Even if your computer can run Windows 11, it may not be obvious.
Between TPMs, CPUs, and UEFIs, the system requirements for upgrading to Windows 11 haven’t been the easiest to figure out. Microsoft changed them only hours after pushing out the first Insider Preview Build for early adopters. If you’re wondering exactly what you’ll need to run Windows 11, we’re here to make some sense of it for you.
Let’s start with the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the brain of your computer that goes a long way to determining how fast it can run (or at least how quickly it can get through key calculations). Originally, only 8th-gen Intel Core processors (launched in 2017), AMD Zen 2 processors (launched in 2019), and anything later were given the official thumbs up for Microsoft’s next-gen operating system, as well as Qualcomm Series 7 and 8 silicon.
That left a lot of devices out—not least the rather expensive Microsoft Surface Studio 2—so Microsoft now says it’ll also test 7th-gen Intel and AMD Zen 1 chips during the preview stage to see how well they hold up. In fact, it’s now putting off any detailed recommendations in terms of processors for the time being. What’s more, the Insider Preview Builds don’t need to meet any CPU requirements, at least not yet.