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charlesarthur : microcode   1

Intel's Skylake, Kaby Lake chips have a crash bug with hyperthreading enabled • Ars Technica
Peter Bright:
<p>a firmware fix—if available—is the best option, though again, availability may be spotty. Microsoft's Surface Book, for example, does not appear to have a system firmware that includes the fix. I don't mean to call out Microsoft specifically—I daresay many motherboard firmwares have similarly not been updated in the month and a half since Intel issued its patch—but rather to indicate that even systems that are still supported and do receive regular firmware updates may not have Intel's latest and greatest microcode yet.

On systems without either a firmware fix or updated driver, disabling hyperthreading is believed to be a robust solution. Most users, however, will probably just want to take their chances; the exact sequence of instructions and runtime conditions that cause problems seem to be rare (certainly rarer than Intel's description of the bug, "Short Loops Which Use AH/BH/CH/DH Registers May Cause Unpredictable System Behavior," might otherwise indicate), and, under most circumstances, affected systems appear to be stable anyway. More than 18 months passed before this bug was fixed, after all, and there haven't been too many reports of Skylake machines crashing left and right because of it.

Eying up AMD systems as an alternative might be tempting, but they're susceptible to comparable issues, too, in which certain sequences of instructions under certain system conditions can cause crashes or other misbehavior. The workaround in AMD's case is to disable the micro-op cache. Processors are certainly more reliable than software, but they all have bugs, no matter what chip you choose.</p>


For your info: <a href="http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/hyperthreading-technology-explained/">what's hyperthreading?</a> (This bug also affects Apple machines.)
microcode  intel  hyperthreading 
june 2017 by charlesarthur

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