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Topinio
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EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:00 am

Microsoft has apparently retcon'd out of Windows 7 hardware compatibility several older generations of CPU, sold from 2000-2009 or so. Not sure if this is unreasonable but I kinda feel like it is.

I guess not many consumers are affected, but IMO it's a bit off that requirements which were set in stone in the past are now mutable, and EOL dates are not guaranteed. I knew we were in that situation for Windows 10, that was clearly always so, but to back-port that to Windows 7 when 9Y into its 10.5Y lifecycle? :evil:

Anyway, Windows is now done with, in terms of having a supported and patchable install, on systems with any of the following processors; they were all until now supported for Windows 7 (if running >= 1 GHz and paired with >= 1 GB RAM):

  • AMD Athlon, Athlon XP / MP / XP-M, Duron, Sempron, Geode NX: Orion, Thunderbird, Palomino, Thoroughbred, Barton, Thorton, Morgan, Applebred; 2000-2009
  • Intel Pentium III and Celeron: Coppermine and Tualatin; 2000-2003
  • VIA C3: Ezra and Nehemiah; 2002-2006

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3 ... uters.html

Probably those with the biggest headache are anyone running embedded systems with Windows 7 on Geode NX or C3 Nehemiah boards, and a business requirement to patch.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:04 am

I don't feel it's unreasonable at all. I obviously don't know why they made the decision, but it surely is not for no reason.

It is time to move on.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:06 am

So if you're running Via CPUs it looks like it's time to upgrade to Better than Ezra.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:12 am

chuckula wrote:
So if you're running Via CPUs it looks like it's time to upgrade to Better than Ezra.

Been Desperately Wanting one of those new BtE CPUs for a while now.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:26 am

Considering that two highly popular web browser vendors already have a hard-requirement of SSE2, not to mention countless other seemingly-pedestrian apps... and the performance (or lack thereof) of the aforementioned CPUs in comparison to what you can get in 2009, let alone today (or 2016, if we're being strict)...

I'm not surprised. IMHO CPUs without any SSE2 support are already nigh-unusable given today's workloads, as I can attest to at work.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:08 am

Not surprising at all. Anyone still trying to run Windows 7 on a CPU from that era is a masochist anyhow. Might as well put 'em out of their misery. :lol:
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:09 am

DancinJack wrote:
chuckula wrote:
So if you're running Via CPUs it looks like it's time to upgrade to Better than Ezra.

Been Desperately Wanting one of those new BtE CPUs for a while now.

I want to upvote both of these posts but that's not allowed in the forums. </3

All the same it's a shame that Windows 7 support on these platforms went from Good to Absolutely Still (saw BtE in concert last summer and have spent the last year getting immersed in their discography...this is a game I can play, baby!)
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:14 pm

I know those systems are pretty old now, but silently cutting off security updates on paid/licensed systems which had been running an OS fully-supported for years is bulls***. It'd be one thing if it were a new OS release or if the OS were EOL, but that's not the case.
 
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:44 pm

I bet you this is a security-related thing: those chips being cut off are too old to have the No-Execute bit. Older Pentium 4 chips lacking NX as well; I wonder if those are likewise cut off and just aren't mentioned because so few people are likely to still have them.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:03 pm

Most of those machines are obsolete anyway. Your typical 440BX/i815/i845 chipsets supported a max of 512 MB to 2 GB RAM.

I could maybe understand anger from late-era Athlon owners, but even that's a bit of a stretch. AMD launched Athlon 64 around 2003-2004, and their 64-bit CPUs included SSE2 baseline.

Basically, mainstream CPUs have supported SSE2 for over a decade. While I feel some sympathy for people with old equipment, that stuff is old enough to predate Win7.

If anyone really, really needs something that old, then just isolate it from the internet. You can run any OS unpatched with minimal risk as long as it's offline.
 
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:20 pm

I mean, an Athlon XP wouldn't be *useless* on the modern internet, and it'll run some old video games without trouble. But between being stuck with x86_32 and lacking SSE2, and its high power consumption relative to what it delivers, it's a legacy product. If you must run something modern on it, any number of resource-sipping Linux distributions ought to rumble along on them fine... otherwise, slap on XP, keep them off the internet, and they'll still run old software without a whimper of complaint.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:23 pm

TheRazorsEdge wrote:
Basically, mainstream CPUs have supported SSE2 for over a decade. While I feel some sympathy for people with old equipment, that stuff is old enough to predate Win7.

By nearly a half decade, even.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:36 pm

just brew it! wrote:
TheRazorsEdge wrote:
Basically, mainstream CPUs have supported SSE2 for over a decade. While I feel some sympathy for people with old equipment, that stuff is old enough to predate Win7.

By nearly a half decade, even.


It's true. I was proud as anything to build a zippy Athlon XP 2400+... in 2004. It was a swell piece of kit, but that was 14 years ago. If you're still in love with it - and the motherboard caps haven't blown, and the CPU still runs in a stable way, and you're A-OK with whatever AGP (or PCI...) graphics card you've slapped in there, I wouldn't dream of stopping you. But keep your expectations reasonable. This would be like grousing that the 486 you bought in 1990 didn't run XP in 2004.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:37 pm

just brew it! wrote:
TheRazorsEdge wrote:
Basically, mainstream CPUs have supported SSE2 for over a decade. While I feel some sympathy for people with old equipment, that stuff is old enough to predate Win7.

By nearly a half decade, even.


Even more than that in some cases. The last Pentium IIIs that were released at roughly the same time as the earliest Pentium 4s came out in 2001 when Windows XP was just being launched in late 2001. Windows 7 didn't hit full release until July of 2009, so almost 8 years. On the AMD side they were still releasing Athlon XPs up until 2004, although the first Athlon 64s (that are still supported) were out in 2003.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:16 pm

Concupiscence wrote:
This would be like grousing that the 486 you bought in 1990 didn't run XP in 2004.

Your timeline is quite a ways off, plus a 486 was never able to run XP. Some of the affected systems would have been <4 years old at the time of Win7 release, and were listed as officially supported products. A better example would be my Sandy 2500k (which was 4 years old at the time of W10 release) silently having the rug pulled out from underneath it at some undisclosed later date (during a time when W10 is still being supported), unknowingly putting me at a security risk.

Regardless of what you think about the efficacy of running those systems today, it's the principle of the matter.
 
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:55 pm

I played around with Win7 on my PIII (1575 MHz, 2GB of RAM), back when it was first released. No matter what video card I tried, 2D performance (scrolling, window resizing, video playback) was very slow. Under XP, that machine was (barely) able to software-decode 720p H.264 video files, but couldn't even do 480p under Win7.

I can only imagine how bad it would be now, with all of the Spectre and Meltdown patches in place. :P
 
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:20 pm

The Egg wrote:
Concupiscence wrote:
This would be like grousing that the 486 you bought in 1990 didn't run XP in 2004.

Your timeline is quite a ways off, plus a 486 was never able to run XP. Some of the affected systems would have been <4 years old at the time of Win7 release, and were listed as officially supported products. A better example would be my Sandy 2500k (which was 4 years old at the time of W10 release) silently having the rug pulled out from underneath it at some undisclosed later date (during a time when W10 is still being supported), unknowingly putting me at a security risk.

Regardless of what you think about the efficacy of running those systems today, it's the principle of the matter.


You're right, though at least one lunatic got XP to run on a 486... I understand the principle here: you pay for an operating system to run on a computer meeting the nominal requirements, and then some time before the proper EOL date the providers of the OS abruptly decide that you no longer matter, they aren't going to develop patches to safeguard you any more, that's simply your problem, and too bad. This happened with Valve abruptly terminating non-SSE2 CPU support for the Source engine too, and Athlon XP/MP users suddenly discovering that a patch rolled out to them broke their ability to play something they paid for. Forgive me for being dismissive earlier, because it does suck.

But what do you do? It's not wrong to want utility from PCs that keep chugging along years after bean counters and software developers determine their service life has expired. But over time it's harder and harder to argue in favor of hardware that has almost no remaining real world representation. I'm afraid Athlon XPs are just out of luck here.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:03 pm

Concupiscence wrote:
But what do you do? It's not wrong to want utility from PCs that keep chugging along years after bean counters and software developers determine their service life has expired. But over time it's harder and harder to argue in favor of hardware that has almost no remaining real world representation. I'm afraid Athlon XPs are just out of luck here.

