ASUS Plans Motherboard BIOS Updates to Allow Windows 11 Support for 6th, 7th Gen Processors

In June, Microsoft said it would consider adding support for Windows 11 to 7th Gen Intel and AMD Ryzen 1000-series processors.

On August 27, Microsoft finally released the definitive list of hardware requirements. The same includes support for 10 new Intel 7th Gen Core processors.

This announcement surprised many because the updated CPU listing includes support for a small number of CPUs. These new processors include:

  • Intel Core i5 7640X
  • Intel Core i7 7700k
  • Intel Core i7 7800X
  • Intel Core i7 7820HQ
  • Intel Core i7 7820X
  • Intel Core i7 7900X
  • Intel Core i7 7920X
  • Intel Core i9 7960X
  • Intel Core i9 7960X
  • Intel Core i9 7980XE

Asus tests and validates the BIOS updates for dozens of older motherboards based on the Intel 200 and 100 series chipsets, allowing users to run Windows 11 on systems with unsupported processors of 6th Generation Skylake or 7th Generation Kaby Lake processors, there is still hope.

When Microsoft announced Windows 11, they also announced some pretty strict hardware requirements that tied to the updated user interface that ships with the latest version of Windows.

For example, when configuring the security level, Microsoft requires all Windows 11 devices to include TPM and Secure Boot. Still, it also draws a line with 8th Gen processors or their equivalents, except for a few recently announced cases. 

The requirements look unnecessary for some Windows users who have tested Windows 11 on these unsupported 6th and 7th generation processors. 

Motherboard manufacturer Asus has announced that they are working on extending Windows 11 support to these older processors through a BIOS update via the latest version of Windows. 

Z270 motherboards for 6th and 7th generation processors will now be “compatible with Windows 11 by default without requiring a configuration change in the UEFI BIOS.”

Asus is also testing similar support for its ROG STRIX Z270F GAMING motherboard series. However, it is unclear if these motherboards will add features to the motherboard not found in 6th and 7th generation processors or if UEFI / BIOS changes will address this issue with Windows 11 requirements. 

8th, 6th, or 7th Gen Processors can handle HVCI, or Hypervisor Protected Code Integrity, also known as Memory Integrity.

The 8th gen processors have the feature of HVCI built into the CPU. In contrast, the 6th and 7th gen processors use HVCI in emulation, which means HVCI-enabled parts, including the system, the future Windows child of Android, will run slower on older generation CPUs.

If Asus can meet Microsoft’s HVCI (or other feature) requirements through a firmware update, that could be good news for Asus motherboard users. 

However, if Asus “Cracked” the BIOS to trick Windows 11 into saying that these processors are compatible and they are not, it will be interesting to know what Microsoft has to say.

Unfortunately, users will have to wait for many improvements in the next operating system. The tech giant says it is currently prioritizing software development for Windows 11.   

The improvement in system performance is attributed to a 37% decrease in CPU usage and a 32% reduction in CPU memory usage.


Major Changes

In June, Microsoft made some changes to its latest operating system. The company introduced the following changes to the Home button, Start menu, Settings, keyboard, refresh rate, touch gestures, and window set.