Some tests are failing on Octave built for Windows 32bit (see bug #58807).
Dmitri proposed to switch to using SSE/SSE2 instructions instead of 387 coprocessor instructions.
On the one hand, doing that seems to solve a lot of the precision issues.
On the other hand, doing that would mean that Octave no longer runs on CPUs without SSE2 instruction set.
To put that into perspective:
The last CPUs not supporting these instructions were e.g. AMD’s Athlon K7 or Intel’s Pentium 3. So most probably all CPUs that have been purchased in the last about 20 years should be supporting SSE2.
Also there is no current Windows version that still runs on CPUs without SSE2:
- Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported by MS since at least 3 years. (Also afaik, Octave no longer runs on Windows XP for different reasons anyway.)
- Windows 7 (also no longer supported, but still with reasonably large market share) with all available updates no longer starts on CPUs without SSE2 instructions (see e.g. the known issues for this update).
- Windows 8 (and newer) require SSE2: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12660/windows-8-system-requirements
All 64bit processors (that Windows supports) provide these instructions and they are used by default in 64bit builds.
Given all of that, would it be ok to raise the minimum hardware requirements for Octave for 32bit Windows?