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Sky/Kaby lake Intel hyperthreading bug

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Sky/Kaby lake Intel hyperthreading bug

This question has been answered by DELL-Justin C

What is Dell's response to the recent SkyLake/KabyLake hyperthreading firmware bug? Is/will this be fixed with a bios upgrade for the 9350/9360?

Verified Answer
  • On my 9360, the perl script just reports "You may need a BIOS/UEFI update (Kaby Lake, or Skylake-X processor)", but the script doesn't check microcode versions for kabylake, just cpu model.

    It appears BIOS 1.3.5 includes microcode rev 0x4e, and the updated microcode released by intel on 2017-05-11 does not have anything for the kabylake 7500U (06-8e-09)... I could be wrong.

    I've disabled hyperthreading on my 9360 pending some confirmation about microcode revisions...

  • @Basteed,

    I can confirm that 9350 1.4.18 and 9360 2.1.0 both contain the improvements to Hyper-Threading. 1.3.7 is no longer available.

    There will be no listing of this fix in the BIOS pages' fixes and enhancements section. Further, Dell will not be posting any public documents mentioning this improvement.

    Justin C

    Dell Technical Support L3 | Project Sputnik

    Dell Support is also on Twitter! https://twitter.com/DellCaresPRO

     

All Replies
  • Was wondering too.

    For completeness, always nice to mention the source:

    lists.debian.org/.../msg00308.html

    Some discussion:

    www.phoronix.com/scan.php

  • On my 9350, the perl script written by Uwe Kleine-K├Ânig reports "Your CPU is affected, but your microcode is new enough"... dmesg shows:

    ...

    [  279.241217] microcode: sig=0x406e3, pf=0x80, revision=0x9e

    [  279.242197] microcode: updated to revision 0xba, date = 2017-04-09

    [  279.243096] microcode: sig=0x406e3, pf=0x80, revision=0xba

    ...

    So, it appears that BIOS 1.4.17 includes microcode rev 0x9e, which does not include the fix. Microcode rev 0xba is packaged with Fedora, which is new enough (at least according to the perl script).

  • On my 9360, the perl script just reports "You may need a BIOS/UEFI update (Kaby Lake, or Skylake-X processor)", but the script doesn't check microcode versions for kabylake, just cpu model.

    It appears BIOS 1.3.5 includes microcode rev 0x4e, and the updated microcode released by intel on 2017-05-11 does not have anything for the kabylake 7500U (06-8e-09)... I could be wrong.

    I've disabled hyperthreading on my 9360 pending some confirmation about microcode revisions...

  • Updated my system Zesty 17.04 to use the intel microcode package for 17.10 which is the latest put out by intel (The dependencies are met just fine in Zesty, and don't think it will cause any issues), but my reported microcode didn't change.  Still says 0x4e, so I'm guessing there is a need for a BIOS/UEFI update.  In reading it sounded as if the microcode package may only fix certain models like skylake :(

  • Not necessaIrily. You do not mention your OS. On Linux, the OS can load new microcode on bootup, and it may be that that is being reported, rather than anything in the bios.

  • @Community,

    I can confirm that Dell engineering is working on a hyperthreading fix for the 9350/9360, as well as other models, in the form of BIOS updates. Those BIOS updates should be coming out in the near future.

    I'll get back with updates when I know more.

    Justin C

    Dell Technical Support L3 | Project Sputnik

    Dell Support is also on Twitter! https://twitter.com/DellCaresPRO

     

  • Software Updater just updated the microcode to 3.20170511.1 (Ubuntu 17.04) on my 9360.

    However, the fix to the hyperthreading issue appears to be in launchpad.net/.../3.20170707.1 which is only released for Artful. Hopefully a Zesty release will follow soon.

  • Any word on the BIOS update for the Dell XPS 9360? Online it still shows 1.3.5 as the latest version released May 12. I noticed most other manufactures, including Acer has released BIOS updates for all their major laptop models. Most articals online says manufactures had access to the microcode update back in April.

  • For Linux. microcode-20170707 has just come out which is supposed to handle the all the Skylake (9350) and Kabylake (9360)  processors for this bug. I know Debian has it, Redhat, probably Ubuntu. You need to make a new initrd so that the microcode gets loaded at boot.

  • @DELL-Justin C

    I noticed a BIOS update for the Dell XPS 9360 (Bios 1.3.7). It doesn't say anything about the hyperthreading microcode update, all it says is "Fixes & Enhancements: Enhance Windows 10 Enterprise Redstone 2 support"

    Do you know if this BIOS update includes the fixes relased by Intel?

    www.dell.com/.../driversdetails

  • Hi Codster,

    According to my contact with Dell engineering, yes, 1.3.7 is the version with improvements that affect hyper-threading. I'm trying to get more documentation on the matter and will get back.

    Justin C

    Dell Technical Support L3 | Project Sputnik

    Dell Support is also on Twitter! https://twitter.com/DellCaresPRO

     

  • bios update 1.4.18 for 9350 is here www.dell.com/.../driversdetails

  • Did you get any more information on 1.3.7 @DELL-Justin C? Thanks

  • @Basteed,

    I can confirm that 9350 1.4.18 and 9360 2.1.0 both contain the improvements to Hyper-Threading. 1.3.7 is no longer available.

    There will be no listing of this fix in the BIOS pages' fixes and enhancements section. Further, Dell will not be posting any public documents mentioning this improvement.

    Justin C

    Dell Technical Support L3 | Project Sputnik

    Dell Support is also on Twitter! https://twitter.com/DellCaresPRO

     

  • Many thanks @DELL-Justin C, tho see my other post re the problem I had with 2.1.0.