Microsoft published some advices that cover Hardware and Software requirements.
If your computer was shipped with Windows 7 and has the Windows 7 Logo sticker on it then you can install Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
The hardware requirements are:
- 1 GHz or faster processor
- 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Another advice regarding the use of the Metro style is that the applications have a minimum of 1024×768 screen resolution, and 1366×768 for the snap feature. So if you try to use a Metro style app with less resolution like 800×600, 1024×600 you will receive an error message.
Microsoft recommends using Windows 8 only natively on hardware instead of using a VM. This is because in this way you will have access to the rich experience powered by accelerated graphics, and the fast and fluid operation.
With Windows 8 if you want to support touch, you need a screen that supports multi-touch.
Microsoft provided the following systems that they used on their internal testing, but clarified that there’s not a specific endorsement of these PCs:
- HP Elitebook 2760p convertible (Note: This PC is 1280×800 and so does not support snap.)
- ASUS EP121 tablet (Note: his PC is 1280×800 and so does not support snap.)
- Dell Inspiron Duo convertible
- Lenovo x220t convertible
- 3M M2256PW 22” display (Note: The raised bezel can make it harder to swipe along the edges)
- Samsung Series 7 slate (Note: This PC has two models, one was provided to attendees at //build/ and the other is a commercial release; the latter has slightly different peripherals and firmware.)
Other Hardware features stated by Microsoft are:
- Secured Boot requires a new UEFI BIOS, which is not available broadly on PCs yet, but is starting to be made available. If your machine does have UEFI, you can enable it via BIOS settings.
- BitLocker does not require but performs more seamlessly if your PC has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Machines that have this sometimes require it to be enabled via BIOS settings. BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive that meets performance criteria evaluated at installation time.
- Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and an additional 2 GB of RAM. You can also enable SLAT via a BIOS setting.
- Some games and other software require graphics capabilities compatible with DirectX 10 or higher (including some games available in the Consumer Preview and in the Windows Store. We will continue to improve the verification of your system prior to downloading or running software with these requirements). Some games and programs might require a graphics card for optimal performance.
- If you clean install instead of upgrade (see below), you should check your PC manufacturer’s website to make sure you install any specific drivers that they provide there. Many laptops will get better battery life with a power-optimized driver that is specific for that PC (often known as ACPI, Power, or Chipset driver).
Windows Consumer Preview release will let you to upgrade from Windows 7, and will run the integrated upgrade advisor and will tell you what things you need to look into. Keep in mind that there’s no way back after an upgrade installation, Microsoft recommends you to perform a system backup, before you upgrade, migrate, or clean install of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.