In my first story on the unveiling of Windows 11, I remarked that the system requirements remained largely unchanged from Windows 10. Well, as it turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Since the announcement, Microsoft has been incredibly obtuse and back-and-forth about the system requirements for Windows 11, and at this point, it seems like nobody has any clue anymore what’s true and what isn’t.
Windows 11 is arriving later this year as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, but many are discovering that their hardware isn’t compatible. Microsoft has altered its minimum hardware requirements, and it’s the CPU changes that are most surprising here. Windows 11 will only officially support 8th Gen and newer Intel Core processors, alongside Apollo Lake and newer Pentium and Celeron processors.[…]
Windows 11 will also only officially support AMD Ryzen 2000 and newer processors, and 2nd Gen or newer EPYC chips.
That’s one hell of a hard cutoff, and one that seems entirely arbitrary. There’s nothing in Windows 11 that a first generation Ryzen or 6th or 7th generation Intel Core processor cannot handle, so why rule them out? A lot of people just assume Windows 11 will work on older processors than those listed, but there’s no confirmation from Microsoft that this is the case.
Aside from processor support, there’s another aspect that Microsoft is vague about: does Windows 11 require TPM 2.0 or TPM 1.2? Do you need a hardware TPM, or will a firmware TPM, available in about every modern x86 processor but turned off by default, suffice? Nobody seems to have the answers, and it’s leading to a lot of speculation ad uncertainty. The same applies to Secure Boot and UEFI – Microsoft lists both of them as requirements, but most news stories online just assume Microsoft doesn’t truly think of them as requirements, more as suggestions.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the air here for Windows users.