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Intel reveals new Spectre-like vulnerability, affects all chips since 2008 sans Whisky Lake

TL;DR: Disable HyperThreading. Us AMD folks are unaffected.,39333.html

7 Replies

 You gotta wonder at what point the class action lawsuits are going to start over the processor flaws? How many performance hits does one have to take before the owe you a significant discount toward and non-flawed chip? I guess the bigger question is when will they have a non-flawed chip?

This has got to to be great news for AMD. I'm glad that this additional flaw helps AMD in this way as we need the continued competition, and AMD is sure giving it on the CPU side. 

I also wonder if knowing they would be recommending disabling hyper-threading contributed to the decision for the current i7's to no longer have hyper-threading?


Especially since AMD is already facing class action lawsuits over the definition of a "core" in their Bulldozer derived processors. As for HT being eliminated, I think it's more the fact that its usefulness has come to an end, a usefulness that's always been debatable since the introduction. Thanks to Ryzen dual cores are dead and quad cores are on their last legs outside the mobile market, which, combined with improved Windows 10 and Linux schedulers and programs being coded to take advantage of multiple cores, means slack cycles on a CPU are far fewer than they used to be, and for the last few years people have shown that especially in gaming HT offers little to no benefit, and can even result in decreased performance.


With hyper threading it really depends on how the code is written. For instance with the Frostbite engine you see a big boost with it. You take an i7 vs an i5 4 core and you a big difference at the same speed. With other engines little to nothing. The big problem is how Intel implements it in their architecture. Apparently the way AMD is doing it is fine. I myself have an i7-7700k and with the hyper threading in the games I play it is still a fantastic performer and is still one of the fastest single thread processors. At 2 years old I feel like Intel ought to be offering us a trade in at a significant reduction in price, but that will never happen.

I wouldn't even have the i7 right now if it were not for an open box deal too good to pass up. One things for sure it won't be hard to decide on the next processor I buy. Hoping an Ryzen 3 choice with a new generation motherboard will be in reach under the $300 dollar point before the end of summer.


Isn't this more of a server issue than end user PC concern. First you need to get infected, then you need to have some concurrent process running with important data. That's how I read it.


Microsoft is patching your system to stop the hyper threading on affected processors, so no unless you want to block security updates it will affect any Windows user of any variety. Now it may be possible like with the specter and meltdown where some 3rd party may be able to un-patch just that part if you are willing to run as is at your own peril if you so choose.


It's a much larger problem for servers because they're likely to be running dozens to hundreds of virtual machines, but from the way I understood it it could happen from just one third party program to another. Apple seems to be hit pretty hard by disabling HT...


This from the latest Windows Update concerning the Security flaw:

  • Enables “Retpoline” by default if Spectre Variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715) is enabled. Make sure previous OS protections against the Spectre Variant 2 vulnerability are enabled using the registry settings described in the Windows Client and Windows Server articles. (These registry settings are enabled by default for Windows Client OS editions, but disabled by default for Windows Server OS editions). For more information about “Retpoline”, see Mitigating Spectre variant 2 with Retpoline on Windows.
  • Provides protections against a new subclass of speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities, known as Microarchitectural Data Sampling, for 64-Bit (x64) versions of Windows (CVE-2019-11091, CVE-2018-12126, CVE-2018-12127, CVE-2018-12130). Use the registry settings as described in the Windows Client and Windows Server articles. (These registry settings are enabled by default for Windows Client OS editions and Windows Server OS editions).

It does seem to be mainly for Servers but also affect Windows Clients.