I am using Intel Core2 Duo which has only SSE 4.1. Is there any VM software that can simulate SSE 4.2 instructions on such a machine? I don't need performance; I just hope some software think it is running on a CPU capable of SSE 4.2, though only SSE 4.1 is provided by hardware. Thank you. PS: I am using Windows 7 64bit.

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    You don't even need a VM, because every invalid opcode will generate a trap for you to decide what to do. You can then simulate the instruction in interrupt software and return to the program. It's very commonly used in the DOS era because at that time the FPU is an optional co-processor which is not always available. AFAIK it's also used by some Hackintosh kext to simulate SSSE3 (which was required by MacOS) on Pentium 4. Intel also have a software for simulating new instructions before releasing them on the next microarchitecture. It can even run AVX512 on a normal PC
    – phuclv
    Jun 18, 2017 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


OK, after searching the internet I knew it is called "emulator". I installed a Windows version of Intel® Software Development Emulator (here), ran in command line sde -- "C:\Program Files\CPUID\CPU-Z\cpuz.exe", and magical things happened:


The CPU doesn't actually have SSE4.2, AES, AVX, AVX2 and FMA3 instructions

  • I checked just now with Autodesk Maya 2017 which uses Arnold as renderer which must run on SSE4.2. I can't afford a better CPU along with motherboard and chassis so that's why I posted this question. Good news is that sde -- "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2017\bin\maya.exe" works fine -- maya successfully launches Arnold renderer, although it runs slowly as expected. So, I saved myself $100 :-) Jun 20, 2017 at 10:30

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