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Windows 7 on the Intel Alder Lake/Z690 platform


Carlos S. M.
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Hello, i've been recently messing with a Z690 motherboard and an Intel Alder Lake CPU

Managed to get Windows 7 installed, but it was tricky, decided to try an updated Windows 7 ISO with drivers (USB3, NVMe... etc) slipstreamed and tried out, found out Intel USB3 got updated enough that current driver infs lacked the IDs for the new chipsets and didn't recorgnize it, so i had to install using from another PC with modern Intel AHCI, then carry the drive over the system after the first stage of setup. I ended forcing one of the AMD USB3 drivers with success on the system.

Test machine specifications:
Intel Core i7 12700K
32 GB DDR4 3200
MSI Z690-A PRO DDR4 (Budget Z690 with decent VRM, DDR4 and PS2 port)
GTX 1060 3 GB
120 GB SSD (Kingston SSDNow V300)

What i could get working:

  • SATA/AHCI
  • HDA Audio
  • Most chipset stuff
  • USB3 (After forcing AMD XHCI Driver), although there are issues


What didn't work:

  • Onboard LAN (unsupported Intel controller)
  • IGP (that is expected though)
  • Few unknown devices


Untested:

  • NVMe
     

Known issues:

  • USB stops working after resuming from suspend (at least with AMDXHCI driver)
  • Single thread workloads may not allocatte in the right cores


USB3 setup, first attempt:

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Setup after doing 1st stage setup and moving the SSD to the ADL system:

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After finishing setup:

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End results:
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WEI score:

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Edited by Carlos S. M.
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I know that this is not the best thread and sorry for going kinda off topic but could you please try what would happen with 8.1 I wonder if you could use that? I don’t have anyone who could test this for me. If you don’t want to I understand but it would be nice. Thanks

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1 hour ago, Jaguarek62 said:

I know that this is not the best thread and sorry for going kinda off topic but could you please try what would happen with 8.1 I wonder if you could use that? I don’t have anyone who could test this for me. If you don’t want to I understand but it would be nice. Thanks

Windows 8.1 is in my plans as well, will post results in a different thread on the apropiate category

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I feel scared about how the scheduler works with a heterogenous CPU using SMT clusters. My Ryzen 5 3500u (which is not like that by any means) goes crazy high power in embarassingly parallel games like Football Manager or script-heavy mods such as Europa Barbarorum II for Medieval II Total War.

Edited by Eddie Phizika
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11 hours ago, Eddie Phizika said:

I feel scared about how the scheduler works with a heterogenous CPU using SMT clusters. My Ryzen 5 3500u (which is not like that by any means) goes crazy high power in embarassingly parallel games like Football Manager or script-heavy mods such as Europa Barbarorum II for Medieval II Total War.

I did experience that during heavy ST workloads like Cinebench R20 single thread test, the process seems to hop across cores regardless if is a P-Core, Hyperthread of a P-Core or an E-Core, also noticied that Windows 7 sees the ADL CPU as a dual socket system
 

 

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On 12/8/2021 at 2:24 PM, Carlos S. M. said:

I did experience that during heavy ST workloads like Cinebench R20 single thread test, the process seems to hop across cores regardless if is a P-Core, Hyperthread of a P-Core or an E-Core, also noticied that Windows 7 sees the ADL CPU as a dual socket system
 

 

I'm seeing dramatic improvements in power usage within more and more uptime. Windows 7 can likely improve things up, as long as GPU drivers are available.

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Hello! I have a gigabyte z690 elite ddr4 and get a bsod a5 after installing win7 on the first launch. I tried different builds, everyone has the same. p.s. CSM is enabled and XHCI is disabled.
What else can I try?

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Edited by shsv88
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13 hours ago, shsv88 said:

Hello! I have a gigabyte z690 elite ddr4 and get a bsod a5 after installing win7 on the first launch. I tried different builds, everyone has the same. p.s. CSM is enabled and XHCI is disabled.
What else can I try?

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I don't know much right now and I may be extremely incorrect but if you're getting ACPI compliance BSODs, there is some kernel parameter or setting you boot with to not use ACPI. The fact that you got this already means 7 does not recognize the type of ACPI used in modern motherboards now, so we will have to wait for a modded ACPI.sys for this to work natively. As of now, you can disable ACPI on bootup. I think it was some key you hold in the boot menu of Win7.

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I got an idea for how you might be able to fix the scheduler issues with p-cores e-cores somewhat.

If you can get the default CPU Affinity for explorer.exe to be on only the P-cores, this will have the effect of having all user-launched programs on the P-cores, and some of the "system" or "background" processes will be able to use the E-cores (or user can set specific programs to use E-cores through task manager). Not quite sure exactly how you could get this done, but perhaps making a task scheduler to kill and immediately re-start explorer with P-core-only affinity would work although it might look bad as the taskbar appears and disappears.

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