×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Advice Against Nehalem Xeons Snuffed Out

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the keep-that-under-your-hat dept.

Intel 154

Eukariote writes "In an article outlining hidden strife in the processor world, Andreas Stiller has reported the scoop that Microsoft advised against the use of Intel Nehalem Xeon (Core i7/i5) processors under Windows Server 2008 R2, but was pressured by Intel to refrain from publishing this advisory. The issue concerns a bug causing spurious interrupts that locks up the Hypervisor of Server 2008. Though there is a hotfix, it is unattractive as it disables power savings and turbo boost states. (The original German-language version of the article is also available.)"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

154 comments

Broken processors (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255780)

The processors are clearly broken, and anyone who bought them should get a refund or an exchange. End of story.

Re:Broken processors (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255838)

We use them with Oracle VM (Xen), and they work ok.

Re:Broken processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256096)

All hardware has errata. This one is no more serious than many others.

Re:Broken processors (4, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256194)

It's pretty serious.

Server requirements of CPUs include virtualisation and power savings (saving power in the data centre is a top priority for companies now).

This CPU cannot do both at the same time, at least with Windows Server 2008's Hypervisor. Presumably it is being sold with both items listed as features however. I agree with the OP - the CPUs are broken as sold and advertised.

Re:Broken processors (5, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256490)

so much FUD.

#1. MS classified this interrupt as "unreliable" for all previous hypervisors and randomly decided to use it for this version of their hyper visor

#2. ONLY MS uses this interrupt, not vmware or anyone else.

#3. Intel's new Xeons still use less power and out perform AMD and any previous CPUs. It's still the best CPU, even if you use the "work around"

Re:Broken processors (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256738)

fanboy reality: it's the best cpu
real reality: it's broken

get out of the basement! how you you even post that the CPU it's better than anything (for a server) if it can't handle power management after applying a PATCH because the fucking chip IT'S BROKEN you idiot, power management it's everything for a datacenter.

You may don't give a flying fuck if you waste hundreds of watts making that pr0n slideshow go "faster" (because obviously the porn in an intel machine it's more vivid and crisp, btw all porn in AMD machine it's converted to kiddy porn)but people doing real stuff cares about this defective piece of chit.

Re:Broken processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256800)

These are the same ones in the new Joint Strike Fighter

Quite costly if one crashes.

Re:Broken processors (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256894)

Well, at least it seems to appear that fines on the scale of recent EU one don't seem to bother Intel that much...

Re:Broken processors (5, Informative)

Waynelson (1068550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256936)

I don't know if anyone actually read the kb article on the Microsoft website, but it appears that you don't lose the power saving features and what not with the hot fix installation, the loss of those features only occurs when you directly modify the registry to disable some of the c-states in the apci system as a quick fix. Either that or i'm reading the kb article wrong.

Re:Broken processors (1)

gone.fishing (213219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256946)

Excuse me? I am not a 'Microsoft Hater' as many people are here on Slashdot but that does not mean that I will take their word as gosple either! If Microsoft felt so strongly that this processor bug was terrible they should have never yeilded to Intel after all it is their reputation on the line too.

While the bug does sound serious it has been dealt with in a hot fix; a fix that may not be perfect but it works. I'm not a server engineer but if you disable power mgmt and lock the hypervisor into turbo does it hurt the performance much? I seriously don't know the implications but have always thought that most servers are tweaked for performance and not really for power saving.

I am willing to bet that there have been many, many give and take sessions between Microsoft and Intel and probably other entities where issues like this are sorted out for the benifit of the industry (or at least for all parties involved in the discussions).

Re:Broken processors (2, Insightful)

countach (534280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257068)

So you've missed the entire trend towards power saving in the data center?

AMD is looking better and this is the type of stuf (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255796)

AMD is looking better and this is the type of stuff that intel worshipers say amd systems do and now what will they say about intel?

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255818)

amd is incapable of having bugs in the convoluted exception path?

Isn't it really a bug in Windows Server? (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256036)

FTFA:

For the integrated hypervisor of Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has bravely resorted to a timer function that they themselves had classified as unreliable for former processors: the timer of the Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC). Unlike, for example, the CPU timer (Time Stamp Counter, TSC) - which by now is comparatively resistant to power-saving, SpeedStep and turbo-boost modes, but is also virtualised by virtual machines - the APIC timer can also trigger interrupts. Unfortunately, right now, the Nehalem has too many of those, so that the hypervisor falters and then stops, returning the message "Clock_Watchdog_Time-out".

So yes, if you depend on something that generates an interrupt whose code path may be suspended in certain power-saving modes, don't be surprised if it doesn't get serviced promptly. It looks more like a bug in Windows Server.

Back in the old days, when you issued a CLI instruction, you made sure your routine didn't do too much work before issuing an STI, because that code isn't re-entrant (it's directly modifiable by the hardware, which is why you have to use the "volatile" keyword to make sure that compilers didn't "optimize away" any loops, etc). Kind of hard to guarantee that if you're putting that portion of the hardware to sleep between interrupts. As the article points out, disabling those power-saving modes fixes the problem.

Re:Isn't it really a bug in Windows Server? (4, Interesting)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256158)

I don't think so. Here's the text from the Intel erratum:

During a complex set of conditions, if the APIC timer is being used to generate interrupts, unexpected interrupts not related to the APIC timer may be signaled when a core exits the C6 power state. The APIC timer stops counting in C6 and as such isn't typically used to generate interrupts when the C6 core power state is enabled. Implication: Unexpected interrupt vectors could be sent from the APIC to a logical processor.

