Microsoft has announced the minimum RAM requirements that new AI-promoted PCs must meet. Specifically, all Windows 11 devices that wish to promote AI-focused features, such as Copilot, must have at least 16 GB of RAM.
This requirement is native to Windows 11 version 23H2, which is the OS version that will emphasize that your operating system has its own integrated AI known as Microsoft Copilot. And yes, in addition to the RAM requirement, it’s worth mentioning that these devices will have a noticeable modification to the keyboard, which is the incorporation of an exclusive Copilot key.
16 GB of RAM is required in Windows 11 for Artificial Intelligence
Microsoft plays a crucial role in defining PC hardware specifications. With AI, these devices cannot skimp on DRAM memory at a time when memory prices are rising. Like SSDs, prices are expected to increase significantly this year, affecting laptops primarily.
According to market analyst TrendForce, Microsoft has set the minimum requirement for AI PCs at 16 GB of RAM. It makes sense to think that for peak performance, AMD Ryzen 8000 or Intel Core Ultra portable processors would also be recommended. They are the only x86 processors with an integrated NPU focused on accelerating AI workloads. It may not hold much importance in Windows 11, but in Windows 12, using a CPU with an NPU will be a requirement to take full advantage of AI features in the OS.
Regarding Windows 11 and AI, Microsoft is heavily promoting Copilot. It is simple, as it integrates an AI chatbot within Windows 11. This chatbot allows users to get help with work or studies and carry out automated tasks. Just a few days ago, Microsoft announced its paid version known as Copilot Pro. It is like a DLC that brings AI as an integrated assistant in Microsoft 365, meaning an AI within the entire software suite that can create graphs or summaries of a project simply by asking.
Why does Microsoft require a minimum amount of RAM?
The 16 GB of RAM is intended to accelerate AI through a user’s hardware. This way, Microsoft saves millions of users from relying on cloud-based AI acceleration. That’s why the near future revolves around AMD’s Ryzen AI NPU and Intel’s AI Boost.
Dedicated and local hardware allocates computing and energetic resources within the user’s own home employing AI. How does RAM fit into this equation? AI acceleration is an operation highly sensitive to memory, and language models (LLMs) require a substantial amount of fast and frequently accessible memory. That’s why, in Windows 12, an NPU combined with a large RAM capacity will be highly valued. Furthermore, if the RAM is faster, it’s another bonus to consider.