View Full Version : specs for running windows

December 5th, 2005, 04:34 PM
Two rather stupid questions...
What is the earliest processor that can run win98, and what is the earliest processor that can run XP?

December 5th, 2005, 06:24 PM
For Windows 98SE, let's look to the handy dandy manual. It says:

486DX 66MHz
24MB ram
260MB hard drive space typical

I installed Win98SE on just such a machine (except with 20MB ram) and it was intolerably slow. Win95 is just about right, even faster that Win3.11 and much easier to set up.

As for XP, I don't know. A bit of Googling would probably reveal an answer. :)


December 5th, 2005, 06:40 PM
Windows XP

Processor: 300 MHz

RAM: 64 MB min, but not all systems run right. (XP will run, but it looks like crap) 128 MB recommended

Hard Drive Space: 1.5 GB Min

SVGA at 800X600 Min although I wouldn't recommend it.

CD-ROM Keyboard, Mouse (duh)

I'm a little more Modern than Vintage so if you or anyone else has questions about anything Modern, feel free to contact me.....

I also will be getting my Beta copy of Windows Vista soon.......

W00t (maybe)


December 5th, 2005, 08:04 PM
In my OS book from school WinXP is *supposed* to run on 133mhz with 64mb of ram. I'd sure like to see anyone run xp on a machine like that though.

I did a little report on Vista recently. Frankly I wasn't too impressed. I'll send the report out to anyone who wants it, too. I went to pcmag's little review section and went through a couple of slideshows there is all. And so far I stay unimpressed. I had to have my arm twisted to upgrade to 2K. It runs better but now my old hardware won't work (scanner, camera). Oh well. The crap is cheap now as opposed to when I bought the old stuff.

December 6th, 2005, 05:27 AM
I'd like to see your report. When I get Vista Installed and check it out, I'll give my review.

But, I'd still like to see your report.


December 6th, 2005, 07:47 AM
Here you go, and this is for if you have viewed the slideshows at www.pcmag.com (have to dig around for it).

Windows Vista Review
This is a review of Microsoft’s new operating system Windows Vista. This will be a pros and cons look at this new OS.
Different settings have different authority. The slideshow wasn’t very specific on which settings. Access to My Computer looks more like a Macintosh OS9 screen, as everything is right there with branches and ratings of different kinds. Security hasn’t changed much, either except for the formatting of the windows themselves. A security setting that is default is one that gives the user limited access to different areas in User Account Protection. Another security feature is the Trusted Platform Module chip which encrypts the entire volume(s) on a hdd to make stealing more difficult.
Windows Vista (WinVista) is heavy on presentation to the user. The setup screen appears to be a high bitrate presentation, and seems to have only two steps which is a big improvement over the several restarts of other Win OS’s. There are lots of animated screens and pretty-to-look-at features. When you open My Computer, you no longer have the two-dimensional window on a window, they can be shown to be at an angle, as if you were looking at it with the edge tilted slightly to or away from you, called “live icons.” Also with lots of icons. I prefer List View so you can see more at once. This is done with a new keyboard command, Win+Spacebar. The keyboard commands have changed, also. Alt+Tab used to switch between different open windows and the desktop but now it displays whatever is in a given window that you are looking at. Movies and files are all viewable this way in a thumbnail view. If you have a few different items open, they slide to the side as you select/deselect them. When you use a mouse and drift over an item, a tool-tip-ish balloon pops up and gives you a brief description. Control Panel has the familiar XP styled category view, which I suppose is able to be reverted to classic view. All of the window borders appear to be partially transparent. Searching from theStart button is supposed to be made a little easier because it’s right there in front of you that you may look at other computers on a network (your network that is). Copying still has the same elements, a stop button and a status bar. One cannot improve much on a simple tool like that one. Virtual folders are set up for users instead of actual folders set up in the harddrive. Users can also be allowed to set the clock. This was different in other Win OS’s in that only administrators could set the clock.
Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) uses tabbed browsing, an I dea I have only seen implemented on Mozilla’s web browser Firefox, which is a nice feature to have.
Folder layouts are now based on different users rather than folders. A path may be C:\Nathan\Docs\, rather than C:\Docs\Nathan. Not a big change but enough to shake the boat and look fancy. The OS can go back to MS when it finds errors much like in XP. Some messages, like “replace this file with this one” if it’s the same name hasn’t changed. File sharing has more than a name and password. You can specify which users have access. WinVista uses “stacks” to organize now. This is more of a graphics-brag than anything else.
In overview, it seems to me that WinVista took some old ideas and polished them up a little more, changed a few things to make you re-learn old functions and is experimenting with ideas that are aimed to make computering more pleasant and secure. Parental control was a thing you had to buy but now it’s integrated. Some things have been made more complicated but such is life. I think they’ll get better with time. After all, it took them about five years to get Win95 right with Win98SE. So stay tuned.

