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 Post subject: Microsoft microcode reliability update for Core 2 Duo CPUs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:10 pm 
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MICROSOFT: "A microcode reliability update is available that improves the reliability of systems that use Intel processors."

The Inquirer posted Critical update for Intel Core CPUs is out on Tuesday, and The Tech Report posted OpenBSD founder: Core 2 chips are 'buggy as hell' yesterday, which includes a link to Intel's errata list (377kB PDF). Issues can include blue screens, loss of response to input devices and Linux kernel panics (whatever those are :P).

There were BIOS updates for certain configurations from certain vendors (e.g. HP workstations back in April, and Dell as reported by The Inquirer), but Microsoft has now released a general microcode reliability update for Core 2 Duo CPUs. Further discussion can be found at [H]ard|Forum, Rage3D, Universal abit USA and Whirlpool.


Also note this update ("Computers that are running Windows XP Service Pack 2 and that are equipped with multiple processors that support processor power management features may experience decreased performance") from 19 December 2006, last reviewed 2 April 2007.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:11 am 
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Wow... this is first time I've seen CPU to get "hotfix".

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:52 am 
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Microcode updates are perfectly normal - it's rare to have a CPU that doesn't have one. In most cases your motherboard BIOS was produced after the CPU and it loads the update in at boot time without even telling you. Most linux systems will also show a microcode update during the boot process - it's only Windows doesn't announce it to the user during startup. This one is only really unusual in that Microsoft are releasing it as a patch rather than burying it away in the next service pack.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:10 pm 
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Wasn't there a patch for Windows/Athlon XP CPUs that addressed the hasty shutdowns? In a pre-patch shutdown the OS shut down so quickly that data left in RAM was lost.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:16 pm 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
Wasn't there a patch for Windows/Athlon XP CPUs that addressed the hasty shutdowns? In a pre-patch shutdown the OS shut down so quickly that data left in RAM was lost.

That was an OS problem though, only incidentally related to CPU speed. The problem was with new HDDs that had large caches that took a few seconds to flush to disc, but Windows didn't bother to wait for the drive to finish before shutting down, so a system with a fast CPU could shut down fast enough to lose data.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:54 pm 
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Ah, thanks for clearing that up. No wonder my quick searches turned up nothing. I'm sure there's been a separate patch for AMD processors though, but apparently it's a different case.

Bah, all I could dig up from the KB was http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318891/en-us, and it's just about PowerNow compatibility. No serious issues.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:19 pm 
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DailyTech has posted Linus Torvalds on Core 2 Duo Errata: "Totally Insignificant":

[quote="Tom Corelis"]Linux coordinator and former Transmeta employee Linus Torvalds, thought otherwise and considers these bugs “totally insignificant.â€


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