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Windows 7's XP Mode Requires 2 GB RAM

We learned last week that Windows 7 will include a special XP Mode that will run the older operating system in a virtual environment inside the upcoming OS to ensure maximum compatibility.

In fact, Microsoft is claiming that XPM provides near perfect Windows XP compatibility within Windows 7 – so that takes care of one of the raison d'etre for the old OS.

The speed and light(er) weight factor of Windows XP, however, won’t be maintained as you’ll need a fairly decent machine to run XP Mode. The system requirements to run XP Mode are beefier than those to run Windows 7 (which should run on any recent netbook).

According to a report from Cnet, a minimum of 2 GB RAM is needed for XP Mode. And as we detailed last week, XP Mode will utilize and require virtualization technologies in recent processors from both AMD and Intel, such as Intel's VT.

Not all modern processors support virtualization, even if from the same generation. For example, only certain Core 2 Duo chips feature the technology. Hopefully Microsoft will release more specific hardware requirements for XP Mode soon.

Microsoft will include a full license of Windows XP SP3 with every copy of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate for use with XP Mode.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Sicundercover
    2GB of 240pin DDR2= $25 USD.

    Dont go to Starbucks for a few days and youll be able to afford it.
    Reply
  • fuser
    I think this is to be expected. Windows 7, as the host operating system, will need a minimum of 1GB of RAM and then XP would need 512K - 1GB of RAM. The hardware acceleration offered by newer CPUs probably won't be required, but it would help performance. In Virtual PC 2007 you can turn the hardware support on & off, and I'm sure it's the same technology that's being used for the XP support in Win7.

    There's no reason for a new computer to be shipped with less than 2GB of RAM.
    Reply
  • LATTEH
    if XP takes a lot i wonder how much win 7 takes (i dont know because i didnt get to try the beta because i didnt want to lose date) either way im probably still gonna get win 7 :D
    Reply
  • scryer_360
    The thing is, is it going to take 2 gigs of ram to run in its entirety? That is, does XP mode need 2 gigs of ram just to run?

    If so, then all of us with 3 gig systems will see a sudden crawling. 4 gig+ machines ftw.
    Reply
  • BallistaMan
    Anybody know when we'll be able to try out XPM? Will it be in the RC or just the final product?
    Reply
  • outacontrolpimp
    demonhorde665hmm seems liekmy future willa vhe 3 pcs , now ... 1 new win7 pc , for latest games and 3d apps , a xp machine for slightly older games that crap out on 64 bit win 7, and a even older pc for even older games that crap out on xp. yeck i was already contemplating building a "new" oldtech machine using single core athy's and low end parts ( and digging up my old gf 4) i suppose now i may find my self either building 2 such computers or in teh least getign this "Old" comp a 1t byte hard drive so i can dual boot and still avhe all the room my older games would need , doing this i could give it dual boot to xp or win 98 , just seems to be harder being a retro gamer , and goign to every new OS release, oh adn tont tell em aobut compatibilities modes LOL try rungin Resident evil 2 or mechwarrior 3 on compatiblity mode in xp at best teh experience is buggy to say the least , hionce why i'm looking to build a low cost "old" machine for running win 98.

    are you mental or something. how about you get 1 computer with 1.5tb hard drive, with one good computer. If you wanna put all that crap on there go ahead. what kinda idiot needs new computers for each os.
    Reply
  • belardo
    Well, at least most games and programs will work in Win7 in native mode.

    The PCs I put together with XP, still come with 4GB because its only $40~50... so when Win7 comes out, they're ready for 64bit and an easy option to 8GB if needed.

    Hopefully XPM isn't needed very much. And honestly, I don't recall any of my Win98 games having problems with XP... Any problems I've seen has more to do with Voodoo Glide mode since 3Dfx died before XP was released... A voodoo3 PCI can work on a modern computer, especially since Voodoo3 didn't really make use of AGP.
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    demonhorde665hmm seems liekmy future willa vhe 3 pcs , now ... 1 new win7 pc , for latest games and 3d apps , a xp machine for slightly older games that crap out on 64 bit win 7, and a even older pc for even older games that crap out on xp.yeck i was already contemplating building a "new" oldtech machine using single core athy's and low end parts ( and digging up my old gf 4) i suppose now i may find my self either building 2 such computers or in teh least getign this "Old" comp a 1t byte hard drive so i can dual boot and still avhe all the room my older games would need , doing this i could give it dual boot to xp or win 98 , just seems to be harder being a retro gamer , and goign to every new OS release, oh adn tont tell em aobut compatibilities modes LOL try rungin Resident evil 2 or mechwarrior 3 on compatiblity mode in xp at best teh experience is buggy to say the least , hionce why i'm looking to build a low cost "old" machine for running win 98.Use a virtual machine or dual boot. I do both.

    Also, have you tried compatibility mode or searched for work arounds.To get Lego Island working in Vista I had to grab a dll from XP, put it in the install folder, and put it in compatibility mode. Worked perfectly after that.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    2gigs wow 30 dollars maybe... depending on type...
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    Either way imma get x64 and shove about 12 gigs of ram in it for my encoding and editing purposes. bah i can't edit a hasty thrown together post.
    Reply