Hot Take Windows 11 24H2 to Enforce New Hardware Requirement

vtqhtr413

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Microsoft is working on the next feature update for Windows 11 currently, which it calls Windows 11 version 24H2. The company confirmed the name of the update this month and ended speculations that it would release Windows 12 instead this year.

The feature update focuses on AI functionality, but it will also include a change that affects some devices running Windows 11 negatively. It appears that Microsoft is introducing a new hardware requirement in Windows 11 version 24H2 that prevents systems that do not support it from booting the operating system.

What makes this more troubling than the general hardware requirements of Windows 11, which can be bypassed, is that this particular requirement cannot be bypassed. If the CPU does not support POPCNT, Windows 11 version 24H2 will not boot. The instruction requires a processors that supports SSE4.2 or SSE4a.

The change affects Intel and AMD processors that are relatively old. Intel launched support for SSE4.2 in Intel Nehalem core processors in late 2008. AMD added support for the instructions in late 2011. Older processors continued to be sold for some time.
 

TairikuOkami

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If the CPU does not support POPCNT, Windows 11 version 24H2 will not boot.
So MS is creating that problem again, like during forced Windows 10 upgrades on laptops. Windows Upgrade has been postponed, because your hardware is not supported.
2 years later: A forced upgrade for security, because you current version is not supported anymore, regardless of hardware incompatibility. BSOD: OS can not boot, buy a new PC.
 

LennyFox

Level 6
Jan 18, 2024
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I just checked the specs of the CPU of my laptop it supports SSE4.2 and SSE4a. To be honest, my old Linux patoto desktop with a CPU benchmark less than 50% of my laptop (and a SSD speed of only 25% of my laptop) feels as snappy as my laptop, so when Microsoft keeps increasing hardware requirements, I will simply move to Linux completely.
 
Last edited:

Ink

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I see no issues from the new hardware requirements.
  1. Windows is a product of Microsoft.
  2. Microsoft = Generate business from their products and services.
  3. Microsoft are heavily invested into AI for Windows and their Online services.
  4. SSE4.x and POPCNT contribute towards AI in Windows.
  5. Microsoft do not tend to the needs of their user base, unless they can see #2.
Incompatible PCs can continue to use Windows 11 23H2.

In other news, I asked two AI for the technical details, here's what they said:

Does AI require SSE4 and POPCNT?

Yes, AI applications, including machine learning and deep learning algorithms, can benefit from the use of SIMD instructions like SSE4 and `popcnt`. These instructions can accelerate various computations, such as matrix operations and bitwise calculations, which are common in AI applications. By leveraging these instructions, AI algorithms can execute faster, consume less power, and provide better performance, making them more efficient and effective.

Does AI require SSE4 and POPCNT?

Certainly! Let’s delve into the technical details regarding AI requirements related to SSE4 and POPCNT instructions.
  1. SSE4 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 4):
    • SSE4 stands for Streaming SIMD Extensions 4, which is an instruction set architecture extension for x86 processors.
    • It provides a set of instructions that enhance parallel processing capabilities, especially useful for multimedia and scientific computing tasks.
    • SSE4.2 specifically includes instructions for string manipulation, vectorized integer operations, and CRC32 checksum calculations.
    • AI workloads can benefit from SSE4.2 due to improved performance in certain operations.
    • Intel Nehalem core processors introduced support for SSE4.2 in late 2008 [1].
    • AMD processors also added support for SSE4.2 in late 2011 [1].
  2. POPCNT (Population Count):
    • POPCNT is an instruction that counts the number of set bits (1s) in a binary value.
    • It is particularly useful for tasks involving bit manipulation, such as searching, hashing, and AI algorithms.
    • Windows 11 version 24H2 enforces a new hardware requirement: systems must support POPCNT to boot the operating system.
    • Unlike other hardware requirements, this one cannot be bypassed.
    • If your CPU lacks POPCNT, Windows 11 version 24H2 will not boot.
    • The instruction also requires a processor that supports SSE4.2 or SSE4a.
    • This change affects older Intel and AMD processors that do not meet these requirements [1].
  3. Checking Compatibility:
    • To determine if your processor supports SSE4.2, you can use tools like CPU-Z.
    • Download CPU-Z from the official website and run it.
    • Check the CPU tab to see which instructions your processor supports.
Remember, while these requirements are essential for Windows 11 version 24H2, older systems can continue using Windows 11 version 23H2 until 2025 [1]. If you’re curious about your CPU’s capabilities, give CPU-Z a try!
 

LennyFox

Level 6
Jan 18, 2024
288
I see no issues from the new hardware requirements.

Incompatible PCs can continue to use Windows 11 23H2.
----- until 2025
People who participate in the two-year mobile replacement frenzy also cycle also seem to replace their PC's every three to four years, so those consumers probably don't see an issues, but ..some people can't financially afford to buy new stuff every four years or simply don't want to replace a device that still works fine ... and may have issues.

That said, I agree with you: there is a better alternative for old hardware (Linux) and my three year old laptop still qualifies for 2024H2
 
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HarborFront

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My 13th Gen laptop Intel CPU below supports SSE4.2 means it has POPCNT support, right? It's not stated in the spec


EDIT - POPCNT is part of the SSE4.2 instruction set
 
Last edited:

HarborFront

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According to HWinfo my PC supports these …

SSE
SSE-2
SSE-3
SSSE-3
SSE4.1
SSE4.2

Not SSE-4a for some reason, but I guess that means 24H2 should work on my PC once it comes out?

Quote

The SSE4a instruction set is unique to AMD processors and is not supported by the Intel IPP library.

Unquote

 

Morro

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Quote

The SSE4a instruction set is unique to AMD processors and is not supported by the Intel IPP library.

Unquote


Thank you for explaining that. :D (y)
 

NormanF

Level 8
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Jan 11, 2018
352
So MS is creating that problem again, like during forced Windows 10 upgrades on laptops. Windows Upgrade has been postponed, because your hardware is not supported.
2 years later: A forced upgrade for security, because you current version is not supported anymore, regardless of hardware incompatibility. BSOD: OS can not boot, buy a new PC.

You can buy a used PC made after 2010.
 

NormanF

Level 8
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Jan 11, 2018
352
My 13th Gen laptop Intel CPU below supports SSE4.2 means it has POPCNT support, right? It's not stated in the spec


EDIT - POPCNT is part of the SSE4.2 instruction set

Modern PCs should be eligible. If you have an old PC, you can keep running 23H2 until end of life in 2025 or move to Linux or Chromeflex OS.
 

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