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Microsoft provides clarifications on Win11 specs, says it is evaluating in adding 7th gen CPUs and Ryzen 1 series CPUs

Under the Insider Program of Windows 11, in a blog post related to them, Microsoft provides clarifications on the CPU support list of Windows 11, and in addition will now evaluate with Insider 7th gen CPUs and Ryzen 1000 series. If things goes well, they'll support those configurations.

 

Microsoft first explains a bit more on the chosen specs:

Quote

Windows 11 is designed and built as a complete set of experiences, unlocking the full power of the PC our customers have come to rely on, including in areas like security, reliability, compatibility, video conferencing, multitasking, playing, creating, building, learning and more. We need a minimum system requirement that enables us to adapt software and hardware to keep pace with people’s expectations, needs and harness the true value and power of the PC to deliver the best experiences, now and in the future. To do that, we were guided by the following principles:

  1. Windows 11 raises the bar for security by requiring hardware that can enable protections like Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and Secure Boot. The combination of these features has been shown to reduce malware by 60% on tested devices. To meet the principle, all Windows 11 supported CPUs have an embedded TPM, support secure boot, and support VBS and specific VBS capabilities.
     
  2. Devices upgraded to Windows 11 will be in a supported and reliable state. By choosing CPUs that have adopted the new Windows Driver model and are supported by our OEM and silicon partners who are achieving a 99.8% crash free experience.
     
  3. Compatibility. Windows 11 is designed to be compatible with the apps you use. It has the fundamentals of >1GHz, 2-core processors, 4GB memory, and 64GB of storage, aligning with our
    minimum system requirements for Office and Microsoft Teams.
     

 

Then adds later on evaluating 7th gen Intel CPUs and Zen 1:

Quote

As we release to Windows Insiders and partner with our OEMs, we will test to identify devices running on Intel 7th generation and AMD Zen 1 that may meet our principles. We’re committed to sharing updates with you on the results of our testing over time, as well as sharing additional technical blogs.

 

Sources

https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2021/06/28/update-on-windows-11-minimum-system-requirements/

 

So now we understand a bit better the minimum specs. Something that they should have shared before in the official specs, in my opinion, especially that these are high requirements.

And it is SOME good news that they are evaluating Ryzen 1 series CPUs and 7th gen CPUs. I think that they should also include, at the very least 6th gen CPUs. Why not lower? Well Windows 10 21H1, support stops at 5th gen Intel CPUs. So, I am assuming a transition of dropping older CPUs as time goes on, and new CPUs are added.

 

That said, I still think that a hard requirement for the CPU is silly. They could show a warning on the setup or the out of the box experience, that the CPU is not supported, your experience may be degraded, and you are on your own for problem (said in a nice way), this would help reduce people throwing away perfectly working systems, creating e-waste. While yes, Windows 10 is supported until 2025. The fact of having Windows 11, does put pressure on many consumers to upgrade to the latest version of Windows (or any software), making them be pushed to upgrade, in my opinion. That said, the other argument is that consumers don't tend to upgrade their PCs from version of Windows, they'll use until it dies (or doesn't meet their needs) before upgrading. This is highlighted with the fact that Microsoft always seem to have trouble letting users upgrade to a new version of Windows, when the one the user is using is out of support. Heck, we have plenty of people still on Windows 7.

 

What do you think? Is both views valid?

Are Microsoft explanation are satisfactory onto why that is the case?

Should Microsoft not close the doors on unsupported CPUs like in the past?

 

To add: I don't see this CPU limitation to be a real block for any of us... I mean Microsoft blocks has mostly always been minimum effort ones. Easy to by-pass in some fashion.

I do expect people showing Windows 11 running on some really old system. That is fine. The point is more on the general consumer, who obviously isn't going to go through the trouble of by-passing the requirement.

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Out of curiosity, is a ryzen 5 1600 af considered to be 1st gen or 2nd?

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11 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

Well Windows 10 21H1, support stops at 5th gen Intel CPUs.

Well 4790k, we had a good run. I'll love you always

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I don't think excluding 6th gen is valid.

 

To the best of my knowledge, MS isn't applying the hardware checks to virtual machines (unless something changed).

 

This effectively means a 6th gen Intel could run Windows 11 in a VM, but not natively. 

 

Everything they listed above still applies to VMs, and while VMs are sandboxed, it's still possible for things to get out (especially if things like VMtools are installed).

 

 

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God i hope this flops badly and in their faces. This is supposed to be clarifications ? Nope this is nothing more then PR BS, so in other words I call BS. I have a perfectly good machine (based on the i7 6700) which does absolutely everything it needs to do, and has worked without a problem with every system i used it that was done right and not an updating mess.

 

I said this before but definitely going to stick to windows 10 up till at around 2025 and in the worst case scenario go to linux and using virtualization for some past gaming (even in a VM enviroment i don't plan to install 11) past that. Of course that's the worst case scenario, because honestly if enough people aren't playing the role of sheeps hearded by the "great" MS and just plan the waiting game and ignore windows 11 you will see microsoft doubling down on this crap in a heartbeat to recover their user base, maybe even put some effort into delivering an actual decent version of windows again, not this limiting crap that feels at best an android Mac OS limited rip off.

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2 minutes ago, pas008 said:

shoudnt this be up to users if they want to risk security?

Technically yes. The same way a shirt with a company logo should make the company pay you for advertisement.

In the end, they'll blame it on Windows.

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I don't think excluding 6th gen is valid.

 

To the best of my knowledge, MS isn't applying the hardware checks to virtual machines (unless something changed).

 

This effectively means a 6th gen Intel could run Windows 11 in a VM, but not natively. 

