Intel instruction set - AVX - exactly what is the benefit to the user?

I’m mystified! Someone please enlighten me!

All I know is that I have a newer PC that has a processor (an Intel 9th Gen i7 from memory in a PC that I purpose built to run Massive X) that supports AVX and an older one that doesn’t and uses an older Intel processor - Intel(R) Core™2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz 2.39 GHz!

So I can run Massive X, Backbone etc. on one quite happily but not on the other. But on the one that can, what is the benefit from a user angle?

I am also having trouble running the KORG Native plugin range (Modwave, Wavestate and Opsix) on the older PC and have contacted KORG support to clarify this as I suspect it’s an AVX thing once again. This is still to be confirmed.

Meantwhile Arturia’s excellent Pigments runs without a glitch on both pcs. My second PC is running Windows 10 Pro (22H2) and my main pc runs the lastest version of Windows 11 if it helps.

AVX is the shortcut for Advanced Vector Extension and it is a set of CPU opcodes (the commands a processor understands) that is used for improving all kinds of calculations that need vector mathematics. Well, this is the simple explanation, it goes deep into floating point arithmetics and precision of operations.

You as a user usually do not get in touch with this at all, unless you start writing programs in a source code that can add such commands. But that is a level of programming a normal user will never see or use.

If an application runs on CPUs with and without AVX extension depends on what the programmer did, while building the program. So if Pigments work on both CPUs they haven’t used the AVX extension. If other applications run on CPUs with AVX support only, than the developer has taken the code for that.

Windows supports AVX since Windows 7 SP1, so all current releases can take advantage of this.

However, it is not just AVX that is part of modern CPUs. There are several other extensions to the standard program code, you can use the utility named HWINFO64 to show you what your specific CPU all knows (Merkmale → Extensions), but as I said, this goes deep into processor technology.


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Thank you for that excellent explanation JuergenP

Kudos to Waves - their Scheps Omni Channel 2 plug in seems to come in two versions (Core and AVX). The versions on both my PCs are slightly different. This is the way it should be when it is done right.