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Your old gaming PC might not run the next Windows 11 update

AMD FX and Intel Core 2 CPUs won't be able to boot Windows 11 after updating to the latest build, as it requires a processor with SSE4.2.

Windows 11 is no longer compatible with AMD FX and Intel Core 2 CPUs

The latest Microsoft Windows 11 update will stop your operating system booting on a number of older CPUs, made by both Intel and AMD, with the software maker reducing the number of officially supported processors. The latest list of hardware that can run the OS contains no AMD CPUs from before the Ryzen age, and no Intel Core 2-era processors either.

On the plus side, that means you’ll be able to run the latest Microsoft Windows 11 update fine if you have one of the current best gaming CPUs from either Intel or AMD. If you have an old machine working in the background somewhere, though, or if you’ve given your old AMD FX rig to someone in your family, then you won’t be able to run the latest Windows 11 24H2 update on it.

According to online Windows expert TheBobPony, Windows 11 build 26080 requires a CPU equipped with SSE4.2 instructions in order to run the OS. If your CPU doesn’t meet this requirement, the system automatically reboots once it gets to the Windows boot screen, as detailed in this post.

This is also backed up by the Windows Registry, which has a BlockedBYSSE4.2 entry to stop the OS running on CPUs without these instructions. Interestingly, this entry was in the previous 26063 build too, but TheBobPony says it was still possible to run this build on older CPUs, as long as they had the POPCNT instruction.

SSE4.2 was first introduced with Intel’s Nehalem CPUs at the end of 2008, which were the first processors to use the Core i7 branding. The instruction set is also supported by all of AMD’s CPUs based on the Zen architecture, including all Ryzen desktop CPUs and some of the later Athlon-branded chips as well.

If you check the latest list of supported Intel CPUs, which was last updated in March, you’ll find a number of Core i-series CPUs, as well as Atom, Pentium, Celeron, and Xeon chips, but there isn’t a single Core 2 chip listed. Likewise, there are no AMD FX or Phenom CPUs on the list of supported AMD CPUs.

Build 26080 of Windows 11 24H2 isn’t a standard update yet, and is only available as part of the Windows Insider scheme, so you don’t need to worry just yet. However, it looks as though the final version of Windows 11 24H2 isn’t going to run on your old Core 2 Quad Q6600.

If you’re in the market for a new CPU, make sure you read our Ryzen 7800X3D review, where we benchmark AMD’s latest gaming CPU, as well as our Core i5 14600K review, where we run Intel’s current mid-range processor through its paces.