The minimal configuration to install FreeBSD varies with the FreeBSD version and the hardware architecture.
A summary of this information is given in the following sections. Depending on the method you choose to install FreeBSD, you may also need a floppy drive, a supported CDROM drive, and in some case a network adapter. This will be covered by the Section 2.3.7.
Both FreeBSD/i386 and FreeBSD/pc98 require a 486 or better processor and at least 24 MB of RAM. You will need at least 150 MB of free hard drive space for the most minimal installation.
Note: In case of old configurations, most of time, getting more RAM and more hard drive space is more important than getting a faster processor.
There are two classes of processors capable of running FreeBSD/amd64. The first are AMD64 processors, including the AMD Athlon™64, AMD Athlon64-FX, AMD Opteron™ or better processors.
The second class of processors that can use FreeBSD/amd64 includes those using the Intel® EM64T architecture. Examples of these processors include the Intel Core™ 2 Duo, Quad, Extreme processor families, and the Intel Xeon™ 3000, 5000, and 7000 sequences of processors.
If you have a machine based on an nVidia nForce3 Pro-150, you must use the BIOS setup to disable the IO APIC. If you do not have an option to do this, you will likely have to disable ACPI instead. There are bugs in the Pro-150 chipset that we have not found a workaround for yet.
A list of supported hardware is provided with each FreeBSD release in the FreeBSD Hardware Notes. This document can usually be found in a file named HARDWARE.TXT, in the top-level directory of a CDROM or FTP distribution or in sysinstall's documentation menu. It lists, for a given architecture, what hardware devices are known to be supported by each release of FreeBSD. Copies of the supported hardware list for various releases and architectures can also be found on the Release Information page of the FreeBSD Web site.