The system requirements or software requirements is a listing of what software programs or hardware devices are required to operate the program or game properly. System requirements are printed on their packaging, as shown in the image of the Windows 7 system requirements, or are found on the Internet.
Example of system requirements
Below is an example of the Windows 7 system requirements, with sections of the system requirements linked to the related definitions.
- 1 GHz processor or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64).
- 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit or 2 GB of RAM for 64-bit.
- 16 GB of hard drive space for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit.
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher.
How do I know if my computer meets the requirements?
In order to know if your computer meets the system requirements, you'll need to know what hardware is installed in your computer. If you need help identifying the hardware in your computer, see any of the following links.
What if my computer doesn't meet the system requirements?
If your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements, the program you are attempting to install will not run and may not even install. If your computer meets the minimum requirements but does not meet the suggested requirements, the program is going to work, but it may be slow.
In some situations, you can upgrade your computer to help meet the requirements. For example, upgrading RAM, bigger hard drive, or a better video card can all help a computer meet the system requirements. Your computer may also support upgrading the processor, but in many cases, it requires that a new motherboard be installed. If the processor does not meet the requirements, we recommend considering getting a new computer.
The hardware requirements are the requirements of a hardware device. Most hardware only has operating system requirements or compatibility. For example, a printer may be compatible with Windows XP but not compatible with newer versions of Windows like Windows 10, Linux, or the Apple macOS.
If a hardware device is not compatible with your computer, it is up to the manufacturer to release drivers. Unfortunately, many manufacturers only release updated drivers to fix problems with older drivers and often do not release drivers for newer operating systems or alternative operating systems. If a hardware device doesn't have drivers for your operating system, the only solution may be to get a more up-to-date replacement device.
In some situations, you can find either compatible drivers or drivers made by a third-party company. See our computer drivers from a third-party page for steps you can take in finding drivers elsewhere.
How do I understand the words in the system requirements?
Often the words and terms used in the system requirements can be difficult for most users not familiar with computers to understand. The easiest method of determining the meanings behind these terms is to perform a search for any word that confuses you.
For example, you can use the Computer Hope search box, at the top or bottom of any Computer Hope page, to search for "GHz". You will be directed to our GHz page and learn about this abbreviation being related to a computer processors speed. You can also browse our dictionary to find the meaning on over 15,000 terms.