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If you’re not already aware, Microsoft will only be supporting the latest processors on Windows 10 and not any prior OS.

This means that users may have compatibility issues when trying to downgrade to Windows 7 or 8, if they have a CPU based on the latest revision of Intel or AMD architecture.

This is something to keep an eye on when attempting to downgrade any OS on a new PC as intel won’t be supporting the older operating systems. If you plan to stay on Windows 7 until the end of its support Lifecyle pay close attention to the generation of processor you are buying.

Official Microsoft statement

Shad Larsen, Microsoft's director of Windows business planning, posted this statement “Future silicon platforms including Intel's upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processor family and AMD’s 7th generation processors (e.g. Bristol Ridge) will only be supported on Windows 10, and all future silicon releases will require the latest release of Windows 10.”

How to identify which processors are supported

In general, keep a look out for the number following the processors name. For example, If you are purchasing an i3/i5/i7 check the first numeral of the processor, if this is a “7” then it’s the most recent generation of the processor and Windows 7 won’t be supported but windows 10 will be. An example of this is a i5-7600. If this first numeral is a 6 or below then Windows 7 is supported. For Pentium and Celeron CPUs you’ll have to look up the processor by exact name to determine if it’s Kaby lake or not.

AMD Support for windows 10

AMD are in the same boat as intel in this regard however it is much easier to identify which of their processors will be limited to windows ten as they are clearly denoted by the “ryzen” tag. For example - AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700

Further Reading

For more information on this topic please visit the following pages:

List of zyzen Cpu’s https://www.ocaholic.co.uk/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=4069

List of kaby lake processors: https://www.ocaholic.co.uk/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=4009

More information on what the processors can run: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/02/windows_intel_kaby_lake_amd_zen/