* Anyone with the misfortune of “upgrading” to Windows Vista quickly discovered that new does not always equal better, and in many cases the operating system crippled older computers that ran Windows XP without issues. With any new piece of software, it’s best to do a reality check before you lay down your credit card, only to discover your computer isn’t up to the task of running it. Fortunately, Microsoft has set the bar extraordinarily low with Windows 8. Here are the system requirements:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit)
Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
That’s it. In general, any computer from the last few years should be up to the task. To prove it, we dusted off a relic from the closet – a desktop built in 2005 with an AMD Athlon 64 processor, 1GB of RAM and an older GeForce 7 series card. Windows 8 installed without a single issue. While the very low RAM made multitasking feel kludgy, the system never crashed and every feature worked. It even booted significantly faster than Windows XP. We feel confident saying most computers already running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 should handle Windows 8 without issue.