Computer Repair, articles, guides and tutorials.
Site Search
Home |  Guides | About | Privacy Policy |

????? Windows XP System Requirements

Table of Contents

Divider Image

Windows Xp Home and Windows XP Profesional System Requirements
With these minimum system requirements for Windows XP in mind I will add comments and recommendations gathered from real world experience as a PC Technician. Of course, my comments will be colored by my admittedly sarcastic and jaded attitude toward Microsoft's overly optimistic projections.

install Windows XP Professional
 The following stated hardware requirements by Microsoft are the absolute minimum to install Windows XP Professional and also applies to the Windows XP Home version. Having hardware meeting these requirements does not mean that the PC will perform to your satisfaction. Microsoft also includes some hardware recommendations above the absolute minimum to make Windows XP Pro. or XP Home perform on an acceptable level. No. Really. They're serious!

  • PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
  • 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space*
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

Test System
 Having read these requirements I decided to try and experiment with an old IBM PC I had laying around. The PC consisted of an Intel Pentium 350Mhz CPU, Intel motherboard and 128 Mg of compatible RAM. Also included a working Super VGA card with 4 Megabytes of video RAM and a 12x CD-ROM that supported booting from a CD. I finished the system off with a 5400 RPM, 1.2GB hard drive (1.5GB drive was not available).

Windows XP Pro
 I used the Windows XP Pro default install method allowing the install application to determine what was best for the system it detected. The results were beyond disappointing to brink of laughable. I fell asleep after an hour waiting for the install process to finish so I don't really know how long it took. After rebooting 2 or 3 times to get all hardware drivers installed and configured correctly I was ready to use the system.

Windows XP's famous GUI
 The first thing I noticed after the Windows desktop loads is the video. I had only the very basic features. Screen resolution was limited to 640 x 480 16 bit or 800 x 600 256 color. Most of the GUI features like icon and menu animations and font shadowing were greyed out (disabled). Windows XP's famous GUI interface wasn't very gooey was it?

clean Windows XP Pro. Install
 A quick check of the hard disk properties showed the clean Windows XP Pro. Install had eaten up just under 1GB of disk space leaving about 350MB free. That is not enough space to install Microsoft Office or much of anything else.

Windows XP Test System
 Executing any program or utility caused a mind numbing wait while watching the black and white hourglass spinning jerkily for several minutes. It quickly became obvious that very few people would have the patience to use such a slow system. Did I mention that it took upwards of 5 minutes to boot?

Additional Items or Services Required to Use Certain Windows XP Features.
 For Internet access:
  • Some Internet functionality may require Internet access, a Microsoft .NET Passport account, and payment of a separate fee to a service provider; local and/or long-distance telephone toll charges may apply.
  • 14.4 kilobits per second (Kbps) or higher-speed modem

Internet functionality may require Internet access
 Huh? What do they mean "Some Internet functionality may require Internet access?" Seriously, how can you have Internet functionality with out Internet access?

Microsoft .NET Passport account
 Microsoft .NET Passport account? I have used a dial-up Internet connection for over 10 years and have never needed a Microsoft .NET Passport account. Can you say, Microsoft proprietary protocol?

modem slower than 56 kbps
 It would be difficult to find a modem slower than 56 kbps these days.

  • Network adapter appropriate for the type of local-area, wide-area, wireless, or home network you wish to connect to, and access to an appropriate network infrastructure; access to third-party networks may require additional charges.
For instant messaging, voice and video conferencing, and application sharing, both parties need:
  • Microsoft .NET Passport account and Internet access or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server instant messaging account and network access (some configurations may require download of additional components)

do you need a Microsoft .Net Passport account
 OK, enough is enough. Since when do you need a Microsoft .Net Passport account to use ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, AOL, IRC or any other instant messaging clients? MSN only!

For voice and video conferencing, both parties also need:
  • 33.6 Kbps or higher-speed modem, or a network connection Microphone and sound card with speakers or headset
For video conferencing, both parties also need:
  • Video conferencing camera
  • Windows XP

video conferencing
If you intend to use video conferencing a Broadband connection is strongly recommended.

