Got a four-year-old Mac? Forget the newest version of OS X; Apple’s Snow Leopard
will only be supported on Intel CPUs. Got a PC from 2001? Windows 7
just might run on it. I tested a below-spec PC with the latest version of Windows and saw surprising results.
If you have a PC and you want the upcoming Microsoft OS, but don’t want to buy a new computer, Microsoft has your back. The minimum specifications listed on the Windows 7 RC download page are a 1 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, and 16GB of free hard disk space. This means if you have a computer that is more than a few years old, you can still get some functionality from the latest OS rolling out of Redmond. Intel hit the 1 GHz processor mark on March 8 2000, which means theoretically Windows 7 could run on computers over 9 years old! Since Microsoft is known for understating their hardware requirements, I grabbed an old PC out of retirement and put it to test.
The PC I chose had an Intel P3 933 MHz processor, 768 MB of RAM, and an 80GB hard disk. My test subject was manufactured in 2001.