Will windows 8 work on a 5 year old computer?

Posted on 2013-01-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-01-26
I have an intel core 2 duo, 1.86 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM and I want to find out if windows 8 will work on it before I go to the trouble of purchasing it and even buying a touch screen capable monitor.  Any answers or advice that you have would be appreciated.  The computer is currently running windows vista home premium with no problems.
Question by:capreol
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 38822071
Probably, but there's no way of being certain. On the M$ site there is an upgrade assistant you can download which should be able to find out if it works:


Personally I dislike win 8 though and prefer Windows 7, I recommend you getting Windows 7 instead of 8.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 38822099
MS make their software fatter and fatter to fit the speed and storage capabilities of the current PCs.

The processor speed should just be good enough - but would be on the low end of what would really work - so your machine will not exactly be fast.
The memory - again is more than the minimum spec but doubling it to 4 would be pretty cheap and would probably make the machine more usable.
The graphics card is the one thing that might stop it working.  Maybe google the model of the card and the words "windows 8" and see if anyone has already done it.

Here is the official listing :

But if you really installed Win8 on a 1 GHz machine with 1 GB of ram and 16 GB free on the hard disk you would probably be able to open notepad and that would be about it :)

It should work (but no promises). It will be sluggish if you open more than 2 or 3 programs or files at once - and it will not be able to play any modern games.
One question - does it HAVE to be Win8 ? What about an earlier version of Windows that would suit your pc better ?  ...or... what about Linux.  Its free and brings old abandoned windows machines back to life years after MS gave up on them :)
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 38822155
Well, if my opinion help you here it is.

Windows 8 will work better than Windows 7.

I have used Windows 7 on two of my machines (work PC and a laptop)
Now I am using windows 8 on the same hardware and with same programs installed. From my personal experience I can tell that Windows 7 compared to Windows 8 looks like a resource hog and inferior predecessor.

Core 2 Duo Intel with 2GB of RAM will work just fine. Although considering how cheap RAM is these days I would recommend adding 2-4 more gigs so Windows can breathe better.

And one other thing, on most machines HDD is the bottleneck. If you would add an SSD to your configuration you would have a feeling that you have the new machine.

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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 38822333
As noted above, you can download the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant [http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/upgrade-assistant-advisor#1TC=t1 ] and it will give you a report r.e. which installed applications will work;  which require updates; and which won't work at all ==> but the simple fact is that a Core 2 Duo will work just fine with Windows 8.

Note that the resource requirements for Windows 8 -- particularly in the graphics area -- are actually LOWER than what was required for Vista or '7.    This is primarily because Microsoft has eliminated Aero and gadgets from the Windows 8 GUI.

The current $39.95 special for Windows 8 Pro is a very good deal -- if you're going to upgrade, you want to do it before the end of this month to take advantage of that.

Note that if you upgrade and find the new GUI to be a bit too much of a change, you can easily restore it to a more familiar "look & feel" with the excellent $4.99 Start8 utility from StarDock [http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ ].    There are a couple of similar utilities for a bit less -- StartW8 is free, but strongly suggests a $3 donation [http://www.areaguard.com/startw8 ], and there are a couple of freeware utilities ... but most folks prefer Start8 and consider it easily worth the $4.99 :-)
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 38822442
Although as mentioned above, Win 8 should use less GPU power than Windows 7 uses (provided Aero is enabled), I've been able to get Windows 7 working with more Graphical cards properly, while Windows 8 will refuse to install any but the standard generic driver of m$, so you end up with low resolutions you can't setup properly, even with not too old cards. Other things you can run into problems with are sound cards and printers that may not be supported anymore.
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 38822465
Any potential issues with sound card, printer, etc. will be identified by the Windows 8 Upgrade Advisor.     It's certainly true that you need to ask yourself WHY you're upgrading whenever you do so ... you indicated "... The computer is currently running windows vista home premium with no problems. "  ==>  so if you're happy with its current performance, and have it "tweaked" to your liking, you may want to consider whether you even want to upgrade it.

But as I noted, the $39.99 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro is a very good offer (a good bit less than you could buy Windows 7 for -- especially the Pro version) ... and there ARE some nice improvements.    There are also a few things that have been removed -- gadgets, a DVD Codec (so it can't play DVDs without a 3rd party program -- although the Media Pack is also free through the end of January if you install Pro).

Bottom line:  YOU need to decide whether you want to upgrade;  but the answer to your question is YES, it will run Windows 8 just fine.    If you DO have any specific hardware or software that's not compatible, the Upgrade Advisor report will show these to you before you purchase the upgrade.    So as a minimum, I'd download the Upgrade Advisor, install and run it ... and then make your decision.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38823173
Thanks a lot for the analysis and recommendations.  Your insight is very much appreciated.  I believe that you are right on with your recommendations!  A very thorough answer...the main reason that I am a member of Expert's Exchange is to find answers like this.  Keep up the good work.

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