For application sharing, both parties also need:
  • 33.6 Kbps or higher-speed modem, or a network connection
  • Windows XP
For remote assistance:
  • Both parties must be running Windows XP and be connected by a network
  • A Windows 95 or later–based computer, and the two machines must be connected by a network

Windows XP Professional remote desktop software
Windows XP Professional remote desktop software can be installed on Windows 95 and Windows 98 with the the Widows XP Pro. install CD.

For sound:
  • Sound card and speakers or headphones
  • DVD drive and DVD decoder card or DVD decoder software
  • 8 MB of video RAM

DVD decoder software
 Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home do not come with a DVD decoder software. You can get a DVD decoder by down loading a free one from Roxio or by installing a DVD media player like WinDVD or nVDVD. Once a windows DVD decoder is installed, DVD content can be played with most media players including Windows Media Player.

For Windows Movie Maker:
  • Video capture feature requires appropriate digital or analog video capture device
  • 400 MHz or higher processor for digital video camera capture
  • Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you choose to install. Additional available hard disk space may be required if you are installing over a network.

 Real World Minimum System Requirements For Windows XP:

real world requirements
 The following statements are made in my humble opinion and are qualified by use in the real world. Your mileage may very.

Microsoft's minimum system requirements for Windows XP
 Microsoft's minimum system requirements for Windows XP are more than optimistic. Just because you can put 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag does not mean you should. Nor should you install Windows XP on a system designed for Windows 9x just because you can.

PC purchased new or refurbished
 The average PC purchased new or refurbished at the time of this writing will be well above the minimum system requirements mentioned above. That does not mean that any ol' PC will meet your expectations. Windows XP is very demanding on hardware and software recourses.

upgrading a Windows XP machine
  When you start upgrading a Windows XP machine it often seems alive; the more you give it the more it wants. But there is a point where the Windows XP operating system starts becoming happy and very stable.

Minimum usable system for standard desktop applications:
  • CPU - 650Mhz
  • RAM - 256MB
  • Video - 800 x 600 16 bit, 16MB VRAM
  • 10GB Hard Disk
  • CD ROM capable of booting from CD
Windows XP will run on 128MB of RAM
Note: Windows XP will run on 128MB of RAM, but remember, that the slower the CPU is the more RAM you need to do the same amount of work or play as the case may be.

Recommended for doing more than checking email and creating text documents:
  • CPU - At least 1Ghz
  • RAM - At least 512MB
  • Video - 1024 x 768 32 bit, 64MB VRAM
  • 60GB, 7200 RPM Hard Disk

3D gaming
 This recommended system will be fine for most office applications, playing music and surfing the net. But It will still be slow. If you intend to do any 3D gaming or video editing you will need to ramp up your system requirements much higher.

Microsoft Windows XP operating system
Windows XP hardware requirements might be high but it makes up for it in ease of use. The biggest advantage Microsoft Windows XP operating system has over the competition is hardware detection and compatibility.

Microsoft the
 Windows XP has the ability to detect hardware and install usable drivers with few problems. This is a big bonus for technicians and users alike and keeps Microsoft the "Top Dog" in the Desktop Operating System race.

Linux Operating System not ready for prime time
 The "auto hardware driver installation" ability also keeps the Linux Operating System in a slowly gaining but "not ready for prime time" position. I feel it is worth mentioning that the developers of the Linux Debian core are making great strides forward in this area.

 Well, maybe some day soon...


Content divider image.
Bookmark This Page  AddThis Social Bookmark Button  |  Add RSS  Add Feed Add Feed
Bytepowered ltd Who links to this website?
Content divider image.

Home | Guides Index |
Privacy Policy | About | Site Map | Contact US |

Shopping For Hardware | Shopping Securely | Computer Hardware Online - Compare Retailers | Get The Plan | Choosing Hardware | Motherboards Guide | Computer Cases | CPU Guide | Memory Guide | Video Card Guide | Hard Drives Guide | Hardware Organizer | Download LibreOffice |

Copyright Bytepowered