Windows XP: system requirements

Windows XP: system requirements

Summary: 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.

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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

Over the past six months, we've determined that XP runs just fine on a Pentium III-500 with 128MB of RAM. As expected, however, boosting both hard drive speed and RAM makes a significant difference in XP's performance. For best results, choose a hard drive that spins at 7,200 or 10,000rpm rather than 5,400rpm, a fast processor (400, 600, or 800MHz rather than 233 or 266MHz), and generous amounts of RAM (256 or 512MB rather than 64 or 128MB). You should probably avoid 8- or 16-bit ISA or legacy I/O cards for sound and video, and we highly recommend PCI or AGP video cards, too, in order to enjoy XP's nifty video effects, such as menus that fade in and out and drop shadows on windows and desktop icons. Many complaints received by ZDNet indicate that several motherboard and hardware vendors have not provided, and do not plan to provide, XP drivers. However, we've found that most hardware works well using Windows 2000 drivers. For example, you can't install Windows XP if your motherboard contains the HighPoint Technologies HPT-366 chipset (Highpoint's tech-support personnel confirm this) -- XP just doesn't have the drivers to support the chipset. To get XP to work on that hardware, you can download and use Windows 2000 drivers for the chipset or contact HighPoint Technologies' help desk and ask for XP-specific drivers, which you must load early in the XP setup process.

Topics: Operating Systems, Reviews, Software

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8 comments
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  • can i install windows xp pro on a pentium 266mhz desktop, 64 mb of ram, 2.5 gb hdd,dvd rom drive
    anonymous
  • it should work fine so yes go ahead and do it! but dont use xp home use pro.
    anonymous
  • The ammount of ram you have (64MB) is the smallest recomendation. It is known that if you want windows xp to run stabaly, you should have 128 MB of ram or higher. Your Mgz is ok to run it but that doesn't really matter. Your only rpoblem is windows xp takes up about 1.58 MB of RAM, So, you won't have much space left on your Computer. Try it though, it should work.

    Enjoy!
    anonymous
  • It's said that windows xp needs at least 64 MB of RAM, but, if you want it to run stabaly and faster, 128 MB of RAM is the smallest you would need. Your Mgz doesn't really matter unless it's lower then 233, witch yours is fine. Your only problem is, windows xp takes up 1.58 GB of space, so, you won't have a lot of space to play games and stuff.
    So, unless you want just a little bit of space, go ahead and run it! Windoes xp only will take about 585 MB of space if you leave out all the special features.

    ENJOY!
    anonymous
  • Is there a specific error your getting? CRC Error?
    Or you can't even run the install on the CD?
    anonymous
  • i concur with jimmy to the upmost degree
    anonymous
  • I can run XP with as little as 450 mhz (P3) 128mb ram. But, its the firewall that seems to be the biggest problem. I cannot find one that uses a smaller than 128mb minimum of resources. any ideas ?
    anonymous
  • There are two options.

    1) Download Service Pack 2 and use the built in Windows Firewall

    2) Use the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) that is built into SP1

    The 2nd works fine but the first is alot better, much more manageble for all connections and also protects during the kernel startup, where as the ICF doesn't protect until Windows starts and has to be set per connection and also has a lousy interface
    anonymous