Last versions of Windows applications that do not require SSE2

This page lists the last versions of certain Windows applications that do not require a processor with support for SSE2. Examples of such processors are the AMD Athlon XP and Intel Pentium III.

Such applications usually crash suddenly and reproducibly on startup or when you attempt to use functionality that requires SSE2 (Blender and VLC are examples of those). A definitive sign is the following error message:

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc000001d). Click on OK to terminate the application.

Perhaps the biggest reason why later versions of these applications require SSE2 is because Visual Studio 2012 and later automatically compile code for SSE2 processors, so many developers are not even aware of it.

The applications listed here require at least Windows XP with Service Pack 3. Updates for the embedded edition of Windows XP (which can be installed on the regular Windows XP with a registry modification) started requiring SSE2 in August 2018.

The last version of Windows to not require SSE2 is Windows 7. In March 2018, updates for Windows 7 started requiring SSE2.

Note: just because an application doesn't require SSE2 doesn't mean that it doesn't require MMX or SSE. Therefore it may still not work on even older processors.

Please check back later as this page is continuously being updated. In the case of open source applications, unofficial versions sometimes restore support for old systems. Contact me if you are looking for an application that is not on this list or want to add some.

Name Version Notes
Audacity 2.0.6
Blender 2.58?
Contig 1.7 The latest, 1.8, still supports Windows XP with SSE2.
Cygwin Use Cygwin-XP, which is an archive of the last Cygwin packages for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
EMET 4.1 update 1 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
Emscripten SDK 1.12.0 This is the last version for 32-bit Windows, regardless of SSE2.
FLAC 1.2.1
Fraps 3.4.7
Git 2.10.0 Just say no. Use Mercurial or something else if you can. This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
ImageMagick 6.9.0-0
iTunes 12.0.1 Last for Windows XP with SSE2 is 12.1.3.
Java Version 8, update 152 (8u152)? This seems to be the last version that can be installed on Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
KryoFlux DTC 2.20
LLVM3.1
LibreOffice 5.4.7.2 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
Microsoft Office 2010
MPC-HC 1.7.9 (safe), 1.7.10 (may be unsafe), 1.7.11 (may be unsafe)
OpenOffice Latest (4.1.5)
Poedit 1.5.7
Process Explorer 16.02
Process Monitor 3.1 Last for Windows XP with SSE2 is 3.2.
Processing The latest version (3.4) works, even on Windows XP, despite officially requiring Windows 7 or later.
Python 3.x 3.4.4 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2. Versions 3.4.5 to 3.4.9 should also work, but are only provided as source code. The latest version in the Python 2.x series (2.7.15) does not require SSE2.
QEMU 2.7.0 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
QuickTime 7.7.6 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
SDelete 1.61 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.
Sigcheck 2.03
Slack Use SeaMonkey 2.48; see below.
Spotify 0.9.11.27? It installs but I don't know whether it still actually works.
TortoiseGit 1.8.16.0 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2. The last for Vista is 2.4.0, but I don't know whether it requires SSE2. You must install Git first; see above.
TortoiseHg 4.6.1? This seems to be the last 32-bit version.
TortoiseSVN 1.8.12 This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2. The last version for Vista should be 1.9.7, but I don't know whether it requires SSE2.
Thunderbird 45.8.0 Try Opera (below) or Opera Mail, they're much more lightweight!
VirtualBox 5.0.40 Virtual PC is faster, but has fewer features and does not support as many operating systems.
Visual Studio 2010? Later versions can still compile for Windows XP or without SSE2, but require Windows 7 or newer. Regardless, I prefer Open Watcom if possible.
VLC 2.0.8? It has problems related to playback of M4A files which do not appear to be caused by SSE2; 2.1.0 and fixes that but requires SSE2 to play e.g. MP4 video.

Web browsers that don't require SSE2

There is no single best choice; which browser to use depends on your needs and which sites you visit. The following table summarizes the differences.

Browser HTML5test result (higher is better) Kraken result (lower is better)
Firefox 45.9.0 ESR 444 258989.6ms +/- 1.1%
Firefox 48.0.2 458 270390.5ms +/- 0.6%
Internet Explorer 8 33 (incompatible)
New Moon SSE 27.9.4.1 without FFmpeg 397 220779.6ms +/- 0.4%
New Moon SSE 27.9.4.1 with FFmpeg 400 220779.6ms +/- 0.4%
Opera 12.18 309 316713.1ms +/- 0.2%
Pale Moon 26.5.0 354 279812.6ms +/- 1.3%
SeaMonkey 2.40 430 229372.7ms +/- 0.3%
SeaMonkey 2.48 455 254771.6ms +/- 0.3%

All tests were done on an AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1667 MHz).

Note that the Kraken score only measures the speed of JavaScript execution and not page rendering; for example, Opera 12.18 renders pages the fastest (and is therefore the fastest if you don't use JavaScript) despite executing JavaScript slower than most other browsers.

Specific details about the browsers follow.

Opera 12

Opera 12.18 (released in February 2016) is fast, lightweight, customizable, and probably quite secure. It also has a built-in mail, RSS, and IRC client. If you use it, you may want to read my Opera 12 security and privacy guide and other pages about Opera. However, some sites that require JavaScript are not compatible with it. For those sites, I recommend using a Gecko-based browser.

Gecko-based browsers

For better security and performance, install the NoScript extension to disable JavaScript by default. (For better privacy, also install Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere, and an advertisement blocker of your choice.)

New Moon

I started compiling New Moon (an unofficial version of Pale Moon for Windows XP) without SSE2 in November 2017. It is the newest browser without SSE2 and for Windows XP.

Before that, the last version ("Pale Moon SSE") was 26.5.0 from October 2016.

You can get both from my Pale Moon/New Moon for Windows XP page.

SeaMonkey

The last official version of SeaMonkey that does not require SSE2 is 2.40 from March 2016.

There exists an unofficial version 2.48 without SSE2 from May 2017 (more information). To install it, open the installer with e.g. WinRAR and extract the "core" folder from there, or download my zip archive and extract that.

You will first need to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable if you don't already have it.

This is the only browser that Slack works with, but be prepared to wait at least a minute for it to load (or several on a slow processor such as a Celeron).

Firefox

The last regular release without SSE2 is 48.0.2 from August 2016.

The last extended support release without SSE2 is 45.9.0 ESR from April 2017. It is faster and more secure, but supports fewer HTML5 features.

Internet Explorer 8

I don't recommend Internet Explorer except for sites that require it. If possible, you should disable SSL 2.0 and 3.0, enable TLS 1.0, disable JavaScript, disable ActiveX, and disable or uninstall all plug-ins and add-ons.

Adobe Reader

Note: Adobe Reader is a security risk, so only install it if you really need its features (for example to fill out PDF forms). If you just want a lightweight PDF reader, I recommend Sumatra PDF.

First, you must install version 11.0.10. The installer will ask whether you want automatic updates; disable them. After that, you can update it to a later version:

Flash Player

Note: Flash Player is a security risk (especially with Internet Explorer), so only install it if you really need it and configure your browsers to not load Flash content automatically.

The last Flash Player that doesn't require SSE2 is 29.0.0.171. To install it, open the ZIP file. In the folder called 29_0_r0_171, the important files are:


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