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The question is pretty self contained.

[edit] A value for each version of windows 7 would be awesome. I am trying to figure out how much memory will be enough for my netbook. I just need more information to weight which version of windows 7 I am going to install, and the amount of memory. Assume that I am installing the OS on clean disk.

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Assuming Windows 7 Starter? – Joel Coehoorn Dec 3 '10 at 0:33

Assuming Windows 7 Starter, it depends on the make and model of netbook. Different models have different hardware, different hardware means different drivers, and different drivers means different memory requirements.

Additionally, different OEMs will load different 3rd party "value add" software, which makes things vary even more.

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If you really need the "cleanest", then install it yourself. It depends on the netbook's RAM itself actually. I've seen some early netbook, those Intel student pc, with only 512 MB RAM run 7 and Office 2007. Slow, with the task manager reporting 380-s MB memory usage. On the other hand, even a netbook with large RAM (say, 2 GB) will still run sluggish, with those tiny Atom, oh, and I've seen one recently, it took 1.2 GB of RAM.

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