Booting Windows 7 With a 5 MHz Processor and 128 MB of RAM Takes Half an Hour.


In short: The race for 1 GHz was quite real at the turn of the century. It was also quite interesting, right up to the photo finish between AMD and Intel (the former won in just a few days). Fast forward to today, and you won’t be able to find a new desktop processor with a clock speed of less than 1.6GHz or so. But you can overclock an existing chip to make it work much slower, and that’s exactly what NTDEV did in his latest video.

As part of the search to the bottom, the YouTuber managed to successfully boot into Windows 7 Ultimate and even work in multitasking mode with more than one program open at the same time. It’s not as glamorous as it seems, since Windows had to be run in safe mode and shut down a lot of system resources.

All this runs on a virtual machine that shows a Pentium-S with a clock speed of 50 MHz and 128 MB of RAM. After a full boot (this process takes about 28 minutes), it can run programs such as Notepad and others that display the current clock frequency of 5 MHz. The YouTuber was even able to run the system with only 36 MB of RAM, but this requires using a swap file.

If you’re interested, Microsoft recommends at least a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of memory to run Windows 7. NTDEV informed Tom’s Hardware that its installation uses less than 1 GB of space and requires approximately 70 MB of memory during the demo.

As expected, the system is painfully slow, but not the slowest he has encountered. Previously, NTDEV managed to make Windows XP work at a frequency of only 1 MHz. According to him, it took about three hours to download this configuration.

Next on the task list is figuring out how to get Windows 10 or Windows 11 to run on a chip with a clock speed of less than 1 GHz.


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