Windows 8 on low powered hardware

Will Windows 8 run on low powered hardware?

No, the picture is not a fake! Anyone who modifies a netbook to similar specs’ should achieve the same results. (Double click the picture to enlarge it.)

A picture is worth a 1,000 words as the picture above reveals. A single core Intel Atom N455 is running at at just 1 GHz whilst running Windows 8. Note that the Atom CPU is idling at 2% whilst running both Task Manager and StarDock’s beta version of its (bound to be popular) Start Button utility.

The netbook is a Lenovo S10-3 that has a bog standard N455 CPU but the memory has been upgraded to 2GB from the original 1GB. The original 250 GB 5,400 rpm hard drive has been replaced with a Patriot Pyro 60 GB SATA 3 SSD which reduces boot-up times to just seconds even on this supposedly weak processor.

  1. The only really tricky bit the whole exercise of running Windows 8 on a netbook was a (relatively simple) registry hack that allows this netbook to emulation a 1064 x 728 screen resolution in order to run the new Metro programs.
  2. The StarDock Start Button utility gives you the basic features of the normal Windows Start Button, including the Metro Apps’ and so you get the best of both world’s, i.e. the newest Microsoft operating system running on older hardware that has at least 1GB of memory and a clock speed of at least 1GHz.
  3. CAVEAT: When it comes to memory, 1GB of memory is OK but more is better.

The bottom line is that a $40 download of Windows 8 will breathe new life into old machines. That is good for users but bad for manaufacturers trying to sell new machines. It is therefore possible that some blog posting that claim that Windows 8 will not run well on older hardware may be being written by people with their vested  interests, i.e. they want to sell new computers.

NOTE: Regular readers – my next blog will again pick up on the “Senate Secrets” series of disclosures.

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