Microsoft's reasoning on CPU compatibility.


Haydon

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Hello to all,
I have a question on the reasons why Microsoft has chosen the CPU cutoff's for compatibility on the Windows 11 installation. I understand the TMP and Secure Boot reasons (I have them both on my i5 CORE 7200U Kaby Lake-U/Y 14mm Technology) but I do not understand their reasons for this part of the cutoff point.
Is this a security reason? Speed? What does the "Generation" part have to do with it?
I have been running Win 11 on my HP ENVY for months now with absolutely nothing visual nor operational wise problems at all. Runs like a champ and a lot better and faster than Win 10 ever did.
I must be at the cutoff point with this early/mid 2017 laptop. Just barely a month or two, that's why I have Secure Boot and TMP on at the BIOS. Always was from the beginning when I bought it.
I am trying to broaden my knowledge on this point and just wondering if anyone could help me with my understanding on them subject.
I can't believe this machine has no problems at all with this CPU, or, at least, I nether find nor notice anything.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Anything incompatible with the almighty $ is labeled 'incompatible'
 

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The-Hive

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That does seem to be an exception to the norm. My unsupported System Two with its 1st gen i5 runs 11 as well as, if not better than it ran 10.
I think I will try it again now with a later build, the last one was a while ago
 

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    Alienware Area 51m R2
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    10th Gen Core i9 10900K
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    Dell Inspiron 3501
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    11th Gen i-7 2.80 gb
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RFS

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In reference to the article you posted, I noticed some time ago a difference between my compliant and non-compliant machines running Win 11. If you go into System Information the following is what you'll see under Virtualization based security:

View attachment 17134View attachment 17135
The top image is from the 10th Gen Processor, the bottom image from the 6th Gen processor where Mode Based Execution Control is emulated rather than done in hardware. According to Microsoft this is one reason the 6th Gen may be less stable. I've not experienced any difference between the machines.

I believe there can be a significant performance issue if Virtualization-based security is emulated in firmware on older PCs, compared to those where it's provided by hardware (ie 8th gen Intel or later). I did some tests with the program here to generate prime numbers -

How fast can your comp find all the Prime numbers from 1 to 1,000,000?

With my 10th generation Intel it made no difference and the result was around 9.3 seconds either way. Tried it on the wife's PC which is a 7-year-old Intel G3450 which she only uses occasionally. I fitted a TPM 2.0 to make it compatible, but there's a big difference with this program depending on whether virtualization is enabled or not.

Disabled it runs in about 35s, but enable it and the result is 3m30s. Perhaps this program is an extreme case, but I think it's the reason MS will not support W11 on non-compliant PCs if there comes a time when Virtualization is required to be enabled.

I have kept an image of my wife's W10 (on a 64 Gb SSD) and I know what a new MB, processor and memory would cost if we decided to upgrade.
 

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    Windows 11 Home
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    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel I3-10100
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    MSI H410M-PRO
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    16 GB
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    930 Mb down / 120 Mb up
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    Microsoft Office 2016 Home and Business
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    Windows 11 Home
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    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel i3-8100
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z370 D3
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    16 Gb
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    Nvidia GT 720
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Bree

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In reference to the article you posted, I noticed some time ago a difference between my compliant and non-compliant machines running Win 11. If you go into System Information the following is what you'll see under Virtualization based security....

....The top image is from the 10th Gen Processor, the bottom image from the 6th Gen processor where Mode Based Execution Control is emulated rather than done in hardware. According to Microsoft this is one reason the 6th Gen may be less stable....
Thank you for this, the performance hit with older processors is possibly one of the more sensible explanations for Microsoft's '8th gen or later' requirement.

But it's not just emulation that may be a problem, VBS also requires compatible drivers. Of the three machines in my specs below running W11, two compliant, one non-compliant, two of them showed this:

1640880172192.png

To find out why, go to Windows Security > Device security > Core isolation details and try turning on Memory Integrity. It will scan for compatible drivers and list those that are not compatible.



Windows Security - VBS incompatible drivers..png


The above is from my non-compliant System Two. As there are no compatible display drivers for its early Intel HD graphics that's the end of the story - no VBS. For my compatible System One (an Acer) the story was different. Its W10 OS had been migrated from an older Toshiba machine then upgraded to W11. Despite my best efforts to purge them a couple of OEM Toshiba drivers had slipped through and were still being loaded, though obviously found no hardware to use and remained inactive. Those, and that same WD SES Device were the culprits that prevented using VBS.

