Windows XP: system requirements

Windows XP seems to come with two sets of system requirements, which is confusing for many would-be upgraders. Microsoft issued a minimum requirement for hardware performance and capabilities, and if you don't meet that requirement, XP simply refuses to install.

Windows XP seems to come with two sets of system requirements, which is confusing for many would-be upgraders. Microsoft issued a minimum requirement for hardware performance and capabilities, and if you don't meet that requirement, XP simply refuses to install. But the company also issued a minimum recommendation -- a set of far more stringent specifications that should result in optimum performance. So, which set applies to you? We've taken the last six months to play around with various hardware configurations and found that you need only worry about the minimum requirements. You can run XP on any system that meets or exceeds those specs -- namely a 233MHz CPU with 64MB of RAM, 1.5GB of free drive space, 800 by 600 display resolution, and a CD-ROM drive. But if you want XP to run quickly and stably, the minimum recommendation is the target to aim for.

Microsoft’s Windows XP system requirements
Minimum specification

Required

Recommended

Processor speed (MHz) 233 300 or higher
RAM (MB) 64 128 or higher
Free hard disk space (GB) 1.5 > 1.5
Display resolution 800 x 600 800 x 600 or higher

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