What does your PC setup look like

Windows 10 check: How to check whether your PC is suitable

Panagiotis Kolokythas, Christian Löbering

Here you can find out which requirements your computer must meet in order to be compatible with Windows 10.

EnlargeThe system requirements for Windows 10

On July 29th, 2020, Windows 10 was five years old and it's really time to update computers with older Windows versions to Windows 10. A central question here is, of course, whether your PC is compatible with the new Windows at all.

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Is your PC fit for Windows 10?

The official system requirements for Windows 10 from version 1903:

  • At least 8 or 7 inch display with a resolution of at least 800 x 600 pixels

  • Memory: 2 GB (64-bit)

  • Hard disk space: 32 GB

  • Graphics: DirectX 9 capable graphics card

However, this information from Microsoft is quite optimistic and working with Windows 10 is not really fun if you only have 2 GB of RAM. The computer should have at least 4 gigabytes of RAM, preferably 8 GB or even 16 GB. Given the current memory prices, this isn't particularly expensive either. You can find more information about RAM memory upgrade in this article.

For the smooth use of Windows 10, we also recommend installing the operating system on an SSD with at least 128 gigabytes of storage space. We present the best SSDs in the terabyte class in this comparison test.

As of Windows 10 Version 2004 (Windows 10 May 2020 Update), Microsoft only delivers Windows 10 to PC manufacturers in the 64-bit version, as can also be found in this Microsoft support document. However, this explicitly does not (yet) affect the end user. For them, Windows 10 is still available in a 32-bit version, even if we recommend using the 64-bit version whenever possible. Microsoft and Windows 10 will of course continue to support all 32-bit applications in the future, regardless of whether they run on Windows 10 32-bit or Windows 10 64-bit.

Which CPUs are supported under Windows 10? The answer

Not all Intel CPUs support Windows 10. There is no driver support for older Intel CPUs, such as second generation Core CPUs or old Pentium and Celeron CPUs from the Sandy Bridge, Clarkdale, Kentsfield and Merom series. With Pentium CPUs (and Atom and Celeron CPUs) of the Braswell and Bay Trail generation there is support for Windows 10 32-bit, but only if the upgrade to Windows 10 is carried out directly from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 he follows. With all younger Intel CPUs up to the 10th core generation (Ice Lake, Comet Lake, etc.) there is only driver support for Windows 10 64-bit, because Intel only has the drivers certified for this by Microsoft. A complete overview of Intel CPU support for Windows 10 can be found on this Intel page.

With AMD CPUs starting with Windows 10 Version 2004, all processors up to the 7th generation are supported, including the A-series (Ax-9xxx) and E-series (EX-9xxx & FX-9xxx). There is also support for the AMD Athlon 2xx processors and AMD Ryzen 3/5/7 4xxx, AMD Opteron and AMD Epyc 7xxx.

Support for Windows 10 is of course also available for all new CPUs for end users that AMD and Intel have not yet officially announced and that Microsoft is therefore not allowed to or cannot name by name.

Microsoft explains which CPU requirements apply to Windows 10 on this support page.

Check Windows 10 compatibility of installed software

In addition to incompatible hardware, old installed software can also cause problems under Windows 10. With the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft you can check not only the hardware but also the installed software for incompatibilities. After downloading and launching the tool, select "Upgrade this PC now" and then follow the wizard. Windows 10 will then be downloaded and then the download will be verified. This can take some time. In the next step, the tool checks your system and the software installed on it. In the event of a problem, the Media Creation Tool will list the incompatible programs and give you the option to uninstall them. Alternatively, you can ignore the problem and upgrade anyway. To do this, however, you have to select another upgrade level via "Change the elements to be kept".

By the way: Even if all installed programs should be compatible, the upgrade will not be installed automatically. You can also just cancel it in the "Choose what you want to keep" window.

tip : If individual programs do not start correctly under Windows 10, although you have put your system through its paces beforehand, then try to start the software in compatibility mode. To do this, right-click the executable program file, select "Properties", open the "Compatibility" tab, check "Run program in compatibility mode for" and select the Windows version under which the program was last still ran. Then click OK and start the program as normal. It is now treated differently from other programs.