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Windows 11: recommendations to update or renew company computers

Windows 11: recommendations to update or renew company computers

CPUs

First of all, you need to check the system requirements needed to upgrade. As with any minimum spec requirement, it’s a good idea to exceed it for a satisfying user experience.

Windows 11, you will need a 1 GHz or faster CPU, with 2 or more cores, on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC). In real terms, this means the following desktop/laptop CPUs will be supported (as of June 2021):

  • 8th Gen Intel Core (Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake) and later
  • AMD Zen+ (Ryzen 2000, Threadripper 2000, Ryzen 3000G APU) and later.

However, this list is not definitive and older CPUs may be compatible with Windows 11. However, the age of other system components may be a guiding factor and subject to change. In any case, it is best to check the Windows 11 compatibility website**.

DRAM

An important element to consider is the DRAM requirements and whether they will be compatible with the CPU, both now and in the future. As for the RAM/DRAM itself, the minimum requirements are at least 4 GB (gigabytes). However, this is only the minimum for Windows to boot, the experience of the last two years with the rise of remote work has shown that today the recommended amount of memory for productive work is 16GB. Obviously for professional work such as editing, photography and rendering, it is recommended to go one step further up to 32GB.

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Another key factor is widespread changes in memory technologies. If we look at the recent transition from 8 to 16 Gbit DRAM and its compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD CPUs mentioned above, we will see that many of these computers already support upgrades up to 64GB of RAM, perhaps in some way already answering the question of whether to switch or upgrade to Windows 11. Upgrading memory and SSD is a great opportunity to get the most bang for your buck and an affordable way to jump to Windows 11.

TPM 2.0

Trusted Platform Module (TPM, or Trusted Platform Module) was perhaps an unknown term before the announcement of Windows 11. However, it is an essential requirement to use Windows 11.

The TPM itself is a cryptoprocessor that protects the computer at the hardware level, preventing attacks through the use of an integrated cryptographic key. It works in coordination with other systems and applications on your PC. Being hardware based, they are considered more secure than using only software encryption.

This means that those without TPM 2.0 will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11 unless (for desktops) they purchase and install a TPM 2.0 module.

To find out whether or not your device(s) have TPM 2.0, search for “Windows Security” in the Start menu, and then select “Device Security” and “Security Processor Details” in succession. Be sure to check that the “Specification Version” is 2.0, as earlier versions will not be supported.

SSD

As for SSDs, DirectStorage has attracted a lot of attention. But this is an advantage exclusively for PC games. Consequently, the only requirements at the enterprise level is to have at least 64 GB and support for both SATA and NVMe-based SSDs. Again: Considering that the Windows 11 OS is likely to exceed 50 GB, it is essential to ensure that you have sufficient storage capacity and that you choose an option that is higher than the minimum requirements. The most accessible prices are making companies leave aside the capacity of 240GB and begin to migrate to 500GB when replacing hard drives with SSDs.

However, the big catalyst is being the rise of new low-cost NVMe-based drives that deliver not just capacity but the speeds that NVMe enables. Consequently, combined with the evolution of memory upgrades, increasing device speed and storage capacity is an opportunity to dramatically improve performance on the cheap.

Considering technological advances, hardware upgrades will most likely be limited by the ability to upgrade as DDR3 DRAMs are nearing the end of their useful life. Since there will be fewer providers of obsolete technologies, and availability and price curve will be affected after a major change in standard technology, it is important to take this into consideration in the debate of whether to upgrade or renew.

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