Print 93 comment(s) - last by kalak.. on Aug 8 at 2:42 PM

Developers told not to panic over new Intel Core 2 Duo steppings

OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt publicly denounced Intel’s Core 2 processors on the OpenBSD mailing list. Raadt cited 38 pages of processor errata from Intel’s published CPU specifications (PDF).

“These processors are buggy as hell, and some of these bugs don’t just cause development/debugging problems, but will *ASSUREDLY* be exploitable from userland code," Raadt said. "Some of these are things that cannot be fixed in running code, and some are things that every operating system will do until about mid-2008, because that is how the MMU has always been managed on all generations of Intel/AMD/whoeverelse hardware."

Linux coordinator and former Transmeta employee Linus Torvalds, thought otherwise and considers these bugs “totally insignificant.”

Processor errata is nothing new, Torvalds said. Commodity CPUs such as chips based on the Intel Core 2 architecture have a considerably lower bug rate than proprietary boutique CPUs.

“Yeah, x86 errata get more attention," said Torvalds. "But those things are pretty damn well tested. Better than most.”

The errata document specifically mentions the Core 2 Duo E4000, E6000, and X6800 series processors. None of the errata are nearly as insidious or widespread as more infamous problems, like the original Pentium floating-point bug, although some can lead to buffer overflow exploits, claims de Raalt. All of the current errata have patches in the works or can be — and have been — worked around by developers.

In a statement from Intel Global Communications, Nick Knuppfer writes:

“Months ago, we addressed a processor issue by providing a BIOS update for our customers that in no way affects system performance. We publicly documented this as an erratum in April. All processors from all companies have errata, and Intel has a well-known errata communication process to inform our customers and the public. Keep in mind the probability of encountering this issue is extremely low."

“Specification Updates for the affected processors are available at All errata are thoroughly investigated for issues and vulnerabilities, should they have any we fix them, usually through a microcode update.”

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Buggy Intel processors X AMD Opetrons...
By greylica on 7/2/2007 7:55:06 AM , Rating: 0
That explain why I tested the Apple quad Xeons versus quad Opterons 265 and the Opteron was 35% Faster than Apple Power Mac in Linux !!!

By Visual on 7/2/2007 11:24:19 AM , Rating: 3
No, it has nothing at all to do with that.

And I know it is much off-topic here, but I wonder what kind of a "Power Mac" were you testing... maybe you meant "Mac Pro"? With "quad Xeon"... I didn't know Apple had a quad-socket Xeon box at all... two-socket quad-core perhaps?
Versus quad-socket dual-core from AMD? Fair comparison, except the 265 chips don't run in quad setups... did you mean 865?

Oh I get it now, you probably meant dual-socket dual-core in both cases, and the marketing hype just got to you so you call it "quad"... simple as 2x2... you can now proceed to boasting how you OC'ed your setup to 11.2GHz combined speed :p

AMD would definitely have some advantage in FSB and memory-intensive apps, especially if NUMA support was used. But for pure processing power, I doubt your results would hold. The 265 are 1.8GHz, the xeons in the macs can be 3.0GHz (though you failed to mention the actual clockspeed). If the apps were optimized for SSSE3, good bye Opterons...

But yeah, enough with the off-topicness... all i wanted to say really is, stop posting rubbish.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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