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Pentium 4 and Windows 8 compatibility


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#31 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 20:12

He's looking for help and all you guys do is come in here and tell him to upgrade, or bash him for no other reason other than to satisfy your own supremacy. None of you ever give thought to maybe he has low income. I would tell him to just use XP, for Windows. But then you guys would come in and bash about a great and not even unsupported (yet) OS.

He's trying to run Windows 8 on hardware that isn't supported. His graphics card doesn't even have a Win7 driver and his processor is lacking the hardware extensions required. More importantly, you focused on the negative and ignored the fact that many people politely and succinctly tried to help him with his problem. He also didn't help the situation by blaming Microsoft and ignoring the helpful posts made by users; people get a much better response when they are polite and courteous.

PS - It's not helpful that on the Microsoft website it lists the minimum specs by CPU speed, which his computer actually met. It would be better if they clearly listed which processors are and are not supported. I can understand the confusion.


#32 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 20:29

c'mon MS you jacked up the requirements too much I heard it doesnt even have aero anymore and they go and make the requirement too high I mean tablets haven't even broke the 2ghz mark yet so I don't see how there will be any win 8 tablets

sorry just a rant but this is such a fail on microsofts part


uh. 2001 called. It wants it hardware back.

#33 Dot Matrix

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 20:35

Old hardware is old for a reason. You couldn't even run an up to date Linux distro on that thing. OP, were you just toying around to see what you can do, or were you trying to accomplish a specific task?

#34 PGHammer

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 20:42

fx5500 - you mean NVIDIA FX 5500? Like that really old thing that is older than history itself? Is that thing even supported on Windows 7?


While some P4s (Prescott) are x64-compatible and support both PAE and NX, Northwood-C and earlier are x32-only and, at best, support PAE (but not NX). They support up to Windows 7 (and should, in fact, run the Consumer Preview), the Release Preview, apparently, has taller requirements than the CP did.

I would advise against the RP (or the RTM) for quite another reason, however - the high cost of DDR. (An otherwise-qualifying PC that only takes DDR2 would also be advised against for similar reasons.) The issue is not that Windows 8 (any version) is bloated - so far, I've found it more multi-application friendly than Windows 7 - but that both DDR and DDR2 are seriously pricey compared to DDR3.

#35 PGHammer

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:01

Old hardware is old for a reason. You couldn't even run an up to date Linux distro on that thing. OP, were you just toying around to see what you can do, or were you trying to accomplish a specific task?


Wrong - P4s (even the Original Northwood) run even modern distributions of any FOSS quite handily - that is, in fact, their greatest benefit.

In fact, on such hardware, Linux is of more practical use than even Windows XP.

#36 Bonfire

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:03

Your processor doesn't support:
Physical Address Extension (PAE), No Execute Bit (NX), Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2)...


Just a correction but PAE was in the Pentium Pro back in 1995 and SSE2 was introduced with the Pentium 4.

I believe that some of the later Pentium 4s also had NX support.

#37 rfirth

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:08

Just a correction but PAE was in the Pentium Pro back in 1995 and SSE2 was introduced with the Pentium 4.

I believe that some of the later Pentium 4s also had NX support.


Correct. I just listed all the possible advanced features that a processor might be missing that would make it incompatible with Windows 8.

The processor in question doesn't support NX. I looked up the spec sheet after posting.

#38 Dot Matrix

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:17

Wrong - P4s (even the Original Northwood) run even modern distributions of any FOSS quite handily - that is, in fact, their greatest benefit.

In fact, on such hardware, Linux is of more practical use than even Windows XP.


Then why is Ubuntu so slow on my old hardware? It chokes on my old AMD Athlon XP.

#39 statm1

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:36

I am trying to get windows 8 release preview installed on an old rig which is a p4 2.66 ghz 1gb ram 200gb hdd and geforce fx5500 video. however windows 8 setup (small program you download from ms) says the processor is not compatible with windows 8. Did they jack up the requirements further than whats on their site or what is happening here?


Coming from someone who has a P4 and did want to put the RP on it. There are some P4's that would work just fine with the RP and RTM despite what everyone here says. While MS was deciding on whether to enforce having the NX bit (No execute, many names for it..), they polled the telemetry they had on Windows usage and found that only 0.1% of users would lose the ability to run Windows if they enforced hardware NX support. Up until now Windows has always required NX since around the XP SP2 timeframe, its just that MS added software emulation for NX, even up until the Win8 CP. Since they felt that percentage was low enough they went ahead with it. If you dont know, NX support deals with bringing malware protection to the processor. With some of the new features MS has added to Win8 it utilizes what NX gives to the computer.

There is nothing you can do about getting the RP to work with your existing processor but there are newer P4s that came out in 2004, 2005, and 2006 that do have NX support and they are cheap, under $20, if you don't mind refurbished versions. Depending on your chipset on your motherboard and the version of BIOS you have. If your chipset/BIOS supports the 2006 chips then there are some that are still completely new P4s that you can buy, but they are more expensive around $40-$50. You wouldn't need to buy anything else to make that newer P4 work with your computer. The same RAM, video card, etc everything would still work.

Also despite what others have said here your FX5500 would be fine as you have probably noticed with the CP. Even though the last driver that was released for it was right when Windows Vista RTMed. If you don't have a board that supports PCI Express there are some newer GPUs that are PCI just like your 5500 and are still supported by drivers and probably will be for while longer. The Geforce 9400GT, its not really expensive compared to GPUs today and it would be a big upgrade from your 5500. I personally also upgraded from a FX5200 to this 9400GT.

Hope any of that helps!

#40 Javik

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:42

A Pentium 4 is not to slow to run Windows 7, it just seems for some reason that Microsoft have set it to refuse to install on processors without support for hardware Nx despite the fact that the OS is fully capable of running on them.

#41 +Brandon Live

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:44

To be fair it could probably handle most daily tasks fine, Office 2010 would run perfectly on it. A P4 2.66 is not amazing compared to what we have today, however for a general Office / Internet PC i dont see anything wrong with it. Heck add a new ish cheap-o graphics card it could play blu-ray's fine.


It's not a question of performance. CPUs which don't support the required instruction set would be unstable.

#42 +Brandon Live

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:45

A Pentium 4 is not to slow to run Windows 7, it just seems for some reason that Microsoft have set it to refuse to install on processors without support for hardware Nx despite the fact that the OS is fully capable of running on them.


No it is not. And it's actually more about SSE2 than NX.

#43 ACTIONpack

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:46

OP go to this link. You can get an Intel i7 2700k, motherboard and memory for about $400. Just need to get a new graphic card and you are set. A good graphic card is about $150. So your looking at $550.

http://www.pricewatc...memory/i7-2700k

#44 Javik

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:48

No it is not.


Strange because Windows 7 and most Linux distributions run just fine on those CPU's and with reasonable support for playing back most HD formats. What exactly is so technically different in Windows 8 that would prevent it running properly despite supposedly being leaner and faster?

#45 +Brandon Live

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 21:59

Strange because Windows 7 and most Linux distributions run just fine on those CPU's and with reasonable support for playing back most HD formats. What exactly is so technically different in Windows 8 that would prevent it running properly despite supposedly being leaner and faster?


Code compiled with VS 2010 or later emits SSE2 instructions, as does the CLR in Windows 8. For example, if you installed the CP on a machine without SSE2, and went to Computer Management, the system would crash. Thus the hard block was added for these ancient CPUs.