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PC can't run Windows 11? Buy a $55 Raspberry Pi 4 instead

Raspberry Pi 4 runs Windows 11
(Image credit: The Raspberry Pi Foundation)
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Among the barrage of Windows 11 (opens in new tab) news, it has been discovered that the Raspberry Pi 4 will be able to run Microsoft's upcoming operating system. At least, it would seem so.

Raspberry Pi is generally associated with the Linux OS and tends to have trouble dealing with the graphical intensity of other, flashier operating systems. Officially, Pi users wishing to run newer Windows operating systems on their devices have been confined to Windows 10 IoT Core. Simply put, it's a cut down version of Windows 10, only really meant for less intensive applications, but it's a little lacking.

Now though, both Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab) and YouTube channel leepsvideo (opens in new tab), among others across the web, have successfully installed the Insider Preview version of Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 (via Golem (opens in new tab)). 

This comes as a bit of a surprise, albeit a welcome one, as the RPi 4's 64-bit Broadcom BCM2711B0 4-core, 4-thread A72 processor (ARMv8-A), which maxes out at 1.5GHz, has not been officially listed in the Windows 11 Compatibility cookbook (opens in new tab). Originally set to exclude first-gen AMD Ryzen CPUs, or any Intel processor that came before Coffee Lake, the Windows 11 minimum compatibility has since seen some edits, though the minimum requirements (opens in new tab) still detail TPM 2.0 and a fairly modern chip as a necessity. 

But with Windows 11 having been seen running on a RPi 4 (4GB or 8GB), it puts a little more weight into the claims that Windows 11 could support AMD Zen and Intel Kaby Lake CPUs after all (opens in new tab), if not perhaps much less powerful processors.

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The main takeaway is that running Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 is a definite possibility, though, as expected of a processor just skirting the system requirements hard floor, at somewhat limited capacity. For one thing, YouTube videos only seem to work at 480p says Tom's. Still, at least it's said to work better than any attempts at running 2020 Windows 10 have done in the past.

What this seems to say is that Windows 11 may well be the RPi users best bet at getting a Microsoft OS running on their Pi4 projects, when it comes out later this year.

Whether or not the final Windows 11 build will be as accommodating to the Pi, though, we can't be sure. A lot could change between now and the Windows 11 release date later this year.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.