[Exteme Tech] Microsoft Silently Kills Windows 7 Security Updates on Older PCs

Aug 25, 2001
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#2
I didn't exactly get what the title states out of the article.

In fact, it sounded like MS has begun to release patches recently, that REQUIRE SSE2 support on your CPU. Which is also a requirement of x64 systems. So, it stands to reason, that they are no longer going out of their way to code for 32-bit x86 systems lacking in SSE2. Which at this point, are basically the Pentium III, and Athlon XP.

It would actually make more sense, to simply not send those updates to people with those ancient systems, in order to not "break" their systems, but I didn't see any indication in the article that this was the case.
 
May 19, 2011
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#3
While the headline sounded completely plausible, the apparent facts hardly serve up the goods.

Example, the oldest hardware that any of my customers has which is running Windows 7 is a 2004-era Athlon 64 3000+ socket 754. Even that has SSE2. That PC was upgraded from XP to Win7 when XP's EOL came around in 2014.

While I'm a fan of running older PCs for as long as casual users need them, I would have strongly recommended any hypothetical P3 user to replace the kit rather than upgrading from an supported version of Windows in 2014 (I had one user on XP with a P3 at that point, I built them a new PC). We're talking about hardware from an era of boards that probably supported 512-768MB PC133 RAM maximum (let alone a crap board which would have supported even less memory). The idea of web browsing on a Win7 machine with less than 1GB RAM is just absurd, not to mention the fact that even Firefox and Chrome won't even run on a PC without SSE2.

I'd like to see computerworld's evidence of P3 Win7 users. I have one customer I can think of who is running a pre SSE2 Athlon XP and that's on Windows XP.

While I would say that MS ought to support a given version of its OS on the system requirements it originally specified until the support shut-off date with no exceptions, pragmatically speaking I can't really fault them for this. I'd be surprised if there are any P3 users running Win7 with an Internet connection personally, it seems far more likely that they'd be running Windows Me, 2000 or XP. I would far prefer for their patches to utilise modern performance-enhancing instructions and make the most of ageing yet viable hardware running Win7 over a hypothetical scenario that some guy somewhere has has sufficiently invested in hardware that even on Win7's release date would have chugged on Win7 from the word go let alone the utterly improbable idea that they're still running this computer for *something*, picking up Windows Updates, etc. They would also somehow have got through the era of Win7 chewing up tonnes of RAM and CPU without battering their computer in death in frustration as well.
 
Feb 25, 2004
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#4
While I agree with the point of the article (MS promised security updates until 2020, not security updates unless it was to hard) this probably won't effect many users at all. MS has foisted a lot of abuse on Windows 7 (and 8.1) holdouts recently and this barely registers on the scale.

I actually picked up a P4 motherboard and CPU last year in a dumpster-find case. I removed the motherboard and finally decided to just throw it in the trash since I couldn't imagine a scenario where anyone would even be willing to pay me shipping for it. I certainly didn't want the thing.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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#5
a 2GHz AXP with 2GB of ram is a more realistic PC that is not absurdly slow for everything and could be affected by this


but yes, at this point the amount of PCs running updated windows 7 and lacking SSE2 must be really small.
 
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NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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#6
a 2GHz AXP with 2GB of ram is a more realistic PC that is not absurdly slow for everything and could be affected by this
No, it's still absurdly slow. Even web browsing would be a painful experience on that.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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#7
No, it's still absurdly slow. Even web browsing would be a painful experience on that.
have you tested one recently?
I haven't, but, I have a Pentium 4 2.4 with OC to 3GHz from 2002 (single channel DDR and all), and while it's very slow, I can browse websites on Chrome kind of OK enough, and even play 360P youtube videos at normal speed!

think the AXP could kind of keep up with that, certainly a slow machine, but it can load webpages and run videos (youtube runs at 720P30 full speed using VLC, web broswer is way worse with just 360P)

I'm sure someone would feel Ok running one of these for emails, MS office and reading news.


obviously when dealing with such ancient tech my expectations are different, I'm not claiming it's good, but if you want it can be used, biggest barrier is having enough ram and storage that is not extremely slow at some point.
 
May 19, 2011
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#8
Yup, it's all about personal standards. For example, since I bought a 1080p monitor for myself I would feel like buying a smaller monitor to eventually replace it with would be inhibitive. However I still have customers using 1024x768. The only "too slow" experience that I consider to be universally acknowledged is the way a computer chugs when it blatantly doesn't have enough RAM (ie. it noticeably inhibits cold start speed or any amount of web browsing / other basic activity); I've never had a customer say "it's fine for me" or "I thought that's how it was supposed to perform"... no. Always "this computer is bloody slow".
 

Spjut

Senior member
Apr 9, 2011
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#9
have you tested one recently?
I haven't, but, I have a Pentium 4 2.4 with OC to 3GHz from 2002 (single channel DDR and all), and while it's very slow, I can browse websites on Chrome kind of OK enough, and even play 360P youtube videos at normal speed!

think the AXP could kind of keep up with that, certainly a slow machine, but it can load webpages and run videos (youtube runs at 720P30 full speed using VLC, web broswer is way worse with just 360P)

I'm sure someone would feel Ok running one of these for emails, MS office and reading news.


obviously when dealing with such ancient tech my expectations are different, I'm not claiming it's good, but if you want it can be used, biggest barrier is having enough ram and storage that is not extremely slow at some point.
A GPU that supports hardware acceleration for browser and video, which should be every DX10 card, will also do alot to bring such old PCs up to speed.

My own worst case scenario I've done just for fun is an old laptop with Celeron M 370 and GMA 900 (I think), 1 or 2GB RAM. It's running Lubuntu, and it does work for the most basic browsing, even 360p youtube when I tested it.
 
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