Last week, Intel released overhauled Spectre fixes for all its newest CPUs – from Skylake onwards – and now the firm has pushed out fresh patches for many Broadwell and Haswell processors too (5th- and 4th-gen models).
These are working Spectre patches that don’t cause the instability problems which the previous fixes did, which led to Intel recommending that folks don’t install them.
Obviously this is good news from a security point of view for those with Broadwell and Haswell chips, with Intel clarifying exactly which Core and Xeon CPUs now have fixed patches.
As the Register reports, on the Broadwell front, patches are now done for processors with these CPU IDs: 50662, 50663, 50664, 40671, 406F1, 306D4 and 40671.
And when it comes to Haswell, the following chips are now good to go: 306C3, 4066, 306F2, 40651 and 306C3.
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Patch and push
Note that Intel releasing these patches doesn’t mean you’ll be getting them immediately, as they have been pushed out to hardware manufacturers, and those vendors must now incorporate them in BIOS updates which will be delivered to users going forward.
There’s a slight worry on the performance front with older processors, because these fixes may hit veteran CPUs with a greater level of slowdown, particularly if you’re running an older version of Windows as well (i.e. pre-Windows 10). Although we’ll only really know when these patches are released…
That leaves only Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge CPUs which don’t have functional Spectre patches (as first-gen Core processors aren’t affected, apparently). According to Intel’s update, these are still in beta testing, so it could be some time yet before we see deployment on that front.
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