Windows 11 is projected to launch during the holiday season or
early next year, and preview builds will be offered to Windows
Insiders in the coming days. One of the most important tidbits
is that Windows 11 won’t be “officially” supported on older PCs
including Surface products, according to Microsoft.
Surpringly, Windows 11 has dramatically changed the minimum
system requirements, with Microsoft’s official documentation
confirming that you’ll need newer CPUs, 4GB of RAM (up from
2GB), and a processor/motherboard that supports TPM 2.0
(Trusted Platform Module), a computer chip that provides
improved security on hardware level.
During the event,
Microsoft confirmed Windows 11 will be offered as a free
upgrade to Windows 10 PCs. However, Panos Panay and
Microsoft officials initially didn’t provide any specifics as
to what makes a device supported or not. After the event,
Microsoft published multiple support documents highlighting the
minimum system requirements.
According to support
documents, Windows 11 is
officially supported only if the device is powered by
8th Gen Intel Core processors, AMD Ryzen 2000 and newer
If your chips are older than 8th gen, you will not be able to
run Windows 11 officially according to Microsoft. In fact,
a Microsoft representative confirmed not all Surface devices
will be getting the upgrade to Windows 11.
Microsoft’s solution is simple: use Windows 10 until 2025 or
buy a new supported PC.
Intel CPUs supported for Windows 11
- Intel 8th Gen, 9th Gen,10th Gen, 10th Gen, 11th Gen and
- Intel Xeon Skylake-SP, Cascade Lake-SP, Cooper Lake-SP and
Xeon Ice Lake-SP.
Newer Pentium and Celeron processors are also
AMD CPUs supported for Windows 11
- AMD Ryzen 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000.
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000, 3000, and Pro 3000.
- AMD EPYC 2nd Gen and EPYC 3rd Gen.
The above list defines your ability to upgrade or not. If
you’re using older PCs, you will not be upgradeable to Windows
11 even if you meet the TPM 2.0 and other requirements.
Microsoft’s documentation previously stated that older devices
will be allowed to install the new OS, but the upgrade won’t be
advised. However, Microsoft redacted the document after users
discovered the “soft” and “hard” floors requirements.
The new page has confirmed the 8th gen + CPUs and TPM 2.0
A Microsoft representative has independently confirmed the CPU
requirements listed in the updated documentation.
So the big question is what will happen to PCs not eligible for
Windows 11 when the new OS goes live later this year or early
next year? You can keep using Windows 10 with quality updates
until 2025 or bypass these so-called “requirements”, and
unofficially install the new operating system.
Remember that Windows 11 is still Windows and we can run the
operating system on officially “unsupported” PCs. Thanks to the
leaked build, it’s also pretty clear that devices already
running Windows 10 should be able to handle Windows 11 without
Also, “unsupported” does not mean doesn’t work. It means
Microsoft won’t help you when you run into issues.