December 7th, 2005, 02:29 PM
Would my 486 50 MHz run windows 98?

December 7th, 2005, 06:18 PM
Would my 486 50 MHz run windows 98?

Depending on how much ram it has, I would say that it probably would, but it would be very slow. Your best choice would be Windows 95b, it can be made to run nearly as many goodies as 98.


December 7th, 2005, 10:44 PM
If you *really* wanted to run 98 on that 486, you could get 98Lite from litepc.com. It'll make it run on a single chip (according to the website). Another trick you could do is have the swap file of any computer work off of some kind of ram chip, be it a flash card or any other in a pcmcia adapter card in a laptop (did it and it works!) or a usb thumb drive, or make some kidn of ram disk. Neat tricks for that kind of thing.

CP/M User
December 8th, 2005, 01:10 PM
"jjzcp" wrote:

> Two rather stupid questions...

> What is the earliest processor that can run win98, and what is the
> earliest processor that can run XP?

I read somewhere (thought it could well be a rumor) that someone got 98
running on a 386. It would have been a DX based processor at at with a
lot of RAM (think it was 512Mb).

Usually with stories like these you usually hear abot how they got
Windows working on such a beast, but nothing more! ;-)

CP/M User.

December 8th, 2005, 02:16 PM
If you can afford something better, I don't quite see the point in squeezing something into a low-end machine. Yes, it is cool and you get status points, but it is not very usable.

It reminds me of the computer club. We had an online chess server (based on FICS) and we decided to set up some "bots", computer players that would be logged on and in case no other human players were logged on, you could take a game vs the computer. This was around 1998 or so.

The more powerful hardware you have, the more efficient the computer chess program is. We were a bit short of powerful computers, so for this purpose the lowest end leftovers had to do, typically Sun IPX, SS2 or even as low as a IBM PS/2 model whatever. Anything with a network interface which would run some sort of Unix, Linux or anything else that didn't need constant attention and with a compiler environment.

Of course we were short on RAM too. The IPX:es took 72 pin parity SIMM, the SS2:es took 30 pin ditto, and the PS/2 took 72 pin anything IIRC. A guy experimented with what was the least amount of memory required to install Solaris 2.x on a Sun machine. It turned out that the installation program refused to start if there was less than 12 MB memory. However, after successful installation of all required parts plus the chess software, he managed to remove one 4 MB module, and the computer happily booted and was usable on only 8 MB RAM, which is extremely little for Solaris on a SPARC - our regular servers would easily chew 64 MB on the same hardware configuration. NetBSD/SPARC was much more conservative in memory usage than Solaris, so it was a point in selecting operating system based on what you need to do. SPARC Linux had severe problems with memory leak on these platforms, and the maintainers even suggested to use NetBSD instead.

I believe this chess bot did not play a very good game on that extremely tight hardware configuration, but at least it was something to keep people amused once they logged in to the chess server. Later, when we upgraded workstations and servers to newer Sun and also PC hardware, the chess server and other things had became passé so there was no demand to install more (and much powerful) bots.