Windows 11, why not support 4+ year old CPUs?

Windows 11, why not support 4+ year old CPUs

Windows 11 was officially released on October 5, 2021, but many people will be disappointed that only AMD Ryzen ZEN+ (2000 series), or Intel 8th generation or newer processors will be actively supported. Not to say you cannot do a clean install of Windows 11 from USB on older hardware, but Microsoft is unlikely to provide updates for people running Ryzen 1000 or Intel 7th generation CPUs.

These CPU compatibility recommendations confuse me as Microsoft’s official system requirements for Windows 11 is 1Ghz+ 64-bit dual-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB, or larger storage, DX12 compatible graphics, and a 720p display, in addition to UEFI secure boot and TPM (trusted platform module) 2.0.

Windows 11 minimum specifications

All AMD and Intel Core CPUs made in the past 10 years exceed this specification, the only issue I see is that motherboards that support older processors may not support TPM 2.0. In my case, my Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard does support secure boot and TPM 2.0, yet my Ryzen 1800X is not supported despite exceeding the minimum specification by 3.6 times based on the base clock speed.

Anyone with experience with new Windows releases knows that the first few iterations of the operating system have stability and functionality issues, knowing it’s best to wait for six to twelve months before upgrading. I would not recommend installing Windows 11 on unsupported processors IF Microsoft will not allow for security, stability, and functionality updates, as you’ll be stuck with a dodgy build of the OS.

I think this is a mistake on the part of Microsoft, as people are not upgrading to newer hardware as frequently as they used to because CPU improvements have been incremental, giving minimal improvements in performance over several generations. My 4 ½ year old Ryzen 1800X is still more than meeting my needs, even with the latest Adobe updates, I see zero slowdowns or problems.

The question I ask Microsoft is what is in the Ryzen 2700X that is not in my Ryzen 1800X that might cause damage to my system? the Ryzen 2000 series is evolved ZEN architecture with a 2nm die shrink.

However, this has got me thinking, maybe I should upgrade to a Zen 2 based processor, the 3000 series. I can buy a Ryzen 3800X (8 core, 16 thread) for around $320, or a Ryzen 3900X (12 core, 24 thread) for $430. It would be great to be able to upgrade to a Zen 3 (5000 series) processor, but that would require a motherboard upgrade too, my ROG Crosshair VI Hero board only supports up to Zen 2 processors.

I will still not be installing Windows 11 even if I do upgrade to ZEN 2, I use this machine to earn a living so I cannot be taking a risk on an unproven operating system when Windows 10 has been very solid.

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