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Latest MSI bios (2.A0) for my motherboard contains Spectre2 microcode that has slowed down my cpu by 5%-15% in every AIDA64 cpu bench!

Question asked by waltc on Apr 28, 2018
Latest reply on May 8, 2018 by waltc

I own an MSI Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard, with an R5 1600 (perfectly stable @ 3.8GHz, with 2x8GB DDR4 @ 3200Mhz) and I've noticed that when running the latest MSI bios (2.A0) that every single cpu benchmark contained in AID64 Extreme (or Engineer) slows down by 5%-15% when compared to the performance of the same version of AIDA64 cpu benchmarks when running the bios that preceded it, 2.8.  I have verified this several times, btw, in subsequent reflashes back and forth between bios versions. All UEFI bios settings are the same--everything in the software environment is the same between bios versions. Currently, I am back on 2.8 because of this.  CPU Benchmarks like Cinebench 15.x, which I gather use no OOSE, do not seem to be affected by the Spectre2 microcode in terms of cpu performance, however. (Obviously, I am not concerned only with how the AIDA64 cpu benchmarks perform, but rather with how any similarly written cpu application may perform.)  Example: the AIDA64, 5.97.4600 version, running the Memory Read bench repeatedly shows 2.8 (pre-Spectre2 microcode) 49,xxx mb/s, whereas Memory Read under the 2.A0 bios shows 40,xxx mb/s.  Big drop there.


Under 2.A0, InSpectre tells me that I have full coverage against Spectre, including cpu microcode.  Under 2.8, same version of InSpectre (#8) tells me that while the OS portion of the Spectre defense is present, the cpu microcode is not, and so it equates to vulnerability to Spectre2.  That is how I know that the 2.A0 bios is installing the Spectre2 microcode.


Any comments?  Do the 12nm Ryzen + cpus display this behavior, or is the performance factor mitigated with the x470 chipset and Ryzen +?  Thanks for any insight!


Note: Although the normal MFlash method of updating MSI x370 bios versions will not let the user flash back to an earlier version, MSI provided me with a bios utility that allows me to flash to whatever bios version I want.  Here's a link:


Flash tool[1.05] for MSI UEFI BIOS [from UEFI Shell]


I actually prefer this method to MFlash.