How to check if a CPU supports the SSE3 instruction set?

Is the following code valid to check if a CPU supports the SSE3 instruction set?

Using the IsProcessorFeaturePresent() function apparently does not work on Windows XP (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724482(v=vs.85).aspx).

bool CheckSSE3()
{
    int CPUInfo[4] = {-1};

    //-- Get number of valid info ids
    __cpuid(CPUInfo, 0);
    int nIds = CPUInfo[0];

    //-- Get info for id "1"
    if (nIds >= 1)
    {
        __cpuid(CPUInfo, 1);
        bool bSSE3NewInstructions = (CPUInfo[2] & 0x1) || false;
        return bSSE3NewInstructions;     
    }

    return false;      
}

Answers


I've created a GitHub repro that will detect CPU and OS support for all the major x86 ISA extensions: https://github.com/Mysticial/FeatureDetector

Here's a shorter version:


First you need to access the CPUID instruction:

#ifdef _WIN32

//  Windows
#define cpuid(info, x)    __cpuidex(info, x, 0)

#else

//  GCC Intrinsics
#include <cpuid.h>
void cpuid(int info[4], int InfoType){
    __cpuid_count(InfoType, 0, info[0], info[1], info[2], info[3]);
}

#endif

Then you can run the following code:

//  Misc.
bool HW_MMX;
bool HW_x64;
bool HW_ABM;      // Advanced Bit Manipulation
bool HW_RDRAND;
bool HW_BMI1;
bool HW_BMI2;
bool HW_ADX;
bool HW_PREFETCHWT1;

//  SIMD: 128-bit
bool HW_SSE;
bool HW_SSE2;
bool HW_SSE3;
bool HW_SSSE3;
bool HW_SSE41;
bool HW_SSE42;
bool HW_SSE4a;
bool HW_AES;
bool HW_SHA;

//  SIMD: 256-bit
bool HW_AVX;
bool HW_XOP;
bool HW_FMA3;
bool HW_FMA4;
bool HW_AVX2;

//  SIMD: 512-bit
bool HW_AVX512F;    //  AVX512 Foundation
bool HW_AVX512CD;   //  AVX512 Conflict Detection
bool HW_AVX512PF;   //  AVX512 Prefetch
bool HW_AVX512ER;   //  AVX512 Exponential + Reciprocal
bool HW_AVX512VL;   //  AVX512 Vector Length Extensions
bool HW_AVX512BW;   //  AVX512 Byte + Word
bool HW_AVX512DQ;   //  AVX512 Doubleword + Quadword
bool HW_AVX512IFMA; //  AVX512 Integer 52-bit Fused Multiply-Add
bool HW_AVX512VBMI; //  AVX512 Vector Byte Manipulation Instructions

int info[4];
cpuid(info, 0);
int nIds = info[0];

cpuid(info, 0x80000000);
unsigned nExIds = info[0];

//  Detect Features
if (nIds >= 0x00000001){
    cpuid(info,0x00000001);
    HW_MMX    = (info[3] & ((int)1 << 23)) != 0;
    HW_SSE    = (info[3] & ((int)1 << 25)) != 0;
    HW_SSE2   = (info[3] & ((int)1 << 26)) != 0;
    HW_SSE3   = (info[2] & ((int)1 <<  0)) != 0;

    HW_SSSE3  = (info[2] & ((int)1 <<  9)) != 0;
    HW_SSE41  = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 19)) != 0;
    HW_SSE42  = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 20)) != 0;
    HW_AES    = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 25)) != 0;

    HW_AVX    = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 28)) != 0;
    HW_FMA3   = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 12)) != 0;

    HW_RDRAND = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 30)) != 0;
}
if (nIds >= 0x00000007){
    cpuid(info,0x00000007);
    HW_AVX2   = (info[1] & ((int)1 <<  5)) != 0;

    HW_BMI1        = (info[1] & ((int)1 <<  3)) != 0;
    HW_BMI2        = (info[1] & ((int)1 <<  8)) != 0;
    HW_ADX         = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 19)) != 0;
    HW_SHA         = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 29)) != 0;
    HW_PREFETCHWT1 = (info[2] & ((int)1 <<  0)) != 0;

    HW_AVX512F     = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 16)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512CD    = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 28)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512PF    = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 26)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512ER    = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 27)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512VL    = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 31)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512BW    = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 30)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512DQ    = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 17)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512IFMA  = (info[1] & ((int)1 << 21)) != 0;
    HW_AVX512VBMI  = (info[2] & ((int)1 <<  1)) != 0;
}
if (nExIds >= 0x80000001){
    cpuid(info,0x80000001);
    HW_x64   = (info[3] & ((int)1 << 29)) != 0;
    HW_ABM   = (info[2] & ((int)1 <<  5)) != 0;
    HW_SSE4a = (info[2] & ((int)1 <<  6)) != 0;
    HW_FMA4  = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 16)) != 0;
    HW_XOP   = (info[2] & ((int)1 << 11)) != 0;
}

Note that this only detects whether the CPU supports the instructions. To actually run them, you also need to have operating system support.

Specifically, operating system support is required for:

  • x64 instructions. (You need a 64-bit OS.)
  • Instructions that use the (AVX) 256-bit ymm registers. See Andy Lutomirski's answer for how to detect this.
  • Instructions that use the (AVX512) 512-bit zmm and mask registers. Detecting OS support for AVX512 is the same as with AVX, but using the flag 0xe6 instead of 0x6.

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