Windows 11 officially makes your older CPU garbage in new update

windows 11 text and logo with blue background

windows 11 text and logo with blue background

A sad day for retro CPU enthusiasts as Bob Pony announces that the new PopCnt instruction requirement in Windows 11 24H2 is unbreakable and cannot be bypassed by older processors.

An average day for the rest of us as this new update only makes very old processors obsolete. CPU chips that date as far back as 14 years ago began using the PopCnt instruction. However, any CPUs dated 15+ years will be out of luck as the technology wasn't widely supported back then. This means that Core 2 Duos and Pentiums will no longer be capable of supporting Windows 11.

Oddly enough, the PopCnt instruction is several decades old and was created back in the 1960s. However, it has now been made a requirement in the latest Windows 11 build. We suspect this was done due to reasons revolving around new AI technologies as Microsoft plans to expand those services.

You can read about Bob Pony's attempts at working around the requirements in the thread below.

Essentially, the PopCnt instruction is now a basic requirement for the Windows 11 installation setup. Failing to meet this requirement will prompt the installation wizard to give you an error "This PC's processor doesn't support a critical feature (PopCnt)". In fact, the PopCnt requirement is listed at the very top of the requirements list.

Bob Pony then attempted to circumvent the requirement by using the command line and ignoring the requirement. The result was that the Windows 11 setup was completed, but the system would not boot. It appears that the PopCnt Instruction is now a critical requirement, needed as a vital feature to run basic functions on Windows 11.

This is the first time in the history of Windows that a major requirement cannot be bypassed or worked around. Perhaps someone will eventually figure out a method to do this, but for now, PopCnt remains a vital feature for Windows 11.

The good news is, as we mentioned earlier, very few people will be affected by this update. It will likely only affect those still trying to keep their retro PCs and systems up to date as a hobby. Any system built in the last 14 years is safe.

You can check if your system meets the minimum requirements for the latest version of Windows 11 and the latest AI-powered tool they've added.

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