This page lists the last versions of certain Windows applications that run on a processor without 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). Usually, you would see the following error message (which can also indicate that the application requires other instruction sets, not necessarily SSE2:
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 on 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 also doesn't require older instruction sets such as CMOV, MMX or SSE. Therefore it may or may not work on even older processors such as Intel Pentium II - I don't currently test that.
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 you want to add some, or any link is not working.
|Audacity||2.0.6||For importing/exporting certain formats, you may want to install the LAME (3.99.3) and FFmpeg (2.2.2) libraries.|
|Blender||2.58?||The last version for Windows XP with SSE2 is 2.76b, and the last 32-bit version is 2.80.|
|Contig||1.7||The latest, 1.8, still supports Windows XP with SSE2.|
|Cygwin||Use this archive, the Cygwin Time Machine, or this script to download the last Cygwin packages for Windows XP (regardless of SSE2).|
|Disk Usage||1.5||The latest version (1.61) still supports Windows XP with 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.|
|IDA Pro Freeware||5.0||This is the last 32-bit freeware version.|
|ImageMagick||6.9.0-0||It also includes FFmpeg, so you don't need to download it seperately unless you want a newer version.|
|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, and you can install it manually. The SHA256 hash of jdk-8u152-windows-i586.exe (which includes both the JRE and the JDK) is 9d559f0aad8bf014a3647f231bcabd76512aadd16c2314bca919a461f458b8ce.|
|KeePass 1.x||The latest version (1.40.1) still works, even on Windows XP, despite officially requiring Windows 7 or later.|
|KeePass 2.x||The latest version (2.51.1) 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.|
|Malwarebytes||22.214.171.1243||You can get the required files here.|
|MPC-HC||1.7.9 (safe), 1.7.10 (may be unsafe), 1.7.11 (may be unsafe)|
|Pelles C||8.00||Officially unsupported on Windows XP, but works anyway (including OpenMP). Later versions may still be able to compile for Windows XP.|
|Process Monitor||3.1||Last for Windows XP with SSE2 is 3.2.|
|Processing||3.5.4||This is the last 32-bit version. It officially requires Windows 7 or later, but works on XP anyway.|
|PuTTY||0.69 (last official "mainstream" release) or currently 0.76 (also official, but may be untested)||Since version 0.70, the "mainstream" versions of putty.exe and puttygen.exe (those on the official download page) require SSE2. However, the other executables (pscp.exe etc.) do not. Since then, non-SSE2 executables are available in w32old directories on their server.|
|Python 3.x||3.4.4 or 3.4.10||This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2. The last version in the Python 2.x series (2.7.18) does not require SSE2. The last version for Windows Vista and 7 (regardless of SSE2) available precompiled is 3.8.10. Later releases in the 3.8.x series will still run there, but are only distributed as source code.|
|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.|
|Rufus||2.18||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||1.92?||Last for Windows XP with SSE2 is 2.20. Note: the command line options are different.|
|SketchUp||Not sure, but 8.0.16846 works. There is also 7.1 Pro.||To export to OBJ, use one of these scripts (tested with 8.0.16846). To use, execute
|SML/NJ||110.81||Officially only verified to run on Windows 7 and later, but also works on XP and doesn't require SSE2. Later versions might run on XP with some modifications or by compiling it yourself.|
|Spotify||0.9.11.27?||It installs but I don't know whether it still actually works.|
|Steam||August 2, 2016?||Avoid it if possible. Prefer GOG.com, which lets you download games and run them offline forever.|
|TortoiseGit||126.96.36.199||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 (and use my Opera Mail cipher selector to improve its security), they're much more lightweight!|
|VirtualBox||5.0.40||Virtual PC 2007 (see my Windows page) 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. Various standalone versions of the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler can also be downloaded (without the IDE); of those, the one from Windows SDK v7.1 is the last that can run on Windows XP. Regardless, I prefer Open Watcom if possible. See also Pelles C above.|
|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 fixes that but requires SSE2 to play e.g. MP4 video.|
|WinRAR||6.02||This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2.|
|Wireshark||1.12.13||This is the last version for Windows XP, regardless of SSE2. It requires WinPcap to be installed, which is included. A more basic and lightweight alternative is Microsoft Network Monitor.|
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||258989.6 ms ± 1.1%|
|Firefox 48.0.2||458||270390.5 ms ± 0.6%|
|Internet Explorer 8||33||(incompatible)|
|New Moon SSE 188.8.131.52 without FFmpeg||397||220779.6 ms ± 0.4%|
|New Moon SSE 184.108.40.206 with FFmpeg||400||220779.6 ms ± 0.4%|
|New Moon SSE 28.1.0||421||254581.8 ms ± 0.6%|
|Opera 12.18||309||316713.1 ms ± 0.2%|
|Pale Moon 26.5.0||354||279812.6 ms ± 1.3%|
|SeaMonkey 2.40||430||229372.7 ms ± 0.3%|
|SeaMonkey 2.48||455||254771.6 ms ± 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.
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 220.127.116.11. 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: