The early days of Windows 11 and its hardware requirements were simply a mess. According to a potential new finding, the upcoming Windows 11 24H2 could be a little simpler: Older PCs simply won’t boot.
And by old PC, we mean old PC. A Twitter user complaints that he discovered a hard shutdown on PCs from the last decade, based on a CPU instruction now required.
The instruction in question is POPCNT, or population count. It is unclear why Microsoft’s Windows requires this instruction.
What we do know, however, is that POPCNT debuted 15 years ago in 2008 as part of the Nehalem architecture, although it also appeared in contemporary AMD processors of the time. In Intel’s Core processors, the instruction was commercialized in the second generation Core chip, known as Sandy Bridge, released in 2011. Intel is shipping its 14th generation Core chips this year. Even if you don’t have the latest hardware, you probably have a PC within reach.
However, if you don’t do this, the implications are simple: depending on the results, it simply won’t start. (We requested comment from Microsoft, but the company did not respond as of press time.) Windows 11 24H2, which apparently won’t be known as Windows 12, is expected to launch this fall.
When Windows 11 launched, the industry faced a series of successive reports on whether or not Windows 11 would work on your hardware. Now the answer might be much clearer. But chances are your PC will definitely work.