 

Everything they listed above still applies to VMs, and while VMs are sandboxed, it's still possible for things to get out (especially if things like VMtools are installed).

 

It also looks like they updated the post to remove the line referencing 6th gen Intel CPUs. 

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14 minutes ago, TVwazhere said:

Well 4790k, we had a good run. I'll love you always

Me: *has had no plan on a complete system upgrade anytime soon*

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Well it's something at least, I do hope with continued feedback on this, they may re-evaluate many other CPU's.  

 

Windows used to be about empowering users with choices and options even if they sometimes came with consequences. 

 

Surely the option to not have certain safeguards should be the users choice, and not Microsofts? 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

Well Windows 10 21H1, support stops at 5th gen Intel CPUs.

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32 minutes ago, steelo said:

Out of curiosity, is a ryzen 5 1600 af considered to be 1st gen or 2nd?

1st gen Zen+ I think

 

Zen 2 or "2nd" is Ryzen 3000

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I think it's just wrong.

 

Requiring all OEMs to provide these security features in newer devices is more than fine by me. 

 

Dropping support for anything that have at least a quad-core seems like a bad joke.

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Quote

Windows 11 raises the bar for security by requiring hardware that can enable protections like Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and Secure Boot.

Well that's interesting. Because unless you have Intel MBEC (7th gen and newer), or AMD GMET (Zen+), then it's been showed to reduce CPU performance by 40% through emulation whereas the aforementioned instruction run HVCI in hardware.

But hey, I'm glad they at least make it optional now instead of mandatory.

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15 minutes ago, sof006 said:

1st gen Zen+ I think

 

Zen 2 or "2nd" is Ryzen 3000

No, zen is first gen, it says r2000 is supported, that's zen+, r1000 is zen, 1600af is a r1000 that uses a r1000 memory controler, but the core of a 2600

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Well, I'll just say this, the performance is much worse on my Core i7-930 with the first Insider build of Windows 11 than Windows 10.

So definitely needs a faster system. But man it is a nice interface. When my CPU doesn't struggle, it is really nice! 

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How about Microsoft support all the CPUs not just a specific set of CPUs when most of them are more than capable of running Win11.

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I don't think CPU generation was a hard limit anyway? Only the TPM was?

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2 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

evaluate with Insider 7th gen CPUs and Ryzen 1000 series. If things goes well, they'll support those configurations.

Sandy Bridge CPUs are still good,

Hell,even Core 2 Quads are still good,they are way better than the crappy new Celeron processors that Intel are selling now days.

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42 minutes ago, Mihle said:

I don't think CPU generation was a hard limit anyway? Only the TPM was?

TPM was the official hard limit. And the CPU list was based on the fact all of those MS listed supported fTPM; which means they (Microsoft) can say with a straight face you're supported even if you don't have a physical or integrated TPM because the CPU can provide that anyways.

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1 hour ago, NumLock21 said:

How about Microsoft support all the CPUs not just a specific set of CPUs when most of them are more than capable of running Win11.

Have you seen what running Win10 on a underspec'd laptop is like? I've seen Win 10 run on things that took literately a half hour too boot, and the device was still available for sale.

 

I'm all for Microsoft drawing a line in the sand where "everything must meet at least this spec", eg AVX2 (which is 4th gen intel and later,) but if the OS doesn't actually use the instructions, there's no reason to have the requirement. So sure, the TPM requirement is a bit silly, as there will be users who don't want it for various reasons, but that should be a feature that is "required" by OEM builds running OEM versions of the OS, but not retail copies, and not to "enforce" DRM but simply acknowledging the elephant in the room that DIY builds and gamer builds do not use security features and often desire to turn them off to min-max performance.

 

As for what hardware is too "old", respectfully, I'd say anything with 4 cores, 32GB of ram, and a 500GB NVMe SSD, or can be upgraded to that is still capable. Laptops with 2-cores and 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of disc space should never have been built, but I was still seeing them issued as "new" in 2020. So if Microsoft had made that a requirement I'd be like "makes sense". 

 

These requirements however don't make sense, especially since 6th gen and 7th gen desktops are no less performative than 10th and 11th gen ones.

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2 hours ago, HelpfulTechWizard said:

No, zen is first gen, it says r2000 is supported, that's zen+, r1000 is zen, 1600af is a r1000 that uses a r1000 memory controler, but the core of a 2600

No

 

https://www.techspot.com/review/1977-amd-ryzen-1600-af/

 

1600 AF is based on Zen+

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59 minutes ago, Mihle said:

I don't think CPU generation was a hard limit anyway? Only the TPM was?

Microsoft changed their mind and made the CPU generation thing a hard limit.

 

Quote

Originally, Microsoft noted that CPU generation requirements are a “soft floor” limit for the Windows 11 installer, which should have allowed some older CPUs to be able to install Windows 11 with a warning, but hours after we published this story, the company updated that page to explicitly require the list of chips above. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to clarify its CPU requirements and support, and we’ll update you accordingly.

 

 

Here is the on the way back machine:

Spoiler

image.png.02945c589e1e6e58eb1db8ccb328078b.png

 

"CPU Generation" was under the "Soft Floor" section.

 

This is what the page looks like right now:

Spoiler

image.png.a764b6f5c34ac44f4f7b3ff1bc9d5439.png

There is no longer any "soft floor" or "hard floor" sections and the hardware requirements links to the specific list of processors that are supported, which are currently 8th gen Intel or newer and second gen Zen (Zen+) and newer.

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3 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

Windows 11 raises the bar for security by requiring hardware that

Seems kinda misleading since its not windows 11 improving, its just the hardware thats improving. a win11 machine isn't more secure than a win 10 machine if the hardware is the same.

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