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 were tested with 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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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. In later versions, the installer does not launch, but the actual JRE (if distributed as part of an application, e.g. Processing) still works.|
|KeePass 1.x||The latest version (1.37) still works, even on Windows XP, despite officially requiring Windows 7 or later.|
|KeePass 2.x||The latest version (2.41) still works, even on Windows XP, despite officially requiring Windows 7 or later.|
|LibreOffice||18.104.22.168||This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.|
|MPC-HC||1.7.9 (safe), 1.7.10 (may be unsafe), 1.7.11 (may be unsafe)|
|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.|
|PuTTY||0.69||Since version 0.70, putty.exe and puttygen.exe require SSE2. However, the other executables (pscp.exe etc.) do not. I have contacted the PuTTY developers about this; stay tuned.|
|Python 3.x||3.4.4||This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2. Versions 3.4.5 to 3.4.10 should also work, but are only provided as source code. The latest version in the Python 2.x series (2.7.16) 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.|
|Spotify||0.9.11.27?||It installs but I don't know whether it still actually works.|
|TortoiseGit||22.214.171.124||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.|
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 126.96.36.199 without FFmpeg||397||220779.6ms ± 0.4%|
|New Moon SSE 188.8.131.52 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).
Specific details about the browsers follow.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 184.108.40.206. To install it, open the ZIP file. In the folder called 29_0_r0_171, the important files are:
YouTube may be slow on older computers, but there are other options to watch it: