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Intel CPU issues - 1/3/2018 7:12:23 PM   
thewood1

 

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Was wondering if anyone with deeper expertise in Intel chipsets has any insight into the impact on CPU-intensive games. There has been some debate from no impact to severe impact.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/02/intel_cpu_design_flaw/
Post #: 1
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/3/2018 7:17:43 PM   
DeSade

 

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We will need to benchmark CMANO, who cares about rest :)

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RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/3/2018 8:21:52 PM   
Gunner98

 

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On a similar (I think) line of thought - my son-in-law was wondering if CMANO uses the computing horsepower on video cards? He designs chips for AMD and was speculating that it might.

B

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Post #: 3
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 2:28:09 AM   
kevinkins


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I think any mid-range priced laptop will run Command just fine. If you want to get a gaming laptop for other software, go for it. I have been told that running Command off a SSD is best, but I have no data to share that would prove that point. I think folks are better off not customizing a PC for Command, but rather take their other computing needs into consideration first. Command should run fine on just about any modern system.

Kevin

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Post #: 4
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 10:42:25 AM   
thewood1

 

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OK...I am not asking what PC to buy. I am asking if anyone who has knowledge of Intel chips and developing on them has any thoughts on the big security patch coming out for Intel chipsets.

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Post #: 5
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 1:49:30 PM   
kevinkins


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Compared to all the other security issues over the years, this appears to be one of the most serious. If I am reading correctly, the fix could slow down Windows PCs depending on their usage. Thanks for posting the link. This is a situation to keep an eye on. PC World has a summary that also discusses game performance a bit. Looks like MS will have a fix on the 9th.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3245606/security/intel-x86-cpu-kernel-bug-faq-how-it-affects-pc-mac.html

Kevin

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RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 2:01:12 PM   
TheOttoman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

OK...I am not asking what PC to buy. I am asking if anyone who has knowledge of Intel chips and developing on them has any thoughts on the big security patch coming out for Intel chipsets.

You'll see firmware patching coming from Intel soon, and also Microsoft (and every other OS maker) either have released an OS patch to address the issue or will be releasing it within the next weeks.

That being said, these patches will affect performance of your processor. On single unit computers (like the vast majority of consumer computers), you'll see anywhere from 5-30% increase in CPU utilization, with the older the processor having higher increases.

The major issue are servers that handle virtual hosting / cloud hosting, as they have the most vulnerability in that a single virtual server can have access to the entire memory on the host. In a cloud environment like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS, I could use the exploit to see other customer's and other servers' data that's in memory and not need access to the other customer's server. This is where the patching of these servers and the resulting increasing in CPU utilization will be an issue with the virtual server/cloud providers.

< Message edited by TheOttoman -- 1/4/2018 2:08:54 PM >

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RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 2:43:34 PM   
thewood1

 

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I just got the patch on my Surface Book 2. I have a bunch of Command benchmarks on this and my MSI. I'll rerun my benchmarks again and see what I get.

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Post #: 8
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 2:48:41 PM   
thewood1

 

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What's interesting is one of my company's security experts thinks this is related to the theft of NSA hacking tools last year. The conspiracy theorists think the exploit has been known by the NSA for years and have used it frequently.

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Post #: 9
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 2:50:33 PM   
zakblood


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http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4411948

just to add more paper to the flames

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Post #: 10
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 3:54:39 PM   
kevinkins


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Thanks for the link. Intel says performance dip is not significant in a press release yesterday.

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-responds-to-security-research-findings/

Kevin

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Post #: 11
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 3:56:38 PM   
thewood1

 

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Just ran my benchmark for Command (Op Bass Drum with missions added for US at 5x continuous).

Pre-patch - 28-29 game to real time ratio
Post-patch - 24-25 game to real time ratio

The pre-patch benchmark was run just a week ago, so its pretty current. The post-patch benchmark was run three times. So I would say its around 10% to 15% hit on performance. I am going to run the same benchmark on my older MSI and see what happens.

