Windows 11|Windows Client OS

Clearing up Windows 11 Compatibility, It's Easy and Frustrating

This week has been a mixed bag of excitement and confusion. The excitement has been associated with the features that Windows 11 will bring to the desktop but the confusion is tied to what devices will actually be able to run Windows 11.

At first, Microsoft had two different lists of minimum specs but has since updated the documents to align with one specific requirement. For the vast majority of users, the issue comes down to two things: TPM and chip support.

In reality, it’s only one issue as TPM 2.0 has been included in many chipsets for years and what it comes down to is figuring out how to turn on the feature. If you need help doing that, here is a helpful guide.

The other issue is if your chip supports Windows 11 and the answer is simple. If you have an Intel chip, check this list, and if you have an AMD chip, check this list. If your chips are not on these lists, you will not be able to run Windows 11 according to Microsoft. That’s it, the list is the official document that defines your ability to upgrade or not.

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So this means for Intel users, if you have an 8th gen chipset or newer, you are able to upgrade. But if you are like me and have an i7-7700k chip, even though it is still a quite capable chip, Windows 11 will not be supported.

Microsoft could update this list as the 7700k (and other chips) do have TPM 2.0 but for now, they did not make the cut for supporting Windows 11.

The decision to make this striking change to the supported devices for Windows 11 while there is a global chip shortage is an interesting choice. Of course, the shortage will eventually subside but there are many who believe that Microsoft is doing this to appease OEMs so that customers have to upgrade their devices.

It’s still early in the release cycle for Windows 11 and plans could change for Microsoft. That being said, we don’t know if the spec lists will change again or if the company will hold firm to its decision.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Clearing up Windows 11 Compatibility, It’s Easy and Frustrating”

  1. Setting a new baseline is a good idea in theory, and one many will rally behind as a step in the right direction. But as you point out, CPU’s that are a year or two older than Microsoft’s list, that are ten times more powerful than the lower end CPU’s on the list, is far too high a baseline.

    Here’s hoping sensible decisions are made and older, more than capable CPU’s like ours are added to the baseline list.

    • Could it have something to do with the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that affected intel, amd and arm cpu’s back in 2018? Don’t the newer chips have hardware mitigations while the older ones relied on software and firmware changes that slowed them down?

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Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.
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