How much RAM will my computer need to run Windows 8? The numbers will blow you away. In a nutshell, you probably don’t have to upgrade your PC for Windows 8!
Marius Olaga of Softpedia decided to test the true RAM requirements of Windows and used a virtual machine to test the Developer Preview on really low system memory configurations.
Windows 8 And Its Efficient System Memory Handling
Recently Microsoft made an official blog post about the lowered RAM requirements for running Windows 8. This is part of the many optimizing efforts that the Windows team is making to increase battery life and over all running speed. Their aim is to make Windows 8 run faster than Windows 7 on the same machine. This means users would not have to worry about upgrading their machines for Windows 8. Better still, they would be experiencing faster boot times and better running speeds over all than Windows 7.
The minimum system memory requirement for Windows 8, officially, is 1GB.
Windows 8 Successfully Runs On 128MB And 64MB RAM
Marius decided to take that further and see how low the RAM can be taken before the OS simply refuses to load. She used a virtual machine that was first configured with 128MB of RAM. She was able to get through the lock screen and switch smoothly between the start screen and the desktop. She was also able to launch IE 10 Platform Preview 3. The IE 10 PP3 comes only with Windows 8 Developer Preview. The only thing that she could not do was run Metro Apps. 128MB of available system memory was far too low for Metro Apps to run. She was however able to take the screenshot that you see below.
Running the latest version of Windows on 128MB of RAM was quite the achievement. But she decided to pursue it one step further. She halved the RAM size to 64MB and tried to booth it again. This time the boot time was longer but it still got to the lock screen at a decent speed. She expressed surprise that the machine actually booted at all.
Once she got past the lock screen, the low memory took its toll. The Start Screen took 10 full minutes to load. But it did load. The OS could not be used much and that is to be expected for running at 1/16th of the minimum system memory requirement. She was able to get the following screenshot though.
This just goes to show that users can really look forward to running Windows 8 on their older machines. It won’t be running exactly as it is meant to but it will be able to boot the machine and get some basic work done on systems with 512MB of memory or similar.