Soon, devices running Chrome with x86 processors that do not support SSE3 will no longer be able to run that browser. In a document made public in September 2020, Google suggested that Chrome will actually require SSE3 in the future, and that all platforms running the x86 architecture without that SSE instruction set will crash Chrome and will not be able to install Chrome not the future.
SSE3, also known as Streaming SIMD Extension 3 (also known as Prescott New Instructions if you are Intel), is a set of SSE instructions for theIA-32 (x86) architecture. This new SSE3 system was introduced in early 2004 – if your device was launched in 2005 or later, there is a good chance that you can still run Chrome without any problems.
If you are running Linux, you will specifically need an Intel Pentium 4 or later processor that is SSE3 compliant once this update is solidified. The same applies to the Chrome browser on Windows. For now, the set of requirements for Mac computers includes ONE item: OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later. Your older orange iMac may not be successful.
If you’re running Chrome on Android, you’ll need Android Lollipop 5.0 – but that’s not a new requirement. This has been the most basic requirement for some time.
How will I know?
If you have a computer that you think might be too old to run Chrome in the near future, go ahead and try using your Chrome browser now. Most likely, if you are within the small batch of users who do not have the proper requirements, you will see a “warning bar that can be dismissed” as well as a permanent warning on your Settings / Help page. If you don’t see a warning anywhere when opening a Chrome browser now, chances are you don’t need a new computer just to use Chrome.
This is just the latest wave of requirements in this field. The last time Google implemented such a significant change in requirements was in 2014, when the company started demanding SSE2 to run Chrome.