|22 Jan 2010||#1|
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Office 2010 System Requirements
Hi everyone! My name is Alex Dubec and I’m a Program Manager on the Office Trustworthy Computing Performance team. My team is responsible for compiling system requirements across Office, and I’d like to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how we determine system requirements and the hardware your computer requires to run Office 2010.
Before diving into all the details, I want to answer a question that I’m sure is on all of your minds:
Can I use Office 2010 on the same hardware I’m using to run Office 2007?
In most cases, yes! CPU and RAM requirements for Office 2010 are the same as for Office 2007, so if your computer meets the Office 2007 system requirements, you can run Office 2010. A graphics chipset will help boost the performance of certain features and disk footprint has increased (more on these points later), but as general rules:
First off, I’d like to explain what level of performance you can expect from minimum-requirement hardware. The minimum hardware spec is about defining the kind of computer that an average Office customer needs to have in order to have an acceptable experience performing typical tasks. This means tasks like opening up and editing a 20-page report. Tasks like creating some simple pie charts or scatterplots that highlight your findings, and putting together a few slides summarizing your results for that meeting next Tuesday. Or even tasks like writing up your blog post about system requirements. You should also be able to comfortably run two applications simultaneously.
As you might expect, more intensive tasks benefit from fast chips, more RAM, or speedy hard drives, and newer hardware makes everyday tasks faster – but the hardware requirements aren’t about making Office 2010 blazing fast, or about running several applications at once, or about crunching financial models in a giant spreadsheet. They’re simply about getting typical tasks done.
A lot of other pieces of software carry both “minimum” and “recommended” hardware requirements, and you might be wondering why Office 2010 doesn’t have “recommended” requirements. The reason for this is that customers have told us that understanding hardware requirements can be confusing, and the difference in meaning between “minimum” and “recommended” requirements isn’t all that clear. For example, if the minimum RAM requirement for a program is listed as 1 GB, but 2 GB is recommended, what does that really mean? Does the customer need 1 GB or 2 GB? By including minimums, we’ve tried to make the hardware requirements as clear as possible.
How do we approach Office 2010’s hardware requirements?
CPU and RAM requirements approximately doubled between Office 2003 and Office 2007, as you can see below:
One of the pieces of feedback we’ve received from customers is that they really, really hate having to buy new hardware every time a new version of Office is released. With that in mind, one of our goals for the Office 2010 was to make sure that the minimum hardware requirement would not increase from Office 2007. We invested in improving the customer experience on minimum-requirement hardware, and we regularly tested performance throughout the development cycle. Our footprint has gotten larger since Office 2007, but we’re proud to say that we’ve succeeded in keeping the CPU and RAM requirements the same as for Office 2007.
How do you verify the CPU and RAM requirements?
To be objective about our hardware requirements, we maintain a performance test lab of machines with the following specifications:
We verified our requirements using this hardware with the following tests:
What about disk space?
We haven’t changed the CPU or RAM requirements from Office 2007, but the footprint of most Office applications have gotten larger. These changes force us to increase the system requirements – most standalone application disk-space requirements have gone up by 0.5 GB and the suites have increased by 1.0 or 1.5 GB.
There are a few reasons for these changes:
To determine which operating systems would be supported for Office 2010, we prioritized based on usage statistics for a given OS, as well as the engineering costs associated with ensuring compatibility and providing customer support for that OS. The following charts summarize OS compatibility for Office 2010.
Why is there a new graphics processor requirement?
If you’ve checked out Office 2010’s full system requirements, you’ve probably noticed the new graphics processor (GPU) requirement, and might be wondering what that’s all about. Another piece of feedback we received after releasing Office 2007 is that customers were interested in harnessing more of the potential of their PCs. Many computers in 2007 and most computers today have graphics processors separate from the CPU (this doesn’t necessarily mean a dedicated graphics card; for example, most laptops don’t have a physical graphics card, but do come with a graphics processor). If your computer has a GPU, it lets us perform graphics rendering tasks (like drawing charts in Excel, or transitions in PowerPoint) in the GPU instead of in the CPU, which parallelizes work and speeds up performance. This is particularly relevant for users of PowerPoint 2010, which will introduce some awesome new graphics and video integration features (more info at the PowerPoint team blog).
We chose to design for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0c compliant graphics processors with 64 MB video memory. These processors were widely available in 2007, and most computers available today include a graphics processor that meets or exceed this standard. However, like our CPU and RAM requirements, this requirement is targeted for typical tasks – if you intensively use graphics features, you’ll benefit from a more powerful GPU.
If you want to verify the specs of the graphics core in your computer, the DirectX Diagnostic Tool will help:
What if I don’t have a graphics processor that meets the requirement?
If you’re interested in upgrading from Office 2007, and you don’t have a GPU that meets the requirement, don’t worry – you can still use Office 2010. A graphics processor that meets or exceeds the standard will help speed up some of the graphics features you’ve used in earlier versions of Office, and it will help you use advanced transitions, animations, and video features new to PowerPoint 2010. We think a graphics processor will enhance your Office 2010 experience, but again, if your computer doesn’t have one, you can still run Office 2010.
It will come as no surprise that the performance of Office 2010 benefits more RAM, a faster CPU, or newer hardware. If you’re looking to buy a new computer, or if you’re running Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008, you probably already have a machine that far exceeds the minimum requirements for Office 2010 (although you should check first, just to be safe). That said, I hope that I’ve given you some insight into how we develop system requirements and what they represent. Thanks for reading!
|My System Specs|
|22 Jan 2010||#5|
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most businesses or people that spend money on upgrading to Office 2010 and training employees, changing IT etc. probably have more than 256 MB of RAM. My PC i bought in 2001 had 512 MB and 1300 MHz. A computer with those minimum requirements probably can't even run modern browsers and all that flash content on most websites. So that discussion is a moot point. If you buy a new computer with Office 2010 it sure can run it. There basically is no need for hardware upgrade as it was with Vista. Just a way to create some panic.
The other question is, how much is useful? I'm sure a 64 bit Windows 7 with 8 GB of RAM, SSD and quadcore makes it fly whne you do tons of ppt etc. A 32 bit vista with 2 GB and dualcore sure makes it fly almost as fast. In more regular applications (like getting your resume ready) any PC will be able to handle it fast enough.
|My System Specs|
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