Windows 7 XP Mode Hates Intel CPUs?

According to a recent blog post on the ZDNet blog the highly anticipated \”XP Mode\” feature of Windows 7 will not be supported on many of the Intel based CPUs that the OS is being marketed for.

Now a lot of you will remember the whole \”Vista Compatible\” stickers all over PCs when Vista first hit the market. Even more of you will remember the catastrophe when countless graphics cards weren\’t supported by those very same computers. It seems that Microsoft has dropped the ball once again with this whole \”XP Mode\” thing.

The Problem

In order for \”XP Mode\” to run correctly Windows 7 has to create a virtual machine to host the XP computer. Now due to the way that Intel continuously integrates and removes Virtualization technology in its processors there are a multitude of processors that will not be able to use the \”XP Mode.\” Now a lot of you may just be thinking, \”well why don\’t people just buy the right processor?\” The things is that you can’t necessarily tell from the model number whether Virtualization support is integrated or not. If you buy a brand-new PC and pick the wrong CPU, Windows Virtual PC won’t be able to host the virtual machine that powers XP Mode.

An Example

Here’s a real-world example provided by the guys at ZDNet. \”Dell’s Vostro 420 is a well-built, no-frills desktop PC designed for the small and medium business market. The screen grab below shows the current lineup of CPUs that you can choose from when you build this system to order at Dell’s website. Four of the six options support Intel VT; I’ve circled the two CPUs that don’t support VT.\”

\”If you stay with the entry-level CPU, XP Mode won’t run on this PC. So you decide to upgrade the E7400 to an E8500 for $90. Problem solved! Although both are members of the Core 2 Duo family, the E8500 supports Intel VT, whereas the E7400 doesn’t.

But then you realize that for a measly $40 more you can go from a dual-core processor to the Core 2 Quad Q8200. Great idea! Unless you want to use any of those four CPU cores to run Windows Virtual PC, that is. The Q8200, you see, lacks VT support. For that, you need the Q9400, Q9550, or Q9650.\”

As you can see this causes a major monetary problem for the end user as well as a huge convience problem for the average user that just wants to buy a computer and have the ability to use XP Mode without having to do a bunch of research.

The Solution

Thankfully Ed Bott of ZDNet has compiled a quick list to help you decide if your CPU will be able to use XP Mode and so I\’ll pass along the knowledge.

Desktop CPUS

Core 2 Duo
E4300/4400/4500/4600/4700 NO
E6300/6320/6400/6420/6540/6550 YES
E6600/6700/6750/6850 YES
E7200/7300/7400/7500 NO
E8190 NO
E8200/8300/8400/8500/8600 YES
Core 2 Extreme
QX6700/6800/6850 YES
QX9650/9770/9775 YES
X6800 YES
Core 2 Quad
Q6600/6700 YES
Q8200/8200S/8300/8400/8400S NO
Q9300/9400/9400S YES
Q9450/9550/9550S/9650 YES
Core i7/Core i7 Extreme
I7-920/940 YES
I7-965 YES
Pentium D/Pentium EE
805/820/830/840 NO
915/925/935/945 NO
920/930/940/950/960 YES
955/965 YES
Pentium for Desktop
E2140/2160/2180/2200/2220 NO
E5200/5300/5400 NO

Mobile CPU products

Core 2 Duo Mobile
L7200/7300/7400/7500 YES
P7350/7450 NO
P7370 YES
P8400/8600/8700/9500/9600 YES
SL9300/9400/9600 YES
SP9300/9400/9600 YES
SU9300/9400/9600 YES
T5200/5250/5270/5300/5450/5470 NO
T5500/5600 YES
T5550/5670/5750/5800/5850/5870/5900 NO
T6400/6570 NO
T7100/7200/7250/7300/7400 YES
T7500/7600/7700/7800 YES
T8100/8300 YES
T9300/9400/9500/9550/9600/9800 YES
U7500/U7600 YES
Core 2 Extreme Mobile
QX9300 YES
X7800/7900 YES
X9000/9100 YES
Core 2 Quad Mobile
Q9000 YES
Q9100 NO
Core 2 Solo
SU3300/3500 YES
U2100/2200 YES
Core Duo
L2300/2400/2500 YES
T2050/2250 NO
T2300/2400/2500/2600/2700 YES
T2300E/2350/2450 NO
U2400/2500 YES
Core Solo
T1300/1400 YES
T1350 NO
U1300/1400/1500 YES

Thanks to Ed for compiling this list. As for me, I\’ll keep my Ubuntu and Windows XP and keep on living life the way it should be, simple.


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