So last night I decided to see if my old notebook from 2005 would be able to handle Windows 8 Pro.
With some minor issues I was able to get it installed and working quite well.
Dell Inspiron 6000
1.6Ghz Intel Pentium M centrino (533MHz FSB)
2 GB 533Mhz DDR2 RAM
15.4" WSXGA+ (1680x1050) display - I sooooo miss this res on newer notebooks........sigh!
128 MB ATI Mobility X300 video chip
160GB 5400rpm HD
1st gen NEC Dual Layer DVD burner
Intel Pro 2100 b/g WiFi
SigmaTel Audio Controller
The interesting thing here is. If my proc had been a Pentium M with the 400Mhz FSB it wouldn't have had PAE, NX and SSE2 and therefore Windows 8 would have failed to install. The Pentium M in my notebook has a 533Mhz FSB however, so it had the needed instruction sets and Windows 8 installed smoothly.
Immediately after install however it became apparent (since I was viewing the Windows 8 start in a 640x480 box in the middle of the screen) that my video chip had not been recognized by Win8. Checking around further in the device manager showed everything else had actually installed correctly aside from my Intel WiFi, and the SigmaTel audio chip was also not being recognized.
Since I tend to keep all of my driver packages archived for just such an occasion (yes I suffer from OCD......somewhat! ) I dug up the old DELL drivers for my display, WiFi and audio. I knew my best bet would be to unpack the files but cancel the auto-install and rather manually point the "update driver" dialog to the correct files. That method worked fine for both the video (thank god for that beautiful, beautiful 1680x1050 resolution!) and the WiFi network adapter (the wired network adapter had been properly installed by Windows 8 during the install). The audio driver however did not want to properly function until I actually ran the unpacked installer in "compatibility mode".
With those minor issues out of the way, my Dell Inspiron 6000D from 2005 is happily chomping away on Windows 8 Pro.
Colour me impressed.........way to go MS, pretty painless in my books!