We've all seen countless examples of software that ships with "minimum system requirements" like the following:
- Windows XP/Vista/7
- 1GB RAM
- 200 MB Storage
How are these generally determined? Obviously sometimes there are specific constraints (if the program takes 200 MB on disk then that is a hard requirement). Aside from those situations, many times for things like RAM or processor it turns out that more/faster is better with no hard constraint. How are these determined? Do developers just make up numbers that seem reasonable? Does QA go through some rigorous process testing various requirements until they find the lowest settings with acceptable performance? My instinct says it should be the latter but is often the former in practice.