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Post #: 12
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 4:23:15 PM   
kevinkins


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http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-meltdown-spectre-patches-if-you-havent-got-them-blame-your-antivirus/

ZDNet says this: "Microsoft yesterday released the Meltdown and Spectre fixes as part of cumulative update for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, labelled KB4056892, which brings the OS Build up to 16299.192."

The build number might be useful.

Kevin

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Post #: 13
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 5:36:58 PM   
thewood1

 

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The patch is out if you manually check for updates. Otherwise it will be forced out on the 9th.

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Post #: 14
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 8:50:02 PM   
Gunner98

 

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Just had a Windows 10 update pushed to me. Did a search and the build # is 16299.192 as indicated by kevinkin.

Thanks for highlighting this.

B

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Post #: 15
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 9:34:00 PM   
TheOttoman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

Just ran my benchmark for Command (Op Bass Drum with missions added for US at 5x continuous).

Pre-patch - 28-29 game to real time ratio
Post-patch - 24-25 game to real time ratio

The pre-patch benchmark was run just a week ago, so its pretty current. The post-patch benchmark was run three times. So I would say its around 10% to 15% hit on performance. I am going to run the same benchmark on my older MSI and see what happens.

So the patching process is two step...

There's an OS level patch being released by all the OS manufacturers/ distros (your Microsofts, VMWares, Citrix, and Linux/Unix), but then there's also microcode that is going to be released by the chip manufacturers (this isn't just Intel, as AMD is releasing patches as well) more than likely as a BIOS upgrade.

The patching keeps the OS from exploiting the memory. The problem will be fixed with the BIOS upgrade, and that is where you'll see an impact.

Intel (and some of their partners) has communicated out that the increase will be seen on load based environments (Full Disclosure: I just got out of a call about two hours ago with one of Intel's server partners, and had a call with Microsoft yesterday about this specific issue). Where you'll see significant impact is on workload dependant systems - so Cloud hosting servers or physical database servers. The average user won't see an real impact, and its true impact is mitigated over time.

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Post #: 16
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 9:38:13 PM   
TheOttoman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: kevinkin


http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-meltdown-spectre-patches-if-you-havent-got-them-blame-your-antivirus/

ZDNet says this: "Microsoft yesterday released the Meltdown and Spectre fixes as part of cumulative update for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, labelled KB4056892, which brings the OS Build up to 16299.192."

The build number might be useful.

Kevin



The Windows 10 info aside, the real important take away here is that Microsoft has made their patch only available to computer that have a specific registry entry created by the system's anti-virus, and those AV updates started coming out today. I've got a google drive link for the status of the major AV vendors and whether or not they're compliant yet, but it's safe to assume that if your virus definitions are older than 0000 GMT 01042018 you're not going to see this patch until you upgrade you AV.

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Post #: 17
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/4/2018 9:51:29 PM   
TheOttoman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

What's interesting is one of my company's security experts thinks this is related to the theft of NSA hacking tools last year. The conspiracy theorists think the exploit has been known by the NSA for years and have used it frequently.



We do know that this has been an issue that Intel has been working on since November, and we don't know how long AMD has known about it. Of the NSA hacking tools that got released last year, those were all confirmed to be from the 2013 era and are all now known and no longer useful. It's entirely possible that these were gathered by Shadowbrokers (the group who released the NSA tools last year) originally and got released recently in the dark web. The issue here is that the tools are *highly* unique and specialized and if you can properly identify the tool, you can identify the group within the NSA that created the tool. Each of these groups are compartmentalized (for reasons like this), and the more that gets released, the more the source is identified.

It's a long way of me saying that it's not from last years release, but I'd put a tenner on it coming out of Ft. Meade

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Post #: 18
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/5/2018 8:21:58 AM   
Dimitris


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The coming CMANO update includes a number of performance improvements that should likely compensate for the raw CPU throughput reduction.

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Post #: 19
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/5/2018 9:07:35 AM   
Dysta


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dimitris

The coming CMANO update includes a number of performance improvements that should likely compensate for the raw CPU throughput reduction.


I wish the map area, range circle and icons can be rendered with GPU. The UI lag is substantial when there are lots of units on one screen, kinda reminded me of running flash game in high quality.