Outside of quasi-embedded applications like manufacturing control systems, it seems to me the most common use case for hardware that old would probably be as a retro gaming box, in which case you're probably running XP or even 98SE on it anyway.

If you're using the system as a low-spec web terminal, any lightweight Linux distro should be capable of filling the OS role adequately. But the user experience is likely going to be degraded regardless of OS, since it is going to struggle to decode/display streaming video and modern interactive web pages smoothly. Edit: Looks like if you're a Chrome fan you're kind of stuck on the Linux side though; Google no longer builds a 32-bit Linux version, so you'll need to use Firefox instead.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:13 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Concupiscence wrote:
But what do you do? It's not wrong to want utility from PCs that keep chugging along years after bean counters and software developers determine their service life has expired. But over time it's harder and harder to argue in favor of hardware that has almost no remaining real world representation. I'm afraid Athlon XPs are just out of luck here.

Outside of quasi-embedded applications like manufacturing control systems, it seems to me the most common use case for hardware that old would probably be as a retro gaming box, in which case you're probably running XP or even 98SE on it anyway.

If you're using the system as a low-spec web terminal, any lightweight Linux distro should be capable of filling the OS role adequately. But the user experience is likely going to be degraded regardless of OS, since it is going to struggle to decode/display streaming video and modern interactive web pages smoothly.


Rules for these old PC use cases apply:
* Legacy gaming PC / old app runner (total beast for DOS games, if you can find a compatible PCI sound card or somehow have a socket A 'board with ISA slots; XP will spin like a top, just keep the system off the open internet unless you want to grow a malware garden)
* Home theater PC (lack of SSE2 + ancient video card selections + most socket A heatsinks & 80mm case fans = probably suboptimal unless you're playing DVD rips and getting a little creative about noise management)
* Web terminal / low overhead general usage (web pages will be pokey, but people doing this may well have lived through dial-up; streaming video will be anathema, but with a later AGP card h264ify could at least help with YouTube)
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:21 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Outside of quasi-embedded applications like manufacturing control systems, it seems to me the most common use case for hardware that old would probably be as a retro gaming box, in which case you're probably running XP or even 98SE on it anyway.

Yeah. I think the only systems this matters for are the semi-embedded ones. What annoys me most is that this wasn't properly communicated ahead of time, it looks unplanned and shambolic.

There will be systems shipped in 2010-2012, or even later, with a Geode NX or C3 inside and Windows 7 ... and while we don't have any and are in the decommissioning window for Windows 7, others might not be and IMO shouldn't have been wrong to have believed Microsoft that they had until January 2020.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:30 pm

The Egg wrote:
A better example would be my Sandy 2500k (which was 4 years old at the time of W10 release) silently having the rug pulled out from underneath it at some undisclosed later date (during a time when W10 is still being supported), unknowingly putting me at a security risk.

Nah. Any Sandy Bridge is only 9 years old at most, not 14+, and in any case, we're currently coasting on a long run of stagnation in what CPUs are and can do that began with, roughly, Sandy Bridge. The idea that you should be able to run a nearly decade-old OS on hardware entering its second decade, with full vendor support, is a very recent conceit in the computing world. And one that is being undone just as quickly by the latest wave of caching and speculative-execution security vulnerabilities.

If you are seriously running a 2004 CPU and trying to connect to the Internet, and genuinely cannot afford $70 to pick up a replacement Clarksdale i3 system from an MS Authorized Refurbisher, go find a computer charity and plead your case; I guarantee they have at least a Wolfdale C2D sitting at the bottom of their "do we really want to deal with this junk?" pile. My employer just donated a dozen EOL hexacore Xeon systems to such an entity a couple months ago.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:05 am

ludi wrote:
The Egg wrote:
A better example would be my Sandy 2500k (which was 4 years old at the time of W10 release) silently having the rug pulled out from underneath it at some undisclosed later date (during a time when W10 is still being supported), unknowingly putting me at a security risk.

Nah. Any Sandy Bridge is only 9 years old at most, not 14+, and in any case, we're currently coasting on a long run of stagnation in what CPUs are and can do that began with, roughly, Sandy Bridge. The idea that you should be able to run a nearly decade-old OS on hardware entering its second decade, with full vendor support, is a very recent conceit in the computing world.

