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Old 10-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #1
Nh3xus
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Registered: Jan 2013
Location: France
Distribution: Slackware 14.1 32 bits
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[Haswell] Microcode update management


Hi,

I'm about to receive my brand new laptop and I've a question for people experienced with Intel Haswell processors :

My processor will be a I7 4600M.

I'm planning to built a 3.17 kernel and recompile other packages such as :

mesa
xf86-video-intel

My goal is have the most up-to-date drivers in order for me to use the new Intel PState governors rather than the traditional CPU governors.

That way, I'm hoping to have a better control of the machine's battery life.

Now that my Slackware's configuration in that regard has been described, one more thing remains unanswered :

How should I handle the Intel's updates for the microcode aimed at the new processors ?

So far, I've discovered two SBo packages for that :

- microcode_ctl
- intel-microcode

Apparently, the former updates the microcode provided by the later at each boot of the machine.

Do you know if such a process is mandatory in order for me to benefit from all the features that this CPU is offering to me ?

Since I've ordered a laptop without any kind of dedicated GPU, I think that my question is somewhat legitimate.

Regards.
 
Old 10-14-2014, 01:36 PM   #2
genss
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Registered: Nov 2013
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you would need to run microcode_ctl (-u or -f, idk) every boot

and no, you probably don't need it
all the features (i'm starting to hate that word) are exposed as soon as it leaves the factory
microcode is usually for things like bug fixes
 
Old 10-14-2014, 01:43 PM   #3
rogan
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Slackware
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pstate works on 3.17

I'm using 3.17 with the 4430 i5 and as far as I can tell intel_pstate finally works!
CPU frequency seems to be dynamically regulated i.e not in discrete steps as with the acpi generic driver.
It also goes all the way up to "turbo boost" max (3200 on my processor).
My computer is not a laptop but I seriously doubt that you should need to
upgrade the CPU microcode on yours just to get it working.
 
Old 10-14-2014, 01:48 PM   #4
Nh3xus
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Registered: Jan 2013
Location: France
Distribution: Slackware 14.1 32 bits
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Hi rogan,

Thanks for your feedback.

Glad that you got it running.

Have you heard about the tool called : thermald ?

It's supposed to work along with intel_pstate in order for your machine to better prevent overheating.
 
Old 10-14-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
rogan
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Never used thermald. This is a normal stationary computer running 24/7 om plug power.
I have the default "powersave" governor active, it seems to keep things cool enough.
 
Old 10-14-2014, 03:02 PM   #6
Nh3xus
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Registered: Jan 2013
Location: France
Distribution: Slackware 14.1 32 bits
Posts: 211

Original Poster
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Well, now that I've all the missing infos, time to mark this thread as solved.

Thanks you guys

Gotta wait for the delivery of the machine now.
 
  


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