Early adopters can run Windows 8 Developer Preview even on modest, pre-Vista era hardware, and I don’t expect this to change for the RTM Build of the operating system.
Almost a week ago, Microsoft offered the first taste of its next generation Windows client, and started providing testers with Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) downloads
Prior to September 13, the company had stressed on numerous occasions that Windows 8 would sport the same hardware specifications as its predecessor. The software giant delivered on that promise.
“Windows Developer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7,” Microsoft noted
as Windows 8 Build 8102M3 downloads went live.
A machine capable of running Windows 8 needs a processor of at least 1 gigahertz (GHz), which is pretty modest by any standards, either 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64). Faster CPUs are also supported, of course, including the latest technologies such as Intel Sandy Bridge and AMD Bulldozer.
Testers opting for an x86 computer will only require 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM. Those with x64 PCs will need to go a bit higher to at least 2 GB RAM (64-bit) to ensure that Windows 8 works under normal parameters.
Additional system requirements are “16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit); DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver; taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch; to run Metro style Apps, you need a screen resolution of 1024 X 768 or greater,” Microsoft said.
The software giant has not shared system requirements for System-on-a-Chip / ARM devices, but I doubt that there are all that many early adopters interested in running Windows 8 on anything else than x86 and x64 computers, at least for the time being.
Also, the ARM flavor of Windows 8 is not available for the public, only the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Windows Developer Preview. Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.