General Computer Thread

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Amaris, May 26, 2016.

  1. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    AMD admit that their CPUs are vulnerable to both variants of Spectre but they think that patches, OS plus microcode, will fix the vulnerability:
    https://www.amd.com/en/corporate/speculative-execution
     
  2. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I ran a checker on my desktop (i5), my wife's (AMD) and server (Xeon E3). First two are safe on Meltdown, vulnerable on Spectre, the server is vulnerable on both but Supermicro is coming up with patches but the X10 and X11 boards are done, but mine is an X9 which is still coming.
     
  3. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Where did you find the checker?
     
  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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  5. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  6. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks.

    Just tested that one out (after I checked it for viruses) and it works. It showed that my PC is vulnerable to Spectre but not to Meltdown.

    Wow, their site said to update the graphics driver. Well I'd love to do that, but mine is a legacy one. So I'm betting, that's the vulnerability. Damn it. I'd love to get a new graphics card so I can do so, but I'm not made of money.

    And the prices for them are ridiculous. I'm better off saving for a new computer.

    http://shop.amd.com/en-us/components/graphic-cards
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  7. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Given spectre is a processor related bug that is being mitigated by OS and browser updates and patches it's not your video card.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectre_(security_vulnerability)#Mitigation
     
  8. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  9. Haggis and tatties

    Haggis and tatties Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have a Haswell I7 so this is even more good news. :sigh:

    I found my ancient old XP anthlon in a box the other day, i think i will use it to build a older PC, stick W98/Dos on it and go back to a safer time when fitting all your drivers into himem and still having 58k free to start the game was your biggest concern. :)
     
  10. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Suggesting that the graphics driver might need to be updated is a matter of ensuring compatibility with any microcode or OS patches and not to do with a potential attack vector. The patches might render device drivers unstable for some operations.
     
  11. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah. I see.

    Edit: Trying to back up my computer again. Hoping it works completely.

    Edit, Edit: It did.

    And found out that the 1709 update is pretty big. Dammit Microsoft, I only have so much space to work with! :brickwall:
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  12. Count Zero

    Count Zero Make our planet great again! Moderator

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    I think the time pressure led to the botched Meltdown updates everywhere. I had my first kernel update mishap with Ubuntu (which I've been using since 2011). The kernel update 4.4.0-108 led to my computer stopping during boot-up. I managed to get into GRUB (the Linux boot loader) and boot with the previous kernel. Upon logging in I was greeted by a new update 4.4.0-109. :lol:
    I used to be more cautious about kernel updates, waiting a day or two before installing. But never having had any trouble I chose to install this update right away. It's ironic that an update for the Long Term Support version which is supposed to be extra stable ended up with many machines not fully booting anymore.

    It also seems my mainboard is too old to get any microcode updates anymore so basically, Spectre won't be mitigated much on this computer. We'll see about my laptop (an equally old Thinkpad) but then again, I'm also quite wary of BIOS updates.
     
  13. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I saw an article that 16.4LTS was being bricked by the Meltdown fix. I guess people weren't particularly impressed though at least with the old kernel still being available avoided disaster.

    But it's not just Microsoft and Ubuntu. VMware released a patch for ESXI and then pulled it saying it wasn't needed. One person downloaded and installed it on a home lab system and found a performance hit.
     
  14. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    None of my machines will get a BIOS update, some already had a microcode update, my Linux Mint 18.3 machines were updated either to 4.13.0-26 or indeed 4.4.0-109 none of them have problems, I expect some machines with an ancient Nvidia card to get a new driver, will test that today or tomorrow, as for performance hit.. I have two old single core machines, one a Sempron 145, the other a Socket 939 Athlon 64.. the latter isn't a fast machine by any standards might be that I'll make a nice retro rig out of it with Win2K or XP as OS..
     
  15. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    I've never had a BIOS update done totally automatic. I have always had to go to the manufacturer website and download that.
     
  16. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I went to the various manufacturer sites and found that there were none..
     
  17. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    Huh?

    My board is an MSI and I found my BIOS there on their site under support and downloads
     
  18. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why is it so hard for you to comprehend?

    When you're dealing with older motherboards you're not going to find any bios upates. Yes there might be updates after the board came out x number of years but nothing since. At the end of the day for the vendors supporting a board that's a number of years old isn't a high priority. Sure the might get to to down the track (such as Supermicro with their X9 boards but they are 5 years old now) but their first priority will be the current range of boards and maybe one or models back where there could still be applicable warranties (which can easliy entail dozens of models).
     
  19. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    Ah........ OK no probs I didn't realize he was talking about older hardware that might not be supported.
     
  20. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This does appear a bit like planned obsolescence to simulate a declining server market if it weren't for the fact that the manufacturers don't have new silicon ready to roll that fixes the security issues. Meltdown and Spectre would seem almost like deliberate back doors for snooping by government security services except for the fact that Meltdown doesn't affect AMD.