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Post #: 20
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/5/2018 10:30:39 AM   
Doctorwarthog

 

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I can't say I have experienced any slowdowns in CMANO after the Windows 10 fix.

< Message edited by Doctorwarthog -- 1/5/2018 10:31:55 AM >

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Post #: 21
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/5/2018 12:01:07 PM   
thewood1

 

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Ran another benchmark, this time on my MSI. Did a benchmark prior to the Win10 patch and one post-patch. Ran each three times, Modified Op Bass drum at 5x continuous with all range circles off and hi fi off.

Average for pre-patch - 29 seconds of game time for each real world second
Average for post-patch - 27 seconds of game time for each real world second

So on two separate machines, I am seeing slightly less than 10% impact from the patch. So regardless of what is going on with the chip, MS's changes in the OS patch do have a measurable impact. Most likely not noticeable to the human eye, but it is measurable. I did a test with project cars and Combat mission. I lost 5% to 10% with Combat Mission but nothing on Project Cars. My hypothesis is that CPU-intensive apps get hit more than games that are GPU-intensive.

I ran this by one of my analysts and he said that the Win10 patch will have an impact on performance with no changes on the chip. In fact, he said the changes on the chip are almost negligible. The impact is on the OS performance. Now, could there have been other changes in that patch beyond the chip issue? Of course there could. But, it doesn't matter. The Win10 patch does have some impact.

I am going to rerun the post-patch MSI and Surface Book tests and make sure I didn't change anything by mistake. I did it in a hurry and want to just make sure.

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Post #: 22
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/5/2018 12:17:38 PM   
kevinkins


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Missed this yesterday regarding chip replacement: http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/03/technology/computer-chip-flaw-security/index.html

"And a U.S. government-backed body warned that the chips themselves need to be replaced to completely fix the problems."

Never heard of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team: https://www.us-cert.gov/

Their web site could be useful.

Kevin

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Post #: 23
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/5/2018 2:19:39 PM   
stilesw


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Here is some more information:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/google-almost-all-cpus-since-1995-vulnerable-to-meltdown-and-spectre-flaws/

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Post #: 24
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/5/2018 11:23:08 PM   
thewood1

 

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One last follow up on this...

A tech group I work with just ran some benchmarks on the pre-patch and post-patch Intel performance. What they found wasn't that it wasn't so much CPU-dependent applications as much as drive access that gets hit. Hence all the hand-wringing about servers and datacenters. For some reason, it also seems that SSDs get hit a little worse that HDs. Although the project leader felt that they hadn't done enough testing to confirm that absolutely.

I talked to him a little about Combat Mission and Command. He felt that maybe they access the HD a little more than most modern games. He also said if I am running on 8Mb of RAM, and there is a lot of file swapping to HD, getting more RAM might help mitigate the new issues. Of course, that is the advice we always get.

On a side note, all the office apps they tested actually had slightly improved performance, except where they got complicated enough to be hitting the hard drives. Just thought it was interesting about standard office apps. They also tested Battlefront and Call of Duty and found slightly improved performance post-patch...just interesting.

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Post #: 25
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/6/2018 12:01:59 AM   
BDukes

 

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Interesting. Its great you bring stuff like this up so we know what to worry about



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RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/6/2018 12:08:40 AM   
thewood1

 

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Yeah, never fun bringing bad news. But I thought it would be good that instead of just listening to hysterical people or reading reposts of news reports, it might be good to see what quantified impact it might have on the game(s) we play.

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RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/6/2018 12:15:27 AM   
BDukes

 

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Yes. You are cool for doing so. Thank You!

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RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/6/2018 5:43:59 AM   
Maromak


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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

Yeah, never fun bringing bad news. But I thought it would be good that instead of just listening to hysterical people or reading reposts of news reports, it might be good to see what quantified impact it might have on the game(s) we play.


Are there other games???

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Certa Cito

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Post #: 29
RE: Intel CPU issues - 1/6/2018 5:47:12 AM   
Cik

 

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sims my man

sims



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