Win Xp: minimum requirements?

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by Sam, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Sam

    Sam Guest


    What are the min requirements for running XP? My father in law has a
    Win98 system and I'm wondering what hardware upgrades will be
    necessary. I know that what M$ say are minimum requirements can be
    optimistic. What would it need to run smoothly? TIA
    Sam, Oct 19, 2007
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  2. Their mimimum RAM spec (for example), at 64MB, will allow the OS to
    just about run, but if you want to run an applications, 4* this is a
    reasonable 'mimimum'. (256MB). I fact even this is below the start of
    the 'comfort' zone (512MB is probably the point where performance
    begns to be reasonable).
    You can run below their spec on processor 'speed' - some of the small
    'low power' chips, will actually run XP, at clock rates like 100MHz,
    suprisingly well, and can run with a 640*480 video, but other than
    this, the rest of the specs are very conservative.
    To make XP run 'smoothly', I'd say 512MB RAM, and at least 1GHz on the

    Best Wishes
    Roger Hamlett, Oct 19, 2007
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  3. Sam

    Paul Guest

    It says 128MB here. In a system I put together for someone, intended
    for web surfing and email, I used 512MB, and that was good enough
    to have a couple programs open at the same time. If you
    intend on doing Photoshop, then naturally more would be
    advisable. Same with 3D gaming, and for that I might want 1GB

    For processor speed, you should already have some idea how things
    will work, with your Win98 experiences. If things were slow
    before, they'll remain so under WinXP.

    What is the current motherboard, processor type and speed, RAM
    type and speed ? What do you have for a video card ? What
    are the intended applications ?

    Paul, Oct 19, 2007
  4. Sam

    Sam Guest


    It isn't slow with Win98, it's just that Win98 isn't supported any
    more so it's difficult to find software.

    It's an old Asus board with a 700MHz Celeron and 128mb ram. It's the
    father in law's computer and he is only a light user, so like the
    system you described, only needed for the odd word processing,
    internet surfing, email, etc. Probably no need to multitask two
    windows at once.

    I think a Pentium 3 has more onboard cache than a Celeron so perhaps I
    could swap the cpu but I think increasing the ram would have the best
    performance increase.

    I suppose technically I should have posted in an Asus group but all my
    mobos are Gigabyte so this is where I have always looked for help ;)

    Sam, Oct 21, 2007
  5. Sam

    Paul Guest

    Depending on what the motherboard is (440BX based ?), be careful about
    what RAM you buy. I've used some 256MB modules from Crucial. My Asus
    board has a total of 4 slots, so I bought 4 of them.

    I discovered a bug in my motherboard, where I had video related freezes,
    when more than two of those sticks were installed. I concluded it was
    a hardware problem, when both Win98 and Linux exhibited the exact same
    behavior. I could get a video related freeze with virtually no desktop
    activity. The problem went away, as soon as I dropped down to two sticks.

    So if you plan to upgrade, I would buy exactly 2 sticks of 256MB each.

    I think the kind I bought, were these - $33 a piece.

    One reason for buying them at Crucial, is they know about the "high density
    memory" issue for 440BX. That 256MB stick has 16 chips on it, and is low
    density. If you look elsewhere for the RAM, you could get a stick with
    8 chips on it - that is the so-called high density RAM, and would only
    be half-detected in a 440BX motherboard.

    For other chipsets, there are likely to be fewer restrictions, and more
    freedom in selecting RAM. For example, VIA chipsets are happy with more
    RAM options, than Intel chipsets of that era.

    The maximum processor you can buy, in a slot form factor, would be a
    1.4GHz Tualatin. They were made in FSB100 and FSB133 versions, although
    the FSB133 version might have been considered a "server" part. Those
    processors would be S370 parts, and you need a slocket to fit them to an
    older board. So there are a bunch of different options, that depend
    on the details of the board. But I'd just start with the RAM, and see
    how it goes with that upgrade first.

    Paul, Oct 21, 2007
  6. About a 300MHz CPU and at least 256MB of memory are the practical
    minimum. It's actually possible to install XP in 64MB of memory, but
    less than 256MB won't be practically useful. A faster processor is also
    a good idea. Any machine with a 300MHz CPU (which will be a Pentium II)
    can probably be upgraded to about 800MHz pretty cheaply.
    Barry Watzman, Oct 21, 2007
  7. Bump the RAM up to the max the motherboard will support or 512MB and you
    will be fine. Even 256MB of ram would be serviceable.
    Barry Watzman, Oct 21, 2007
  8. Sam

    SumGuy Guest

    I put together a machine with a 1 GHz Celeron and 448 MB RAM for a friend.

    Provided you turn off the default settings and use classic explorer view,
    and set it for best performance it should run quite OK.

    I would also take the trouble to turn off thumbnail views, or if using
    detail views in folders with media, make sure the default view doesn't have
    the "dimension", or "duration" column. these columns can take a while to
    populate if there are many files.
    SumGuy, Oct 21, 2007
  9. Sam

    Sam Guest

    Thanks everyone for your replies. The mobo is so old I can't buy new
    parts for it, so I'm off to ebay to get some second hand parts which
    should make the pc ok for light use for another couple of years.
    Sam, Oct 21, 2007
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