Windows 7, how low can it go?

It is well known that Windows 7 is a huge step up from Vista as well as XP. It allows users with computers that could barely run Vista to run 7 much faster and more efficiently.

It is relatively safe to say, that Windows 7 will be the first version of Windows, that does not constantly remind you that you need to upgrade your computer. Since the first beta was released a few months ago, I have done around 25-30 installs of Windows 7. On every type of system, from a 3 GHz quad core system, to a 1.3 GHz single core laptop. On every single one of those installs Windows 7 greatly improved performance and reliability.

The install we want to highlight here is the 1.3 GHz laptop. Even by today's net book crazy market, this is an under powered laptop. With less then 512 MB of ram and an Intel Celeron M CPU, it's no speed demon. Nonetheless, it was amazing how fast it ran and installed Windows 7. Check out the full install and test video below

What is the lowest spec'd PC that you have been able to install and use Windows 7 on?

Let us know in the comments!

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I've got 7100 running on a Dell Dimension 4400... way back from 2002.

1.6GHz P4 and 768mb of ram... works pretty well.

Just found my old 750 mhz amd duron 750, with 384 megs of ram, took 34 min to install windows 7, and only a min 31 to load the desktop, and everything ran pretty fine, no problems, but i rather use my amd athlon x64 5800+ x2 with 6 gb of ram, a tb of hd space, and my geforce 8800 gts. xD

I've installed Win7 on a Toshiba Portege 3505 tablet using an external Targus PCMCIA DVD Drive.
Pentium 3-M 1.33ghz 512mb RAM 40gig harddrive.

Works just as good/bad I remember XP working on this thing. Most stuff worked right after the install. WiFi, sound started working after a Win Update through a wired connection. SD Card, screen rotation, I got working from the original XP drivers from the Toshiba support site for the 3505.

I really only tried to install 7 on this thing because I couldn't get XP to reinstall for whatever reasons using the original Toshiba CD's. I think they may only work with an original Toshiba external drive. (Mind you, the Targus came in the box packaged from Toshiba.)

None of the Aero stuff works considering the shared 16mb video card but it's a pleasure to use Win7 for day to day computing on this thing like media sharing and homegroup stuff.

I Installed Windows 7 RC 7100 x64 on my brand new Toshiba Satellite A305D-SP6905R and on the first reboot after installed came the BSOD, so I had to delete that partition and stick with Vista, If Apple reduce costs on the next WWDC I'm gonna move to Mac OS X and never go back to Windows of ****!!!

Max� said,
Now running Build 7127 on a:
Celeron 500Mhz
96MB RAM (Tried 64MB, BSOD on boot).

Ace :)

Question is...

Can it do Crysis?

Windows 7 RC1 seems to eat alot more memory than Beta 1. When I'm running stuff intensively it runs down to 800 out of 3000 mb. Normally Vista it's around 1100, but sometimes runs down to 800. Maybe Windows 7 more effectively uses lower memory, but if you've got the memory it runs about the same as Vista. The only noticeable difference is shutting down. But thats the only speed difference I've felt. Feature wise a few things fixed, but it feels more like a major service pack than another version. I like it more than Vista, but not a massive amount so.

did microsoft remove hardware limitations on windows 7? i tried installing windows me on an old old laptop and wouldn't let me because it wasn't a certain specification of CPU and RAM.

That's quite impressive. I installed Windows Vista on a Pentium 4 PC with 512 MB of RAM and it didn't run too well. Everything from booting up to opening a file was slow. It's amazing how much Microsoft has improved Windows 7 over Windows Vista.

I installed Win 7 on Pentium 3 800 mhz, overclocked to 1.1 mhz, with 630 MB RAM, motherboard ECS P6VAP and it runs smoothly, bettter than XP on the same machine.

Edit – sorry this was supposed to be a reply to MaxTM’s comment.

Is it usable?

I ran XP on a Pentium 2 @ 300mhz with 512MB of ram for 2 years as my main pc.

