Chrome will soon lose support for some ancient CPUs

midian182

Posts: 6,798   +61
Staff member
In a nutshell: If you’re one of the few people still using a PC with an x86 processor more than 15 years old, here’s another reason to upgrade: the devices will not work with future Chrome releases, starting with version 89 of the world’s most popular browser.

The Chromium development team announced that CPUs older than the Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD Athlon 64 would not work with Chrome 89 and future versions as they do not meet the new minimum instruction set requirement of SSE3 (Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extensions 3) support.

So, if you are still sporting an Intel Atom or Celeron M CPU, you’ll soon be counting Chrome as one of the many programs that are incompatible with your potato-like rig. The devices will no longer attempt to install the browser, while running it will result in the software crashing.

It’s noted that the change only affects Windows as Chrome OS, Android and, Mac already require SSE3 support.

Anyone still using one of the affected devices will start seeing warnings (below) in Chrome 87 about the upcoming end of support.

Google says that only a tiny number of users will be impacted negatively by the change; very few people outside of niche retro communities still use pre-2005 PC hardware. And if you do happen to love your old computer, Mozilla and Firefox remain viable browser alternatives that don’t require SSE3.

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DZillaXx

Posts: 268   +391
If you have such a machine and running chrome on it, there are better options for you. That being said if you have such a rig you probably have XP or something on it that is nearly just as old, so chrome was already out of the question. Or you are running linux or unix for a specific task, like the many Atom Based firewall appliances out there.
 

Freddie159

Posts: 85   +49
So WHY don't they just recognize that it won't work and not upgrade to a non working version. If you are using one of those old cpu's you probably don't care about the security in your browser that much, or all the new blingy add-ons either.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 439   +629
So, if you are still sporting an Intel Atom or Celeron M CPU, you’ll soon be counting Chrome as one of the many programs that are incompatible with your potato-like rig.
Fyi Intel Atom processors were first sold well after 2005 and the line is still being developed today, so that’s probably not a processor that should be mentioned here. As a real world example, it’s the processor that’s installed in all the newest Teslas (upgraded from the Nvidia Tegra 3) which do run Chromium for their browser.
 
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Irata

Posts: 1,454   +2,344
Oddly, it seems all Atom generations do support SSSE3, so they should „work“ with Chrome.

That said, the older Atom CPU were POS - had one myself. Not sure about the current gen.
 

Gezzer

Posts: 135   +73
I have no problem with future versions of Chrome requiring SSE3. What I do have a problem with is if Google force updates to the version requiring SSE3 and then it refuses to work on the non-SSE3 systems. It's child's play to freeze the update cycle at a certain release and other then potential security issues won't effect the few that would have to use the depreciated browser to any great extent.