoWin which picks up a video on YouTube , which shows a 1.3GHz machine with 512MB running 7 pretty happily. [In the interest of transparency, I haven’t researched anything about the poster of this video, I don’t have any reason not to take it at face value.]

Like Neowin, I’d be interested to know what the lowest people have gone to is… I might have to try 7 in a VM when I have built the VHD and see how low I can turn down the memory.

Update This post (originally in Finnish) talks of installing it on a Celeron 633 with 512MB and then taking memory out and dialing down the CPU to 366 MHZ and 256MB...

Comments (6)

  1. Andrew.Fryer says:

    do you have an alarm clock connected to an rss feed about windows 7?

  2. Richard Siddaway says:

    I successfully installed the beta on a machine .75GB.  It ran more than adequately for Office, IE and PowerShell.  Haven’t tried the RC on that machine yet

  3. Tom Basham says:

    Hi James,

    I’ve got 7 running very happily on an old HP TC1100 tablet, and thats only got a 1GHz Pentium M and 1GB memory.  To be honest it probably runs better than XP did.


  4. I have it running on a Compaq TC1000 Tablet PC with 0.5GB RAM and a Crusoe processor which emulates a Pentium.

    Struggling to get the pesky digitizer working though. The old digitizer drivers don’t seem to want to play nicely with the new Windows 7 Tablet Service.

  5. Frank says:

    I have the RC running on an old Toshiba Satellite A30 with 768Mb RAM, P4 mobile processor. Mostly browsing and Live Writer. Regularly multiple IE8 and FFX instances with multiple tabs each. No problem, RAM runs typically at 40 to 60%.

  6. Lee Hall says:

    On an Acer Aspire One netbook, Atom CPU & 512MB RAM, the Beta & RC run very well for basic tasks, browing (multiple tabs) etc. It couldn’t quite cope with Media Centre though.  It does a good job detecting the hardware with the built in drivers too, much better than XP and Vista did.

    An install of 2008 Server managed to run ok on the same hardware for a while too.

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