The Egg's example is close to spot on, maybe 6 months out as Sandy Bridge was January 2011 and Windows 10 July 2015, c.f. Windows 7 was July 2009.

If you ignore the Geode NX and C3 Nehemiah as being for embedded markets, these affected CPUs were being sold through 2004 and in systems being sold off into 2005. They would have had Windows XP installed in most cases and an upgrade to more RAM and Windows 7 would not have been unreasonable.

The exact equivalent would be CPUs sold through to 2010, so first-generation Core i on socket 1156 (and mobile equivalent), which would have shipped with Windows 7 and for which an upgrade to Windows 10 would not have been unreasonable.

With Windows 10, though, Microsoft always said this was on the cards (though with weasel words) in a new conditionality for Windows 10 on the Windows Lifecycle page:

Microsoft wrote:
A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (“OEM”) support period.

so we knew it was coming before upgrading Windows 7 -> Windows 10.

We saw this play out last spring, when Windows 10 1703 would not install on systems with Clover Trail CPUs: Microsoft said it had arbitrarily dropped support for these systems and security updates would cease with end of 1607, the machines would be abandonware. Where this is different is that it was not said up front that Windows 7-capable hardware could be dropped before 2020.

The idea that you should be able to run a nearly decade-old OS on hardware entering its second decade, with vendor support, is not a very recent idea at all, come off it: MS-DOS 6.22 was released June 1994 and EOL'd December 2001, minimum CPU spec was the 8088 -- released in June 1979.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:34 am

Topinio wrote:
The Egg's example is close to spot on, maybe 6 months out as Sandy Bridge was January 2011 and Windows 10 July 2015, c.f. Windows 7 was July 2009.

Nah. Sandy Bridge was a brand new product at the time Windows 7 was released, and it was so good that most Intel releases since then have very evolutionary and don't really add a lot of new features to it. The closer example would be slightly older C2D systems that slowed to a crawl when the Specter/Meltdown patches were released. At some point hardware becomes outdated.

If you ignore the Geode NX and C3 Nehemiah as being for embedded markets, these affected CPUs were being sold through 2004 and in systems being sold off into 2005. They would have had Windows XP installed in most cases and an upgrade to more RAM and Windows 7 would not have been unreasonable.

And if someone got another 9 years running that hardware as a Windows 7 system, they definitely got their money's worth.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:41 am

ludi wrote:
Topinio wrote:
The Egg's example is close to spot on, maybe 6 months out as Sandy Bridge was January 2011 and Windows 10 July 2015, c.f. Windows 7 was July 2009.

Nah. Sandy Bridge was a brand new product at the time Windows 7 was released

Wrong. Nonsense. Sandy Bridge did not exist, normal business machines were C2D and consumers were too, or Pentium or Celeron derivatives

At the time Windows 7 was released, the best, newest available CPUs were:

  1. Atom N280 in netbooks
  2. Core 2 Solo SU3500 in low-power laptops
  3. Core 2 Duo T6500 in high-end laptops
  4. Sempron 140, Celeron E1600 at the low end desktop
  5. Phenom II X2 550 BE, Pentium E2220 at low-mid
  6. Core 2 Duo E7600 at mid-range
  7. Core 2 Quad Q8300, Phenom II X4 920 at more money than non-enthusiasts spend
  8. Core i7-920, Phenom II X4 955 in the "gives enthusiast pause to consider putting the money into GPU instead" bracket
and there were a lot of machines out there being sold with older processors in them.

ludi wrote:
and it was so good that most Intel releases since then have very evolutionary and don't really add a lot of new features to it. The closer example would be slightly older C2D systems that slowed to a crawl when the Specter/Meltdown patches were released. At some point hardware becomes outdated.

These C2D CPUs were what was current when Windows 7 was released !

The Celery 450 is only 10 months older than Windows 7.

I don't buy that Microsoft is wrong (on the low side!) to offer 10 years of OS patches, computers get deployed for longer than that all the time. I also don't buy that Microsoft is wrong to support OS upgrades.

And if someone got another 9 years running that hardware as a Windows 7 system, they definitely got their money's worth.

