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Thread: Skylake Bug

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    Skylake Bug

    Hi. Does this mean the actual hardware (cpu) is defective or flawed?

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by fadsarmy View Post
    Hi. Does this mean the actual hardware (cpu) is defective or flawed?
    No way to know.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    I take it new batches will be bug free?

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by fadsarmy View Post
    I take it new batches will be bug free?
    Even current batches are fixed in software I believe already.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Even current batches are fixed in software I believe already.
    That's not really a fix. You can't reprogram a cpu. It's a patch or whatever you want to call it. I meant will new batches require a bios update.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by fadsarmy View Post
    That's not really a fix. You can't reprogram a cpu. It's a patch or whatever you want to call it. I meant will new batches require a bios update.
    As I understand it, BIOS updates will include microcode fixes for the bug...

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by fadsarmy View Post
    That's not really a fix. You can't reprogram a cpu. It's a patch or whatever you want to call it. I meant will new batches require a bios update.
    What's the difference between a fix and a patch? I expect all BIOSes will have the fix already now, unless you happen to buy from very old stock.

    I grinned at the reprogramming a CPU comment

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    The cpu is flawed so you have to fix the cpu but you can't so you have do something to the bios. It still means the cpu is flawed.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by fadsarmy View Post
    The cpu is flawed so you have to fix the cpu but you can't so you have do something to the bios. It still means the cpu is flawed.
    I don't think it does. If you buy a product and it does what it's supposed to do then it's not flawed. The BIOS fix isn't a workaround, it really is delivering new (and improvedTM) firmware to the CPU. The BIOS is just the delivery mechanism, and I presume once updated you could take the CPU out and use it in a different system no problem, not sure though.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I presume once updated you could take the CPU out and use it in a different system no problem, not sure though.
    I don't believe that's the case - the microcode is loaded by the BIOS and / or OS each time the system boots

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I don't think it does. If you buy a product and it does what it's supposed to do then it's not flawed. The BIOS fix isn't a workaround, it really is delivering new (and improvedTM) firmware to the CPU. The BIOS is just the delivery mechanism, and I presume once updated you could take the CPU out and use it in a different system no problem, not sure though.
    The BIOS can't upload new hardware, so any "fix" can only involve disabling things (possibly putting a slower equivalent in microcode) or changing timings. So you can expect the "fixed" cpu to be slower. Still call it a fix when it isn't good as new?

    Quote Originally Posted by malfunction View Post
    I don't believe that's the case - the microcode is loaded by the BIOS and / or OS each time the system boots
    That is my understanding. I don't think it is flashed into the cpu, it is loaded into fast SRAM.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by malfunction View Post
    I don't believe that's the case - the microcode is loaded by the BIOS and / or OS each time the system boots
    That's correct, it's like a bootloader. Back to my original question: will the recently manufactured processors (after discovery of bug) still require this fix?

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I don't think it does. If you buy a product and it does what it's supposed to do then it's not flawed. The BIOS fix isn't a workaround, it really is delivering new (and improvedTM) firmware to the CPU. The BIOS is just the delivery mechanism, and I presume once updated you could take the CPU out and use it in a different system no problem, not sure though.
    You might be actually right after reading this.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    So there's reprogrammable non-volatile storage on the CPU die?

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    So there's reprogrammable non-volatile storage on the CPU die?
    I think it's volatile. The BIOS (and linux kernel sometimes) sends the CPU the microcode on every boot.

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    Re: Skylake Bug

    Quote Originally Posted by fadsarmy View Post
    That's correct, it's like a bootloader. Back to my original question: will the recently manufactured processors (after discovery of bug) still require this fix?
    You'll probably need to wait for a new stepping to be released, although I cannot remember the last time an etailer listed the stepping.....

    Either way, it doesn't really matter. Pretty much every cpu ever released has an errata list, with microcodes updates that fix them.
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