SQL Server 2012 is designed to run on a wide range of computer systems—from laptop and desktop systems to supercomputer class systems—so its minimum hardware requirements are surprising low. The minimum processing requirement is a 1.0GHz CPU for a 32-bit x86 implementation and a 1.4GHz CPU for a 64-bit x64 implementation. Microsoft's recommended minimum processor speed is 2.0GHz.

The minimum memory requirements for SQL Server 2012 are also quite low. The low-end SQL Server 2012 Express edition requires a minimum of 512MB of RAM, whereas the other editions require a minimum of 1GB. Microsoft's recommended minimum RAM for SQL Server is 4GB.

These days, it's hard to buy even a desktop system with anything lower than a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, so these hardware requirements shouldn't be a problem for most businesses. Of course, most production implementations will require more processing power and greater amounts of memory.

Each SQL Server 2012 edition has different OS requirements. In addition, the 32-bit x86 versions and the 64-bit x64 versions of the SQL Server 2012 editions have somewhat different OS requirements. The following table lists all the supported Windows OSs for the principal editions of SQL Server 2012.

Supported Windows OSs for the Principal Editions of SQL Server 2012

SQL Server Edition

Windows OSs That Support
32-Bit SQL Server

Windows OSs That Support
64-Bit SQL Server

SQL Server Enterprise

Windows Server 2012 64-bit Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation editions

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 32-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2012 64-bit Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation editions

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

SQL Server Business Intelligence

Windows Server 2012 64-bit Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation editions

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 32-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2012 64-bit Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation editions

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

 

SQL Server Standard

Windows Server 2012 64-bit Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation editions

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, Foundation, and Web editions

Windows 8 32-bit and 64-bit

Windows 8 Pro 32-bit and 64-bit

Windows 7 SP1 64-bit Ultimate, Enterprise, and Professional editions

Windows 7 SP1 32-bit Ultimate, Enterprise, and Professional editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, Foundation, and Web editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 32-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions

Windows Vista SP2 64-bit Ultimate, Enterprise, and Business editions

Windows Vista SP2 32-bit Ultimate, Enterprise, and Business editions

Windows Server 2012 64-bit Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation editions

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, Foundation, and Web editions

Windows 8 64-bit

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

Windows 7 SP1 64-bit Ultimate, Enterprise, and Professional editions

Windows Server 2008 SP2 64-bit Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, Foundation, and Web editions

Windows Vista SP2 64-bit Ultimate, Enterprise, and Business editions


For a more complete discussion of SQL Server 2012, see "Migrating to SQL Server 2012."