Windows 10 Pro for Workstations

So, the time has come. I have held on to Windows 7 Pro on my (somewhat rarely-used, as Debian is my daily driver) Windows partitions on my main desktop and main laptop as long as I could, but it’s getting long in the tooth, and it’s time to make the move to Windows 10.

It was no issue on my ThinkPad P70 (which has a Xeon E3-1505M CPU), as I had Lenovo-supplied restore media for both Win7 Pro and Win10 Pro for it, but I will have to buy it for my main desktop. That machine has 2x Xeon X5680 CPUs in it, and according to Microsoft, Xeon CPUs require Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. What I’m wondering is: how true is this? My laptop appears to run regular Win10 Pro, and it has a Xeon. Is this support something that was delivered for Lenovo because they’re an OEM, or are they fudging the truth on their system requirements?

If I have to pay the extra for the workstation edition, I can deal with that, but I’m wondering if you fine folks have any knowledge on this.


Supposedly you can still upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free as long as the key is valid and active on the machine you are upgrading.

I’m not sure on the requirement for Xeons needing a Pro key, I’ve run a Xeon E3 1230 V5 on regular Windows 10 without issue.


Mostly untrue. Xeons work fine even on home. But home only supports one CPU, so if you install home on your machine it will only use one of the CPUs. Pro and above support two CPU sockets, pro for workstations is four, and windows server is at least eight, could be more.

So for your two socket system, pro is fine.


I can confirm. I did this last week and the machine activated without issue.

dual socket setups probably do require pro.

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Good to know! Definitely need Pro anyway, as I will be joining an AD domain. Thank you!

I ran both Pro and Pro for workstation on my 16c 32t threadripper and noticed no difference in performance. Having that Ultimate Extreme Performance mode under power options was kinda cool.