Microsoft sets 16 GB of RAM as a minimum requirement for Copilot and Windows AI features
January 19, 2024

Microsoft sets 16 GB of RAM as a minimum requirement for Copilot and Windows AI features

According to the market research report TrendForce-aMicrosoft reportedly set 16GB as the minimum system requirement for AI PCs because of its Copilot AI assistant, but to say that Microsoft has a key role in PC hardware specs is an understatement for other players in this big industry.

This year we are witnessing the introduction of the first “AI computers”, or computers with AI acceleration on devices for several new functions that are built into Windows 11 23H2, most notably Microsoft Copilot.

Looks like Copilot is attracting the most attention at Microsoft itself, as the company plans to integrate an AI chatbot that automates and generates work into mainstream PC devices. Actually, Microsoft even advocates special Copilot button on PC keyboards, similar to the button that opens the Start menu.

It’s all Copilot Pro 2024’s fault

The company’s biggest move with the Copilot AI assistant will be the introduction of Copilot Pro 2024, an AI assistant integrated with Office and 365, which the company plans to sell only on a subscription basis.

In addition to cloud-based acceleration, Microsoft’s various AI features will depend on some basic hardware specifications for local acceleration. One of them is certainly the NPU, with Intel’s AI Boost and AMD’s Ryzen AI introduced with their latest mobile processors.

Another requirement will be memory. AI acceleration is a very memory-intensive operation, and LLMs require a significant amount of fast, frequently accessed memory. So Microsoft has set 16 GB as the bare minimum of memory not only for natural acceleration, but also for the operation of clouds based on the Copilot AI function.

This should include laptops in 2024 that will need to meet this minimum of 16GB as a base memory specification, while workstations will require 32GB or even 64GB, depending on organizational requirements. This development will especially favor the DRAM industry, which could achieve even better business results in this way.