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Old 07-13-2018, 08:19 AM   #1
HannemanThrashKing
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Mint 17.3 with a FX-8350 Black Edition CPU, do I need this update ? : (amd64-microcode (3.20180524.1~ubuntu0.14.04.2+really20130710.1)


amd64-microcode (3.20180524.1~ubuntu0.14.04.2+really20130710.1)

It seems all the information I can find is that the one much more recent updates to that one repairs an issue where one would find themselves unable to boot their Mint 17.x-18.x etc. with some AMD processors. Obviously my processor was not affected, I did not run into booting issues where I can only boot in rescue mode in a terminal screen only.

There seems to be other updates, a long list in the Changelog. But since that is a regression while the troublesome package, for some, hasn't caused me issue, but also seems to contain actual updates to the cpu, I'm uncertain as to if I should install this or not. My motherboard is flashed to its latest available BIOS, from april 2016, before Spectre V1 and V2 (I hear there's V3 too?, in any case the only one I know is a danger to AMD processors is V2, maybe V3. But in that case the previous package giving people some issues should cover that, the one I currently have installed, right? Because the name of the package indicates quite a reversal to a long time ago, when my motherboard was released and not sure, but I don't think FX-8350 octocores existed in early 2013.
 
Old 07-14-2018, 04:32 PM   #2
business_kid
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As I understand it, all this branch prediction stuff was hackable and came back to bite them. Hence Meltdown and Spectre. The short answer was that Meltdown was fixable (at a cost but that Spectre was going to be with us for years. I'm just out of hospital so not the last word on this.

If you're running a JavaScript disabled browser, or not going online, you may not need it. Otherwise you should read the Changeling, what the patch does, and make an informed decision based on your priorities. Bear in mind they may not want to mention Spectre by name to avoid damaging sales.

Just like diesels can't be fast AND clean, I'm sure the big CPU rivals are trying to fix the bugs while slowing down the absolute minimum to steal a march on each other.
 
Old 07-14-2018, 07:11 PM   #3
HannemanThrashKing
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Well, Meltdown is no issue for me, only Spectre V2/V3 pretty much since I got an AMD processor, an equivalent intel processor would have costed 300 more for nothing.

So, no they've released patches and verification tools in Windows. I've done some hardening with Lynis if you know what that is, just some basic hardening, I didn't touch what I didn't understand. It seems like my kernel has many elements added for protection against Spectre V2 too, well the previous one, but surely the one I'm using now also contains the previous stuff.

I expect Intel to know about this and let it go on purpose for a while but not AMD, who these days make most of their money from graphics cards.
 
Old 07-15-2018, 03:25 AM   #4
business_kid
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I think in kernel-4.15.x or some such, Linus, the kernel BDFL, put in some drastic mode of handling Meltdown and Spectre. It did come at a cost. It may have been removed in subsequent versions and I'm not sure if it ever made it to stable. I think it was a reaction until the CPU companies got their act together. You can read the many words on it in LKML archives or 4.15.x ChangeLog.
 
  


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