The Next Major Windows 11 Upgrade Features a New Hardware Requirement

By Consultants Review Team Thursday, 25 April 2024

Microsoft's next Windows 11 24H2 upgrade is rumored to include yet another hardware requirement. The new Windows 11 24H2 with build 26080 is based on SSE4.2, or Streaming SIMD Extensions 4.2, a critical component for current processors. It will only boot on CPUs that support the instruction set.

This information comes from Bob Pony on X (formerly known as Twitter), and it follows prior claims in February that CPUs that did not implement the POPCNT instruction were no longer compatible with Windows 11. The new requirement is substantially the same, with the exception that it now requires the complete SSE 4.2 instruction set rather than simply the POPCNT instruction, as was previously needed.

These newly revealed modifications go beyond the previous requirements for installing or upgrading to Windows 11, which included Secure Boot, TPM compatibility, and a Kaby Lake or newer CPU. Notably, POPCNT and SSE 4.2 requirements will be specific to 24H2 and are likely to carry over to following versions of Windows 11.

While this move is likely intended to improve efficiency and ensure compatibility with newer hardware designs, Microsoft has basically made it more difficult for consumers who want to use the latest Windows 11 version.

It is worth noting that Windows 11's hardware compatibility list excludes older CPUs, thus anyone with suitable hardware should be unaffected by the rigorous requirements. However, individuals with outdated hardware and insufficient experience with the hardware check may face difficulties.

With Windows 11 24H2 due to debut later this autumn, AI is likely to be a major priority for Microsoft. With Intel, AMD, and even Qualcomm releasing new CPUs with integrated Neural Processing Units (NPU), Copilot in Windows 11 24H2 should provide much-needed enhancements. We may also expect new gaming features like as "Super Resolution," which uses AI to improve visual quality in games, voice clarity support, a revised energy-saver mode, and a variety of other design updates.

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