Windows 10: Asus CPU microcode update... Solved

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  1.    17 Mar 2018 #1

    Asus CPU microcode update...


    The system with Asus Prime Z370-A updated to BIOS version 0613, that includes the CPU microcode update. Benchmarking the drives and comparing to pre-update results show interesting results.

    System drive, Samsung 960 EVO 250GB, M.2 NVMe x4 :

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    Updating the BIOS results in ~10% decrease in for most, while sequential read takes ~40% decrease and the Q8T8 write increases ~5% increase. That's just benchmark, the system performance did not change, seemingly just as fast as it had been prior to updating the BIOS.

    Data drive, Samsung 960 EVO 250GB, M.2 NVMe x4 :

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    There is decrease in benchmark results after the BIOS update, mainly in the write results, but overall it isn't as substantial as with the system drive.

    Personal drive, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB:

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    The benchmark results are pretty much the same, some results increased while other decreased, but not as substantially as the NVMe drives.

    Seemingly, the CPU microcode update is optimized for SATA drives, hit and miss for the NVMe drives. Could this be the reason for the results? Alternatively...

    Is there a difference how Windows treats the system from the other drives? It's unlikely, but I don't know...
    Last edited by Cr00zng; 21 Mar 2018 at 10:10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 Mar 2018 #2

    Thanks for posting this. Nice work!
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    17 Mar 2018 #3

    Helpful, actually, I was searching for this kind of brief about Asus CPU microcode. You know I use musconv tool to transfer music from Spotify to Amazon music. You can try it by the way.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 5,154
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       17 Mar 2018 #4

    There has been 'talk' on the Internet's various forums about the fixes for the 2 problems causing some slowdown.
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  5.    17 Mar 2018 #5

    Thanks guys...

    The one performance hit is with opening QB 2018, takes longer to open, around 18 seconds. It's kind of strange since the QB database is on the data drive...

    I guess, I'll start with Asus tech support that will direct me to Samsung Tech support, Samsung sends me to Microsoft, Microsoft will advise to contact Intel, in return Intel will recommend replacing Samsung EVO with Opterone. That's pretty much predictable...

    .
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  6.    20 Mar 2018 #6

    Asus tech support actually replied in about four hours, not bad at all. I just wish that their suggested remediation was accurate...

    The first suggested fix for this issue was, quote:

    You may try to clear the CMOS of your motherboard and test if the same issue will still persist.

    The link provided for clearing the CMOS is for the 3-pin CLRTC, but the Asus Prime Z370-A motherboard has two 2-pin for this purpose. While clearing the CMOS with the 2-pin is easy, I have a question. Updating the BIOS will clear the CMOS, does it not? And if it does, why would manually doing so change anything?

    The second suggested fix was for revert the BIOS, quote:

    Also you may try to use the EZ flash 3 to revert back the previous BIOS version of your motherboard.

    The "may try to use" portion does not give me much confidence. Will it actually work, or just hose the system? I've done BIOS updates a number of times, but never revert it to older version. Is that something that carries no risks?
    TIA...
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  7.    20 Mar 2018 #7

    Benchmarks can be fun, interesting, or frustrating, depending upon the results but if the system performance "feels" about the same as you say it does, then I'd stick with the latest BIOS update you have and not worry much about benchmark results. I recently bought an Intel 760p NVMe SSD and don't have benchmark results from before the latest Asus BIOS update which included microcode updates so all I have is Crystal Disk Mark results from after the BIOS update but its interesting that the results are close to your Samsung 960 EVO results. I'm staying with this BIOS update but don't know if I'll update should they release another, at least not for now since tests show the system is supposed to be good against Meltdown/Spectre.

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  8.    20 Mar 2018 #8

    wordsworth said: View Post
    Benchmarks can be fun, interesting, or frustrating, depending upon the results but if the system performance "feels" about the same as you say it does, then I'd stick with the latest BIOS update you have and not worry much about benchmark results. I recently bought an Intel 760p NVMe SSD and don't have benchmark results from before the latest Asus BIOS update which included microcode updates so all I have is Crystal Disk Mark results from after the BIOS update but its interesting that the results are close to your Samsung 960 EVO results. I'm staying with this BIOS update but don't know if I'll update should they release another, at least not for now since tests show the system is supposed to be good against Meltdown/Spectre.

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    Well, not exactly... couple of things...

    While the overall performance of the system is seemingly the same, Quickbooks does not perform the same. Opening Quickbooks 2018 takes more than twice as long to open now after the BIOS update. While I don't care much about the benchmark, it's just an indication for system performance, the delay in opening Quickbooks annoys me. Especially, when the seven years old system with SATA III SSDs, without the Spectre/Meltsown fix that the new system replaced, opens the same program in half the time. Yeah, that irks me...

    And as for your benchmark results....

    They are much better than mine, especially in the most important 4KiB area that used most frequently by the system...
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  9.    20 Mar 2018 #9

    Cr00zng said: View Post
    Well, not exactly... couple of things...

    While the overall performance of the system is seemingly the same, Quickbooks does not perform the same. Opening Quickbooks 2018 takes more than twice as long to open now after the BIOS update. While I don't care much about the benchmark, it's just an indication for system performance, the delay in opening Quickbooks annoys me. Especially, when the seven years old system with SATA III SSDs, without the Spectre/Meltsown fix that the new system replaced, opens the same program in half the time. Yeah, that irks me...

    And as for your benchmark results....

    They are much better than mine, especially in the most important 4KiB area that used most frequently by the system...
    Two things. I have programs that do not open better than when I had the first SSD in this system, an Intel X25-M. WinDVD Pro 12 is an example of a program that is not well coded and performs poorly no matter the disk it has been installed to in this system (X25, 600p, 760p). On benchmarks, I've compared my benchmark results (AS SSD, Crystal, etc.) with those in reviews and found the 760p installed in this system to be lacking by comparison. I don't know what optimizations these review sites do to their systems but my numbers are not as good as theirs. I can enable Intel Rapid Storage in the Asus BIOS and get better numbers, but I don't leave that on since it adds seconds to the boot time which I don't like.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    21 Mar 2018 #10

    Cr00zng said: View Post
    The system with Asus Prime X370-A updated to BIOS version 0613, that includes the CPU microcode update. Benchmarking the drives and comparing to pre-update results show interesting results.

    System drive, Samsung 960 EVO 250GB, M.2 NVMe x4 :

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	c_b and a.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	147.8 KB 
ID:	181177

    Updating the BIOS results in ~10% decrease in for most, while sequential read takes ~40% decrease and the Q8T8 write increases ~5% increase. That's just benchmark, the system performance did not change, seemingly just as fast as it had been prior to updating the BIOS.

    Data drive, Samsung 960 EVO 250GB, M.2 NVMe x4 :

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	e_b and a.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	142.3 KB 
ID:	181178

    There is decrease in benchmark results after the BIOS update, mainly in the write results, but overall it isn't as substantial as with the system drive.

    Personal drive, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	f_b and a.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	139.5 KB 
ID:	181191

    The benchmark results are pretty much the same, some results increased while other decreased, but not as substantially as the NVMe drives.

    Seemingly, the CPU microcode update is optimized for SATA drives, hit and miss for the NVMe drives. Could this be the reason for the results? Alternatively...

    Is there a difference how Windows treats the system from the other drives? It's unlikely, but I don't know...
    Wait a sec, Asus Prime X370-A is an AMD AM4 MB, what it has to do with Intel microcode patches ?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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