I know that pc's not even going to take Windows 7 well but I should try it

InsaneNutter said,
Edit – sorry this was supposed to be a reply to MaxTM’s comment.

Is it usable?

I ran XP on a Pentium 2 @ 300mhz with 512MB of ram for 2 years as my main pc.

I know that pc's not even going to take Windows 7 well but I should try it ;)

More RAM seems to be the 'speed factor' rather than processor speed. I think you should try it - if it does run it'll be fine.

96MB RAM was almost unusable. It took like 20 seconds for an explorer window to close. A usable amount for a slow-ish PC would be 256MB. Going from an 866Mhz to 500MHz only seemed to make a 10-15% performance difference.

xXDestroyerGRXx said,
And what about games?

Probably the same as XP. Why would you game on a 1.3Ghz PC with 512MB RAM anyway? :P

Installed the Windows 7 beta on an old spare box at work that was being unused, which was previously running Windows NT. It's a Pentium III 600 with I think 512mb of ram although it might have been 256 even, but I'm fairly sure was 512mb.
Installation was very fun.

The PC didn't have a dvd rom drive, so I brought in a spare one from home and threw that in..
The BIOS doesn't support booting from DVD, and tried some floppys to then load off the DVD, no good either.
The existing windows NT installation couldn't read the Windows 7 DVD, I think because it's UDF?
Ended up reformating and installing XP onto the box, then finally that could read the windows 7 dvd!

However, the machine only had one hard drive with 8 or 9 gb of space on it, and because when you load the OS install from another operating system, you can't reformat that drive, had to grab another 9'ish gb scsi disk to throw into the pc.
Finally windows 7 installs...
Does it work?
Oh yes! Didn't seem too bad. My workmates who also happen to be software engineers left amazed; me being the pro windows user, and them having varying opinions, particuarly post vista. It worked, and seemed usable.

I have win 7 running with an old athlon 600Mhz and 512MB ddr-133. It is, with some tweaks, more fast than a fresh win xp sp3 installation!!!!

I have Windows 7 RC1 On Asus G1S
Nvidia 8600 GT 256mb Intel Core 2 Duo Centrino 2.20GHZ 2 proccesors
Windows 7 works as well and fast as :D
Windows 7 is better then Vista SP1

I had Vista SP1 Previeously
I know how to solve probs on Vista SP1 not many people do

Rukasuzu said,
I have Windows 7 RC1 On Asus G1S
Nvidia 8600 GT 256mb Intel Core 2 Duo Centrino 2.20GHZ 2 proccesors
Windows 7 works as well and fast as :D
Windows 7 is better then Vista SP1

I had Vista SP1 Previeously
I know how to solve probs on Vista SP1 not many people do

Yeah. Most people running Vista that run into problems aren't the fault of Vista itself (at least not anymore). People that are still claiming Vista sucks despite having 2 service packs are just idiots, a few in particular are on Neowin.

guys, has anyone ever tried getting win7 on an AMD Geode netbook? surely a System On A Chip design has to count as 'low' ...

Just installed the Windows 7 RC on my MSI 694D Pro, dual PIII 1GHz CuMine's, 2GB PC133 ECC, Geforce 440mx, etc.

It runs pretty smooth for a modern OS and I like the new features it brings. However for my needs, windows 2000 pro is more suited to this rig.

Win7 is running quite nicely on my Samsung Q1U with an 800mHz CPU, 2 gigs of ram and a 4200rpm HDD. It even runs well with Aero enabled and several apps running. Much better than Vista did.

I've been running Athlon 2000+ with 512Mb RAM for 4 years now! Been through XP, Vista Ultimate and now 7 RC. Even Vista ran pretty well for me, people couldn't believe I only had 512Mb... I must have the most powerful RAM in the world I think because I've never really noticed the slow OS people seem to moan about?

Anyway now very happy with the 7 RC. It runs almost perfect with Aero etc. :)

btw... why haven't I upgraded? Waiting for the final 7 now!

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