Unless You Bought Your PC Very Recently, It Likely Won’t Run Windows 11

Since Microsoft announced Windows 11, I’ve been looking at it and found something that to be frank is a bit disturbing. The system requirements for Windows 11 are very narrow. Have a look at Microsoft’s official compatibility page for Windows 11 to see what I mean. If you don’t fit into what’s listed there, your PC won’t be upgraded to Windows 11. Here’s a quick list of processors that support Windows 11:


  • Intel 8th Gen (Coffee Lake)
  • Intel 9th Gen (Coffee Lake Refresh)
  • Intel 10th Gen (Comet Lake)
  • Intel 10th Gen (Ice Lake)
  • Intel 11th Gen (Rocket Lake)
  • Intel 11th Gen (Tiger Lake)
  • Intel Xeon Skylake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Cascade Lake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Cooper Lake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Ice Lake-SP


  • AMD Ryzen 2000
  • AMD Ryzen 3000
  • AMD Ryzen 4000
  • AMD Ryzen 5000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3000
  • AMD EPYC 2nd Gen
  • AMD EPYC 3rd Gen

So… Who does that leave out? Lots of people. For example there are many threads on Reddit filled with users who are angry that their new, or in some cases the very new Surface PCs which are made by Microsoft themselves is failing the Windows 11 PC Health Check App for example. And I’ve got a few calls from clients who have run Microsoft’s PC Health App to see whether Windows 11 works on their systems. But when they do, it fails the check and they call me to see if I can help them. Sadly I can’t and their only out is to buy a new PC, at least at this point.

The problem with all of this is that significant shift in Windows hardware requirements since the release of Windows 8 back in 2012, and the CPU changes are understandably catching people by surprise. Doubly so because during the announcement of Windows 11, 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 of some sort. What prompted this change by Microsoft, who knows. But I will say this. Microsoft may want to rethink this because this is the sort of thing that will drive people to go to the Apple store and have a look at those new M1 based Macs as they absolutely destroy anything that Intel makes, and Apple has a strong history of supporting computers that are as old as six or seven years in age. Which means the chances of getting screwed by Apple at some point are way less than they are with Microsoft. That’s good for Apple, and bad for Microsoft.

2 Responses to “Unless You Bought Your PC Very Recently, It Likely Won’t Run Windows 11”

  1. […] Saturday, I posted a story on the rather hefty system requirements for Windows 11. There must have been one hell of a blowback […]

  2. […] Windows 11 was announced, the system requirements were so hefty that most PCs out there couldn’t run it. Including some of Microsoft’s own Surface hardware. […]

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