Windows 11 does require TPM 2.0 and at least Ryzen 2000 or 8th Gen Intel Core

The presence of TPM 2.0 is still required for the installation of Windows 11, Microsoft confirms. Also, a processor that is on a list of supported models must be used. The Ryzen 1000 series is therefore not eligible.

Microsoft has updated the documentation on its website regarding the required TPM version for Windows 11. It now states that TPM 2.0 is required and systems must have a CPU that is on a list of supported processors. According to Microsoft, systems must meet the hardware requirements to run Windows 11 and it is not possible to upgrade if systems do not meet the requirements.

On Friday, that page still stated that TPM 2.0 was recommended, but that systems with TPM 1.2 were also eligible. In addition, it stated at the time that all 64-bit CPUs worked with at least two cores and a clock speed of 1GHz. The list of supported processors was mentioned, but the presence of such a CPU was not required according to the page, which can still be seen via the Web Archive.

A note has been added to the new page stating that the article has been amended to “correct the guidelines around TPM requirements for Windows 11.” This implies Microsoft that there was an error there before. On the old page, Microsoft spoke of a ‘soft floor’ with recommendations such as processor from the list of supported models and TPM 2.0. There was also a hard floor, with the minimum requirements, meeting TPM 1.2 and a 1GHz dual-core processor.

Microsoft has put a new blog online in which the company emphasizes the importance of TPM. Version 2.0 is necessary according to Microsoft to guarantee the security of Windows 11 systems. In the blog, Microsoft writes that “all certified Windows 11 systems” will be equipped with TPM 2.0.

The new system requirements page (left) next to the old version

Separate TPM chip not required; integration in CPUs and BIOS

Since Microsoft made it clear at the presentation of Windows 11 on Thursday that the presence of TPM is required, many users have been unclear about what exactly is needed for this. TPM, or trusted platform module, is a cryptocoprocessor used to store and generate cryptographic security keys. Such a TPM can be on a motherboard as a separate chip, but this is not required. Modern processors are equipped with an integrated TPM and that can be switched on via the BIOS. At AMD this is called fTPM and at Intel it is PTT, or Platform Trust Technologies.

No Ryzen 1000 and at least 8th Gen Intel Core

If Microsoft keeps the list of supported processors as a hard requirement, it means that Windows 11 cannot be installed on systems with AMD Ryzen 1000 series processors. Only the newer generations of AMD’s Ryzen processors are on the list. The oldest Ryzen processors supported are the 2000 series models, which became available in 2018.

Windows 11 is supported on Intel Core processors from the eighth generation, or Coffee Lake. Intel released those processors in 2017. This excludes, for example, Broadwell, Skylake and Kaby Lake processors. As a result, several Microsoft products do not support Windows 11. The 2015 and 2017 Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro have Kaby Lake processors. The same goes for the Surface Studio 2 from 2018.

New PC Health Check App

Microsoft already released a tool on Thursday with which users could check whether their system is eligible for Windows 11. However, that app did not clarify why systems would not be suitable. Microsoft has now made a new version of the PC Health Check App available, which provides more details about this. For example, the new app will let you know if a system does not have TPM 2.0, or if the processor is too old. The app also indicates that systems are not suitable if TPM 2.0 is present, but is disabled in the bios. Users should therefore check their bios settings themselves.

New PC Health Check App gives more details

Insider Preview builds also work on unsupported hardware

As Microsoft now outlines it, TPM 2.0 and supported CPUs are hard requirements to run Windows 11. However, it is not known what exactly happens when users try to install the operating system on older hardware.

It is known that Insider Preview builds of Windows 11 from the Dev and Beta channels will also work on hardware that does not meet all requirements. Microsoft itself reports this on its Windows Insider page, although it is noted that some features may not work fully.

The release channel builds will not work at all if the hardware does not meet all the requirements. That indicates that Microsoft is tightening the hardware restrictions as the release approaches.

According to The Verge editor Tom Warren Microsoft has promised to publish a new blog with further explanations about the hardware requirements. That blog is not yet online and is expected after the weekend. For the time being, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft will provide more clarity about what exactly is possible with unsupported hardware and Windows 11.

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