With yesterdays Windows 8 Consumer Preview Microsoft have released a set of recommendations for getting the best out of the new version. I found that if your machine runs Windows 7 ok it will run Windows 8 just fine, but screen resolution could be a issue. To get metro apps running you need a minimum of 1024×768 and if you want to use the new snap feature 1366×768.
I even got Windows 8 running on an old Acer Aspire Netbook with a bit of registry hacking (see my post) and it works pretty well.
Whether you have a logo PC or you’ve built your own PC, the recommendations for the Consumer Preview include:
- 1 GHz or faster processor
- 1 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
This setup gets you going with Windows 8 such that it is functionally equivalent to Windows 7, and as we have talked about previously, you should see measureable improvements in performance in a number of dimensions with a system at this level.
One new element to Windows 8 is the requirement that Metro style applications have a minimum of 1024×768 screen resolution, and 1366×768 for the snap feature. If you attempt to launch a Metro style app with less than this resolution (e.g. 800×600, 1024×600) you will receive an error message. Since the software is in everyone’s hands now, we will follow up with a more detailed blog post where you can learn more about the work we did for scaling across multiple resolutions and why this is a requirement in order to make sure developers can easily build applications that scale well across resolutions. We chose to allow Windows 8 to install even when a system doesn’t meet this requirement because, even without Metro style applications, your Windows 7 workloads on these PCs will improve and you can benefit from all the other features of Windows 8, including enhancements to the desktop. We have made sure that Start and Settings all scale well on 800×600 resolution screens.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.