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Windows 11: Microsoft reacts to AMD and Intel supported processors by expanding testing to Zen 1 and 7th Generation Core families

Microsoft will make Windows 11 available to older processors. (Image source: Microsoft)
Microsoft will make Windows 11 available to older processors. (Image source: Microsoft)
Windows 11 has some relatively punitive system requirements, to the extent that the OS does not support over a dozen Surface devices that run Windows 10. Microsoft has now come round to the idea of testing Windows 11 on Zen 1 and Intel 7th Generation Core processors. Incidentally, the PC Health Check app has gone until later this year, too.

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Shortly after Microsoft revealed Windows 11, it announced which processors its new OS would support. Surprisingly, the company had decided to omit any AMD or Intel processor older than the Ryzen 2000 and Intel 8th Generation Core series. Hence, viable processor series like the AMD Ryzen 1000 and Intel 7th Generation Core were omitted, knocking over a dozen Surface devices out of contention for Windows 11, too.

Now, Microsoft has acquiesced slightly, even if just for the Windows 11 Insider Program. Accordingly, Windows 11 Insider Preview builds will be available on devices with AMD Zen 1 or Intel 7th Generation Core processors. The first Windows 11 Insider Preview is available to download now.

Microsoft explained that it was guided by three principles when developing Windows 11. These are:

  • Security

    • Requiring devices to support Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualisation-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and Secure Boot. All Windows 11 supported CPUs have an embedded TPM, support secure boot, and support VBS and specific VBS capabilities.

  • Reliability

    • Devices upgraded to Windows 11 will be in a supported and reliable state. Microsoft has chosen CPUs that support the Windows Driver model and are supported by OEM/silicon partners achieving a 99.8% crash-free experience.

  • Compatibility

    • Windows 11 is designed to be compatible with 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and dual-core processors with at least a 1 GHz clock speed. These specifications match those required for Office and Microsoft Teams.

Make of that what you will. Additionally, Microsoft has recognised that its PC Health Check app 'was not fully prepared to share the level of detail or accuracy' about why a device could not be upgraded from Windows 10. For now, Microsoft has pulled the app and will re-release a revised version 'in preparation for general availability this fall'. Until then, you can check the Windows 11 system requirements to determine if your machine qualifies.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4070 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 06 > Windows 11: Microsoft reacts to AMD and Intel supported processors by expanding testing to Zen 1 and 7th Generation Core families
Alex Alderson, 2021-06-29 (Update: 2021-06-29)