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Windows 11 won't support Intel Gen 7 CPUs because of "Reliability" concerns?

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Microsoft's latest attempt to explain why Intel Gen 7 CPUs will not be supported for Windows 11, appears in this 8/27/21 blog post:

Here's a quote from the blog:
"Reliability: Devices that do not meet the minimum system requirements had 52% more kernel mode crashes. Devices that do meet the minimum system requirements had a 99.8% crash free experience."
 VERY creative MS marketing 🙂
 Let's take a closer look at the reliability numbers MS provided.  99.8% crash-free and be restated as 0.2% crashes.  50% more crashes makes it 0.3% crashes..  The "reliable' chips are 99.8% crash-free and the unacceptable ones are 99.7% crash-free.  Intel Gen 7 CPU crash rates are clearly not the real reason for not supporting them.  
 And there's the fact, that MS is fully supporting Windows 10 thru, Oct 14, 2025.  Is Windows 10 projected to be more reliable than Windows 11, on Gen 7 Intel CPUs over the next 4 years?  Highly unlikely.  So why are they doing it?  Probably because there are many large organizations, that have contracts with MS for Windows 10 support services, thru 11/25/2025.  So their hands are tied.  Windows 11 provides an opportunity to renegotiate support service contracts.
 I suspect the most important reason is that, OEMs don't want to update old drivers that will inevitably be found to have security exposures.  And Microsoft does not want to be responsible for those either.  The OEMs would prefer that we buy a new system.  And MS does too, because they get a new Windows license fee from the OEM.  
 IMO, the decision to drop support for Gen 7 CPUs (and AMD's Zen 1 CPUs) is primarily based on profitability, not reliability, or security.
 P.S.  I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T470, with TPM 2.0, 16 GB memory, a 500 GB Samsung SSD and an Intel Gen 7 CPU (i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz - 2.71 GHz).  It was purchased directly from Lenovo on 4/11/2017. The only thing that doesn't match Microsoft's stated minimum requirements is that it uses a Gen 7 CPU.    So far, moving to Windows 11 would not provide any compelling advantages to me.  Most of the visible changes are about a new interface.  For me, those changes are more likely to be disruptive, than helpful.  I suspect my change to Windows 11 will take place when my current laptop dies, or a very significant improvement emerges, that goes beyond cosmetics.

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Awesome breakdown and I appreciate your post. I had not paid much attention since my posts because like the song said, "The wheel is still in spin."

You said: "For me, those changes are more likely to be disruptive, than helpful.  I suspect my change to Windows 11 will take place when my current laptop dies, or a very significant improvement emerges, that goes beyond cosmetics."

I am in the same boat with some of my systems. TBH I bought an i5 Gen 10 Dell 27" 1080p touchscreen AIO new for me in December 2019, their new 2020 model, but I am too used to quad HD touch screens and my i7 systems. My main machine is a top shelf dinosaur. an i7 4770S, 4 cores/8 threads, 3.1GHz - 3.9 GHz turbo. But it maxes out RAM at 16GB which I upgraded to. It has a 32GB NVMe drive that is too much of a pain to upgrade or do all the changes needed to make it a boot drive. I converted it to "Readyboost," replaced the 2 TB HDD with a 1 TB SSD, the machine screams now. And no new machine outdoes it for under $2,500.00 and up.

I want more than one screen but multiple monitors are too big and clunky for me. Here's a pic of my screen taken just a moment ago with my browser top left showing this post, CNN streaming on SlingTV at the lower left, and my mail program using the right half of the screen.


I get more than 5 years out of top of the line systems whether buying new, used locally, or refurbed with Windows 10 Pro updated to SSD and RAM.

I believe my main system will last until 2025 just fine and be as fast as any from a user perspective. But I'll have Windows 11 on the tablet/s and Lynn's Dell 27" AIO to learn Win 11.



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  • 2 months later...

Another reason Microsoft doesn't support older CPUs for Windows 11 is they don't want to put in the effort for driver support of those CPUs.  The OEMs for the CPUs don't want to support Windows 11 CPU drivers because they want you to by new CPUs.  Note with Windows 7 when PC tended to shift from a 32bit OS to 64bit, many peripherals where no longer supported because the OEMs did not want to develop 64bit drivers, nor did Microsoft want to put out the effort.    Microsoft's support for "only select devices that shipped with modern drivers based on Declarative, Componentized, Hardware Support Apps (DCH) design principles" apparently makes life easier for them.  

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FWIW I updated my old Dell Inspiron 7559 with a 6th  Generation Intel Quad Core i7 to Windows 11 with absolutely no difficulty despite it not being on the list of preferred devices.

Frankly, I see little practical difference between Win 10 and Win 11.  I now have two other Dells using it, also, one that runs with a 10th gen i7 and the other with a Ryzen 5.

