System Requirements

What Does System Requirements Mean?

System requirements are the configuration that a system must have in order for a hardware or software application to run smoothly and efficiently. Failure to meet these requirements can result in installation problems or performance problems. The former may prevent a device or application from getting installed, whereas the latter may cause a product to malfunction or perform below expectation or even to hang or crash.


System requirements are also known as minimum system requirements.

Techopedia Explains System Requirements

For packaged products, system requirements are often printed on the packaging. For downloadable products, the system requirements are often indicated on the download page. System requirements can be broadly classified as functional requirements, data requirements, quality requirements and constraints. They are often provided to consumers in complete detail. System requirements often indicate the minimum and the recommended configuration. The former is the most basic requirement, enough for a product to install or run, but performance is not guaranteed to be optimal. The latter ensures a smooth operation.

Hardware system requirements often specify the operating system version, processor type, memory size, available disk space and additional peripherals, if any, needed. Software system requirements, in addition to the aforementioned requirements, may also specify additional software dependencies (e.g., libraries, driver version, framework version). Some hardware/software manufacturers provide an upgrade assistant program that users can download and run to determine whether their system meets a product’s requirements.


Related Terms

Latest Hardware Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…