The OEM Toshiba drivers had no way to be uninstalled and required a manual 'search and destroy' to delete them from the system, necessarily done while Windows was offline so that their files were not in use. The WD SES Device was easy to uninstall, it was listed as a hidden device (ie. installed but not present) in Device Manager.

Device Manager - uninstall WD SES Device.png

So now both my compliant machines have VBS running. Thank you wordsworth for bringing this to my attention.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
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    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
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    1TB HDD
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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
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    1366x768
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    500GB HDD
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    Defender
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    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

RFS

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I also had to uninstall the WD drivers in order to be able to enable Core Isolation on both my compliant PCs. Seems they're only needed if you use the WD utilities. But next time you run Windows Update the drivers will re-appear but as optional updates. I have used Windows show/hide to prevent the updates going back on.

Another device I had a problem with is a Logitech Webcam whose drivers are similarly non-compliant. I only use the webcam for Skype and it turns the Windows default drivers for camera and microphone are fine. Once again I had to hide the Logitech drivers to prevent their re-installation as optional updates.

Wife's non-compliant PC also had an issue with the Intel Graphics. But it's a desktop and I had a spare Nvidia card whose drivers are compliant.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel I3-10100
    Motherboard
    MSI H410M-PRO
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GT 1030
    Sound Card
    Motherboard default
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 27 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO 970 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
    Samsung QVO 870 SATA SSD 2 Tb
    PSU
    ATX 450W
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    Logitech
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless
    Internet Speed
    930 Mb down / 120 Mb up
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    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Microsoft Office 2016 Home and Business
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel i3-8100
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z370 D3
    Memory
    16 Gb
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia GT 720
    Sound Card
    Motherboard default
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 27-inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
    Seagate 2 Tb HDD
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    ATX 450W
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    930 Mb down / 120 Mb up
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    Windows Defender

wordsworth

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I believe there can be a significant performance issue if Virtualization-based security is emulated in firmware on older PCs, compared to those where it's provided by hardware (ie 8th gen Intel or later). I did some tests with the program here to generate prime numbers -

How fast can your comp find all the Prime numbers from 1 to 1,000,000?

With my 10th generation Intel it made no difference and the result was around 9.3 seconds either way. Tried it on the wife's PC which is a 7-year-old Intel G3450 which she only uses occasionally. I fitted a TPM 2.0 to make it compatible, but there's a big difference with this program depending on whether virtualization is enabled or not.

Disabled it runs in about 35s, but enable it and the result is 3m30s. Perhaps this program is an extreme case, but I think it's the reason MS will not support W11 on non-compliant PCs if there comes a time when Virtualization is required to be enabled.

I have kept an image of my wife's W10 (on a 64 Gb SSD) and I know what a new MB, processor and memory would cost if we decided to upgrade.
I should have been more specific when I said "I've not experienced any difference between the machines" meaning that I've not experienced any instability on the 6th Gen machine; and two caveats to that would be so far, and I don't game on the machine so perhaps that would introduce instability. Considerable performance differences such as the Prime numbers test you spoke of do exist, see below, and this is with Core isolation>Memory integrity enabled; although not that I notice in everyday use. Stressing the 6th Gen constantly may introduce stability issues but I do use this machine for my music server now with the 10th Gen being my work machine.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro
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    Wordsworth 10000
    CPU
    Core i7 10700K 3.8 GHz
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    Asus ROG Strix Z590-A Gaming Wifi
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    Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB 3200MHz
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    Asus Radeon RX480 Strix 8GB
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    Asus Xonar DSX
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    HP 2709m
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    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro M.2 SSD 500GB; Samsung 980 M.2 SSD 1TB
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    Thermaltake Toughpower Grand Platinum 850W
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    Fractal Design Meshify 2
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    CPU-Noctua NH D15 Chromax, GPU-Stock, Case-Noctua Chromax 3x140
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    HP X500
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  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
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    Wordsworth 6000
    CPU
    Core i7 6700K 4.0 GHz
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    Asus Z170 Pro
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    Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB 3000MHz
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    Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
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    Asus Xonar SE
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wordsworth

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Thank you for this, the performance hit with older processors is possibly one of the more sensible explanations for Microsoft's '8th gen or later' requirement.

But it's not just emulation that may be a problem, VBS also requires compatible drivers. Of the three machines in my specs below running W11, two compliant, one non-compliant, two of them showed this:

View attachment 17218

To find out why, go to Windows Security > Device security > Core isolation details and try turning on Memory Integrity. It will scan for compatible drivers and list those that are not compatible.



