Windows 11 will soon no longer boot on PCs that are too old to boot it anyway

What you need to know

  • The next version of Windows 11 will now require the POPCNT CPU instruction.
  • This means super old PCs that were already unsupported by Windows 11 will no longer be able to boot the OS.
  • This change doesn’t affect “modern” unsupported PCs released in the last 15 years.

PCs with very old CPUs are going to be in for a rough time this fall when the next version of Windows 11 rolls around, as version 24H2 will be the first to no longer boot on CPUs without the POPCNT (population count) instruction.  This means PCs that are over 15 years old and couldn’t officially run Windows 11 before now definitely won’t be able to.

Specifically, the next version of Windows 11 now requires a CPU instruction called POPCNT (population count,) which became standard on CPUs in the mid-2000’s with AMD’s Barcelona architecture, followed by Intel’s first gen Core i series CPUs. This means pretty much all PCs in the last 15 years won’t be affected by this change.

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