If you’re one of the few whose PC contains an Intel Pentium 4 or an AMD Athlon 64, bad news: you’re about to lose access to Google’s Chrome browser.
As reported by TechRadar, Google is warning that in Google Chrome 89, Google plans to remove support for processors that do not support Streaming SIMD, or SSE3 extensions. (The current version is Chrome 88.) If your PC includes one of these processors and tries to run Chrome, running the browser will crash. Otherwise, Chrome simply won’t install.
Google is betting that the population impacted by this change is small. “Our analysis… indicates that there are a very small number of Windows devices running Chrome with x86 processors that do not support SSE3,” Google said.
The company added that it would give fair warning. “Until we need SSE3, Chrome will notify affected users (with x86 processors that do not support SSE3) that their computers will soon be unsupported. The implementation will use the framework in // chrome/browser/obsolete_system. This will result in a removable warning bar and a permanent warning in the chrome://settings/help page,” Google said in a note. This will appear as part of a warning message like this, below.
Google started requiring SSE2 support in Chrome 35, which was released in May 2014 as part of Chrome’s stable branch. Now it’s SSE3’s turn. According to Wikipedia, SSE was introduced in the “Prescott” revision of the Intel Pentium 4 in 2004, and the “Venice” and “San Diego” revisions of the AMD Athlon 64, released in 2005. This of course means that these the processors are well outside the five-year PC refresh cycle that AMD and Intel preach as a way to sell new, updated processors. If you have such an old system, maybe it’s time to replace your PC?