View attachment 17219


The above is from my non-compliant System Two. As there are no compatible display drivers for its early Intel HD graphics that's the end of the story - no VBS. For my compatible System One (an Acer) the story was different. Its W10 OS had been migrated from an older Toshiba machine then upgraded to W11. Despite my best efforts to purge them a couple of OEM Toshiba drivers had slipped through and were still being loaded, though obviously found no hardware to use and remained inactive. Those, and that same WD SES Device were the culprits that prevented using VBS.

The OEM Toshiba drivers had no way to be uninstalled and required a manual 'search and destroy' to delete them from the system, necessarily done while Windows was offline so that their files were not in use. The WD SES Device was easy to uninstall, it was listed as a hidden device (ie. installed but not present) in Device Manager.

View attachment 17222

So now both my compliant machines have VBS running. Thank you wordsworth for bringing this to my attention.
I had the same problem on both machines that is getting the incompatible drivers resolved and managed to do so on both though I don't recall now which drivers were the problem except I think on the 6th Gen it was the Nvidia driver which thankfully Asus is still putting out drivers for the 1050 TI card.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Wordsworth 10000
    CPU
    Core i7 10700K 3.8 GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Strix Z590-A Gaming Wifi
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Radeon RX480 Strix 8GB
    Sound Card
    Asus Xonar DSX
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP 2709m
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro M.2 SSD 500GB; Samsung 980 M.2 SSD 1TB
    PSU
    Thermaltake Toughpower Grand Platinum 850W
    Case
    Fractal Design Meshify 2
    Cooling
    CPU-Noctua NH D15 Chromax, GPU-Stock, Case-Noctua Chromax 3x140
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Natural Ergo 4000
    Mouse
    HP X500
    Internet Speed
    Cable
    Browser
    Vivaldi, MS Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes 4.4.3, Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Klipsch Promedia 5.1 THX
    Asus External Blu-Ray 16D1X-USB 3.0
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Wordsworth 6000
    CPU
    Core i7 6700K 4.0 GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus Z170 Pro
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB 3000MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
    Sound Card
    Asus Xonar SE
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP X24ih
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Intel 760p M.2 SSD 500GB; Intel 540 SSD 480GB; Intel 335 SSD 240GB
    PSU
    Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 750W
    Case
    Lian Li PC-B70
    Cooling
    CPU- Noctua NH-D15; GPU-Stock; Case-Noctua Chromax 2x140, 2x120
    Mouse
    Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5050
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    Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5050
    Internet Speed
    Cable
    Browser
    Vivaldi, MS Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes 4.4.3, Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP bd 340
    HP bd 240
    Denon DRA-800H
    Klipsch RP-600M
    Klipsch R-100SW (2)

Dru2

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In reference to the article you posted, I noticed some time ago a difference between my compliant and non-compliant machines running Win 11. If you go into System Information the following is what you'll see under Virtualization based security:

View attachment 17134View attachment 17135
The top image is from the 10th Gen Processor, the bottom image from the 6th Gen processor where Mode Based Execution Control is emulated rather than done in hardware. According to Microsoft this is one reason the 6th Gen may be less stable. I've not experienced any difference between the machines.

Thanks for this info; between this and Bree's post #14, learned something. And yeah, I have some incompatible drivers as well, but they are well needed (for now).

Thanks.
 

My Computers

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.613)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built
    CPU
    Intel i9-9900K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
    Memory
    32G (4x8) DDR4 Corsair RGB Dominator Platinum (3600Mhz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon VII
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    Onboard (ESS Sabre HiFi using Realtek drivers)
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    NEC PA242w (24 inch)
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    1920 x 1200
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    5 Samsung SSD drives: 2X 970 NVME (512 & 1TB), 3X EVO SATA (2X 2TB, 1X 1TB)
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    EVGA Super Nova I000 P2 (1000 watt)
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    Cooler Master H500M
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    Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
    Keyboard
    Logitech Craft
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    Logitech MX Master 2S
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    500mb Download. 11mb Upload
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    Microsoft Edge Chromium
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    System used for gaming, photography, audiophile media center, work.
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro Dev build 22454.1000
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1
    CPU
    Intel i7-7600U
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    16igg
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 620
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14.0 WQHD OLED Touch
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVMe Drive (OEM)
    PSU
    laptop
    Case
    laptop
    Cooling
    Laptop cooling
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    Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
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    Laptop
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    100MB
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    Edge Chromium
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    Windows Security
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