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1 hour ago, docj said:

FWIW I updated my old Dell Inspiron 7559 with a 6th  Generation Intel Quad Core i7 to Windows 11

Thanks, Docj, for your FWIW.   I am running a Dell INSP-5577, I7, and pondering a Windows 11 update.   Not going to rush to it, but will keep such an upgrade on my 'want-to-do' list.   This kind of information helps greatly.

Edited by Jim & Alice
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Joel, mine is just too old with a Gen 4 i7. https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_xps_desktop/xps-27-2720-aio_reference guide_en-us.pdf

If you look through the specs it is about time. Someone will get four years of use but I'd hesitate to try and get the Quad HD (2k) touchscreen to work in Linux.

I can get an HP 27" AIO for about $1000.00 cheaper than my 2720was new back then, about $1300 with Black Friday deals and an 11th gen i7/16GB/512SSD/2TB HDD/ HDMI in and out/ Quad HD touch screen etc. I am ordering this week or next on Cyber Monday. I'm done with Dell. I can return for refund in January if any issues with the HP Pavilion -do25xt -touch.


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I hadn't used my older laptop in a couple of months but this discussion caused me to boot it back up.  What I discovered was that its Windows Insider copy of Win 11 had expired and I was prompted to immediately update it.  However, it updated to a current Windows Insider build rather than to a released version of Windows 11.  It will be interesting to see if it ever is permitted to update to a stable Windows 11 version. 

During the update process, once again I was warned that this device is not on the list of "approved Win 11 computers" and that issues could occur if I loaded Win 11 on it.  So far, no issues are apparent.

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On 11/15/2021 at 8:45 AM, TXiceman said:

 I am sticking with Windows 10 for now and let a few others be the Guinea Pig.


Ken check your update queue. Win11 showed up there as if it was a normal security update on my laptop so I am playing the delay game while I wait for someone to find a way to permanently block that particular update.

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Hey I have all our computers and tablets now compatible (All are Inter gen 10 and 11 processors) but my old 2720 which I have decided to replace this week or next depending on Cyber Monday sales sheets.

But I have to take Windows 11 with the new HP AIOs I am looking at this week to buy. However all my Apps will be fresh loads and I don't use Kaspersky. I decided to upgrade even more and get a 31" 4K Resolution AIO:


When I called last Friday they offered at least 10% off so that one would be down around $1800 and I can return for a refund up to mid-January. No risk

However there are some issues with 11 that Microsoft is addressing as fast as they can. Here is a good article, albeit a misleading premise that it is going so well, about what the issues and problems are:

"But Windows 11 has been plagued by a range of bugs affecting features like the Taskbar, search and the Start menu

Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that the Microsoft Installer might have problems updating apps, including Kaspersky antivirus.  

"Affected apps might fail to open after an update or repair has been attempted," Microsoft noted. 

The workaround involves uninstalling the affected app and then installing the latest version of the app.

SEE: Windows 11 upgrade: Five questions to ask first

And, as is often the case with new Windows releases, Windows 11 has run into some compatibility problems with Intel hardware drivers. This one, affecting drivers for certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST), causes a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error

"Intel and Microsoft have found incompatibility issues with certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) and Windows 11. Windows 11 devices with the affected Intel SST driver might receive an error with a blue screen," Microsoft noted. 

The issue was widespread and severe enough for Microsoft to stop offering Windows 11 to Windows 10 devices with this Intel driver. 

"To safeguard your upgrade experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on devices with affected Intel SST drivers from being offered Windows 11," Microsoft said."

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-windows-11-rollout-is-going-so-well-were-making-it-available-to-more-pcs/?ftag=TRE-03-10aaa6b&bhid={%24external_id}&mid={%24MESSAGE_ID}&cid={%24contact_id}&eh={%24CF_emailHash}


Edited by RV_
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I have an HP laptop with an 8th gen I5 chipset and it is WIn 11 capable.

I have two laser printers, a Brother HL2170W and an HP laserjet Pro MFP M127 and neither printer is on their manufacturer's sites as having driver support for W11. Both printers have 64bit drivers.

I posted a question on the HP printer User forum and the feedback was that it would probably work.

I do not want to switch to W11, only to find that two perfectly good printers will no longer work - so I am going hold off for now and let the early bugs get fixed, and perhaps find more user experience about the old printer drivers working - or not!


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John, thanks, I hadn't thought about my Brother DCP -7065DN laser printer with auto-feed and flattop scanner. I still have three toner cartridges and one drum unit for it so years of use yet for our small needs. I'll be testing 11 on one of my tablets, likely the i5/128/8GB Surface Pro 7+LTE as I will likely be selling it and keeping the better spec'd i7/256GB/16GB Surface Pro 7. The plain Pro 7 does not have LTE but our Surface Go2's both have LTE and typecovers and are smaller for travel.

Microsoft is forcing the issue. HP told me they are not allowed by Microsoft to sell any computer with Windows 11 downgraded to 10??

I'll have to check and see if my warranty is voided if I load 10 on an 11 computer. Then there may be driver issues as in 10 does not have them or can't use them? I'll see and report back if I find out.


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