The only point is, if Microsoft published that the system requirements were A, B, and C then that should remain the case. It's not reasonable IMO to publish requirements and then move the goalposts.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:48 am

Uh...in 2009, Nehalem (and later on, Phenom II) was the new hotness. Sandy Bridge wouldn't exist for two years yet.
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:18 pm

Topinio wrote:
ludi wrote:
Topinio wrote:
The Egg's example is close to spot on, maybe 6 months out as Sandy Bridge was January 2011 and Windows 10 July 2015, c.f. Windows 7 was July 2009.

Nah. Sandy Bridge was a brand new product at the time Windows 7 was released

Wrong. Nonsense. Sandy Bridge did not exist, normal business machines were C2D and consumers were too, or Pentium or Celeron derivatives

At the time Windows 7 was released, the best, newest available CPUs were:

  1. Atom N280 in netbooks
  2. Core 2 Solo SU3500 in low-power laptops
  3. Core 2 Duo T6500 in high-end laptops
  4. Sempron 140, Celeron E1600 at the low end desktop
  5. Phenom II X2 550 BE, Pentium E2220 at low-mid
  6. Core 2 Duo E7600 at mid-range
  7. Core 2 Quad Q8300, Phenom II X4 920 at more money than non-enthusiasts spend
  8. Core i7-920, Phenom II X4 955 in the "gives enthusiast pause to consider putting the money into GPU instead" bracket
and there were a lot of machines out there being sold with older processors in them.

ludi wrote:
and it was so good that most Intel releases since then have very evolutionary and don't really add a lot of new features to it. The closer example would be slightly older C2D systems that slowed to a crawl when the Specter/Meltdown patches were released. At some point hardware becomes outdated.

These C2D CPUs were what was current when Windows 7 was released !

The Celery 450 is only 10 months older than Windows 7.

I don't buy that Microsoft is wrong (on the low side!) to offer 10 years of OS patches, computers get deployed for longer than that all the time. I also don't buy that Microsoft is wrong to support OS upgrades.

And if someone got another 9 years running that hardware as a Windows 7 system, they definitely got their money's worth.

The only point is, if Microsoft published that the system requirements were A, B, and C then that should remain the case. It's not reasonable IMO to publish requirements and then move the goalposts.
I'm just about to set up a WIn7 Pro system to run an instrument in my lab. I'm upgrading from Win XP. So, thanks for the list to remind me what will probably work right away from my stable of old PC rigs.

My guess is that MS updated this list on the basis of what was supportable with respect to things already in the Win10 code base as well as anticipated changes to that code base.
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Topinio
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:46 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
I'm just about to set up a WIn7 Pro system to run an instrument in my lab. I'm upgrading from Win XP. So, thanks for the list to remind me what will probably work right away from my stable of old PC rigs.

My guess is that MS updated this list on the basis of what was supportable with respect to things already in the Win10 code base as well as anticipated changes to that code base.

Good luck with that, and glad to be able to help out.

We do a whole bunch of lab IT support at work, so I have all sorts of this kinda stuff filed away in recesses :-?
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Topinio
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:55 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Uh...in 2009, Nehalem (and later on, Phenom II) was the new hotness. Sandy Bridge wouldn't exist for two years yet.

Yeah, and not many could afford the former, sorta-affordable Nehalem came out several months after Windows 7 did.

Because I'm sad, I just went and checked the age of the minimum-spec CPU in the 11 most recent releases of Windows (NT 3.5 and later).

Age at OS release (minimum, average, maximum): 4.2, 7.3, 12,2
Age at OS EOL (minimum, average, maximum): 10.5, 16.6, 22.5

Windows is spec'd to run on old CPUs...
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DancinJack
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:59 pm

Well it's not 1997, or 2001 or 2004 or 2007 or 2013 anymore. Things change. Let's get over it.
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ludi
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Re: EOL: Windows 7 + CPU w/o SSE2

Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:03 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Uh...in 2009, Nehalem (and later on, Phenom II) was the new hotness. Sandy Bridge wouldn't exist for two years yet.

Oh, right you are. Fortunately that reinforces the point, not refutes it. Even as a fictitious example it's a bad comparison of what is happening here, which is that CPU designs predating Win7 (or barely contemporary) are falling out of support about ten years later. It happens.
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