Tag Archives: amd

microcode – everything you ever wanted to know

microcode – everything you ever wanted to know

you need forget everything you thought you knew about microcode was in the old Z80 days

run cat /proc/cpuinfo to see what cpu chip & microcode version you have

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo 
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 69
model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4310U CPU @ 2.00GHz
microcode : 0x1d
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr 
pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss syscall 
nx pdpe1gb rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon nopl xtopology 
tsc_reliable nonstop_tsc eagerfpu pni pclmulqdq ssse3 fma cx16 
pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes 
xsave avx f16c rdrand hypervisor lahf_lm abm invpcid_single 
retpoline kaiser fsgsbase tsc_adjust bmi1 avx2 smep bmi2 
invpcid xsaveopt arat
bugs : cpu_meltdown spectre_v1 spectre_v2
bogomips : 5202.00

 

have a look at your logs to see if you have any microcode patches

dmesg | grep "microcode"

journalctl -b -k | grep "microcode"

 

you need to enable nonfree deb/rpm repos so you get access to microcode packages

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian jessie main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free

 

then install the microcode package

aptitude update
aptitude install amd64-microcode

 

check your kernels params and reboot

 

Notes

Unfortunately, the license of the microcode update data from AMD and Intel are not compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
Therefore, microcode update data will be available through the non-free distribution. The new processor microcode update system is available for both non-free Wheezy and non-free Squeeze (through the backports repository).

Meltdown (the vulnerability affecting only Intel chips) cannot be fixed with microcode updates alone and requires changes to core OS functionality, which may reduce performance further.

Spectre (the vulnerability affecting Intel, AMD and ARM chips) may be able to be worked around with microcode updates alone.

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windows vista isnt dead just yet

windows vista isnt dead just yet although after installing SP2 windows update hangs and svchost will use 100% CPU and 1G continuously for many days

so the first thing you have to do after installing SP2 is disable automatic updates

then manually install

alternatively the guardian recommend you throw away any amd sempron notebooks and switch to a free unactivated or beta version of windows 10

or buy a refurb notebook

while wired has some other suggestions

windows vista sp2 updates

DDR2 and DDR3 memory is now available in 3 types (@amd, @intel and dualmode)

DDR2 and DDR3 memory for desktops and notebooks is now available in 3 types (@amd, @intel and dualmode)

  • Intel DDR2/3 are 10bit with 8K blocks (DO NOT WORK WITH AMD HW)
  • AMD DDR2/3 are 11bit with 16K blocks (DO NOT WORK WITH INTEL HW)
  • Dual Mode should work with both AMD HW and Intel HW

See

hp & lenovo and #amd & #intel #memory bus nightmares

 

lost a few hours yesterday to some hp & lenovo and amd & intel memory bus nightmares started when i tried swapping DDR3 / PC3 / PC3L ram between an HP and two LENOVO notebooks

  • HP 255 G2 with AMD A4 memory bus FIXED at 1600Mhz
  • Lenovo T410 with Core i5 memory bus ONLY works at 1333Mhz
  • Lenovo Z50 with AMD FX7500 memory bus FIXED at 800Mhz

Basically the T41o refused to work with any of the other memory whereas i thought DDR3 ram was downwards compatible.

Actually just looking at my photos maybe PC3L is not downwards compatible with PC3 ?

AMD 64-bit and Intel 64-bit confusion !

According to http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/534 Intel initially chose not to extend their IA-32 processor family to 64 bits, preferring to promote their own but incompatible HP PA-RISC based IA-64 "Itanium" processor family !

but then Intel adopted AMD's 64-bit extensions into their IA-32 processor family, calling them "Intel 64" (aka IA-32e and EMT64). Final generation Pentium 4 & D, Celeron D, and Xeon processors and all "Core 2" based processors now include AMD compatible 64-bit extensions.

To add to the confusion https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ProcessorArch lists a few dozen Intel processors but doesn't make it clear which type a Pentium DualCore is ! Which is what my Compaq A900 notebook says it has in it !

I have 4G of RAM that I have only been able to access 3G of so far (with 4 different OS's)

Update :
It seems that my Pentium DualCore has PAE (?) support and when I install from the Xubuntu x86 (32-bit ?) CD I CAN see all 4G ! So what benefits if any would I get from using the Xubuntu 64-bit (AMD64) CD instead ?

My SONY PIII says it is:
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor    : 0
vendor_id    : GenuineIntel
cpu family    : 6
model        : 13
model name    : Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.50GHz
cpuid level    : 2
flags        : fpu vme de pse tsc msr mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss tm pbe up bts est tm2

My Compaq Pentium Dual Core says it is:
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor    : 0
vendor_id    : GenuineIntel
cpu family    : 6
model        : 15
model name    : Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual  CPU  T2390  @ 1.86GHz
cpuid level    : 10
flags        : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm

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kernel virtual machine (kvm) virtualisation

There is yet another virtualisation technology on the block !

http://www.vizzr.info/2007/04/24/kernel-virtual-machine-kvm/

kvm only run on processors that supports x86 hvm (vt/svm instructions set) whereas Xen also allows running modified operating systems on non-hvm x86 processors using a technique called paravirtualization. kvm does not support paravirtualization for cpu but may support paravirtualization for device drivers to improve I/O performance.
kvm FAQ

Proprietary vendors take note :
Xen and kvm make use of Intel-VT and AMD-V hardware virtualisation features !

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