Windows 11 CPU
(credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 won’t support your older CPU

It may be time to spend some money.

With Windows 11 set to arrive later this year, users are starting to learn if their current PC build will be able to have the operating system (OS) installed. While many will be able to have the newest version on their computer, there are plenty that will be out of luck.

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According to Microsoft, despite the upgrade being free for most Windows 10 users, the minimum Windows 11 CPU requirements may come as somewhat of a surprise. For Intel-based machines, Windows 11 will support 8th generation and above Intel Core processors as well as various Xeon and Celeron chips.

On the AMD side of the fence, there’s a bit more leeway, but it’s still limited. AMD Ryzen 2000 and newer processors will see full support along with 2nd generation or newer EPYC and Athlon CPUs.

Fully Supported Intel CPU Support

  • Intel 8th Gen (Coffee Lake)
  • Intel 9th Gen (Coffee Lake)
  • Intel 10th Gen (Comet Lake)
  • Intel 10th Gen (Ice Lake) – Mobile
  • Intel 11th Gen (Rocket Lake)
  • Intel 11th Gen (Tiger Lake) – Mobile
  • Intel Xeon Skylake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Cascade Lake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Cooper Lake-SP
  • Intel Xeon Ice Lake-SP
  • Various Intel Pentium Bronze, Silver, and Gold
  • Various Intel Celeron

Fully Supported AMD CPU

  • Various AMD Athlon
  • AMD Ryzen 2000
  • AMD Ryzen 3000
  • AMD Ryzen 4000
  • AMD Ryzen 5000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3000
  • AMD EPYC 2nd Gen
  • AMD EPYC 3rd Gen

What should you do for Windows 11?

So, what does this all mean? First thing’s first, just because it’s not listed as supported by Microsoft, that doesn’t mean you can’t install Windows 11 on it. If you go to install the OS on a CPU not listed by Microsoft, it just may not work as expected. During the installation, you’ll even be greeted by a warning that says it’s not recommended.

Microsoft is calling its CPU support a “soft floor” that will give users a small bit of leniency. So, if you have a four-year-old Intel Core i7-7700K, you should still be able to install it. There are just no promises from the company that it will work the way it should, or how long it will actually work with the CPU.

If you want to know for sure whether your CPU —  and PC as a whole — can handle Windows 11, Microsoft has a simple tool for you to download. If you somehow don’t qualify, it may be time to finally upgrade your machine if you need to have Windows 11 in all its newness.

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Mike Straw
Michael Straw is a gamer who just happens to be an experienced journalist. In his near decade-long career, Mike has covered some of the biggest events in the world from E3 to the NFL Draft. He was once the second-ranked player in the world in NHL 09 on Xbox Live, and is a trained professional wrestler. In addition to being the Hardware Editor of PCI, Mike is also the Managing Editor of Sports Gamers Online.