Interrupts not related to the APIC timer being caused by the APIC timer is not a software problem, it's a hardware problem. I could understand your argument if the APIC timer was generating too many interrupts upon C6 exit, or something else related to messed-up APIC timekeeping near power management events, but this is unrelated interrupts being generated.

I don't know the details, but I would assume Microsoft is using the APIC timer in its hypervisor for a reason. Maybe it's because the hypervisor is required to virtualize all the other timekeeping mechanisms for the guest.

Re:Isn't it really a bug in Windows Server? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256808)

Shut up You imbecile, stop trying to bring your facts here because it's indeed a Microsoft fault, how can Intel ever be wrong?! you're such a retard for even questioning Intel about M$ faults, see? the dollar sign? I don't see dollar sign on Intel, clearly Intel is not only superior but they are utterly perfect and worthy of any sacrifices you have to make in order to own one, if you lose power management, data, money or time for using Inter you should feel honored. But why do I even try, obviously you use AMD so you're poor and your opinion does not matter because you're not INTELligent.

Re:Isn't it really a bug in Windows Server? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30257084)

This article is gibberish. The TSC does not generate interrupts. As a clocksource, the TSC is unreliable because while the frequency is fixed within a socket, it can skew across sockets particularly when dealing with multi-node systems.

Performance, complexity & bugs (3, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256162)

No, it's more like [hardware manufacturer of your choice] AND [software manufacturer of your choice] are incapable of making products that are both complex, and bug-free.

And for some reason, 'high performance' often equals 'complex'.

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (2, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256078)

I wouldn't say "AMD is better", necessarily. I will say, however, that the Xeons seem to have been plagued from the very beginning with problems like this. They're just fringe enough to not get enough run-in testing, and the bugs don't get as quickly found as they do with the more mainstream/many users processors.

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (2, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256374)

Xeon is just a marketing name. The Xeon 3400 are identical with the i5-7xx, i7-8xx CPUs, the Xeon 3500 are identical with the i7-9xx CPUs and the Xeon 5500 CPUs are basically i7-9xx with two QPI Links.

For example, this issue also affects als i5 and i7 CPUs.

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (3, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256086)

Read the link. 5 pages of errata, and that's just headlines. Modern processors are very complicated, and they will have bugs.

The major difference between Intel and AMD when it comes to errata is that Intel learned its lesson about secrecy from the Pentium FPU fiasco. Since then they have had a very open approach to processor bugs. AMD hasn't had such a PR disaster and isn't quite as open. That doesn't mean they are particularly less buggy.

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256594)

Intel i7(quad) @ 3.33ghz Idle: 117watts Full-Load: 247watts

Phenom2 x4(quad) @ 3.2ghz Idle: 148watts Full-Load: 236watts

Now, include Intel's cpu being 2x-4x faster(depending on type of work) and check your performance per watt and tell me which is better

I'm trying to follow your logic of AMD being better (at least for now, bulldozer has a lot of promise)

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30257160)

[needs citation]

BlaProc t9 (nine cores) @ 5.33Ghz idle: 24.3 Watts Full-Load: 25.6 Watts.

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (-1, Troll)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256608)

It's not a processor bug, it's a Windows bug. The advisory should say "download this Windows update" that properly fixes it, not "stop using this processor, because it causes our bug to show up"

By the sound of it MS' fix is abysmal and shoddy.

Re:AMD is looking better and this is the type of s (2, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256684)

It's a processor bug exposed by a new hypervisor technique used by MS and nobody else.

I'm not sure why you want to blame this on MS.

AMD looking better? Bullshit (5, Informative)

TopSpin (753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257036)

AMD has also built parts with equally screwed up timers, particularly TSC clock skew on multi-cores. Timers are just messed up on x86 from either company. This nonsense goes back years. There are now at least four distinct general purpose clock sources that must be present on modern systems; tsc, apci_pm, hpet and pit (as labeled by the Linux kernel.) There will probably be further proliferation in the future as ALL of the existing timers are inadequate in subtle ways. Implementations from both manufacturers have been plagued with bugs that require nasty work-arounds; google "clocksource tsc unstable", "pm-timer bug" or "athlon x2 tsc" for some examples. This nonsense that Microsoft has stumbled upon is just the latest in a long and colorful history of failure that we'll now have to add to the list.

Computers are supposed to keep time. Today that means high resolution clocks that work correctly regardless of power saving, concurrency, etc. Using these crucial timers is not suppose to cause spurious interrupts, bus contention or other subtle problems. People that must work with this stuff are thoroughly fed up with this ever growing pile of half-baked bullshit.

Re:AMD looking better? Bullshit (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257496)

I agree wholeheartedly. I once spent a lot of time trying to get a virtualised windows machine to run in plain old vmware server without the clock galloping head at 40% faster than wall-clock time; I tried many different things on the linux host side as well as the vm and the vmware tools install.

Will Intel and AMD please sit down like adults and come up with a standardised mechanism that virtualises and copes with dynamic clocking, multiple cores with/without hyperthreading and all the idle and sleep states.

What about for Windows 7? (3, Interesting)

Faizdog (243703) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255858)

This story is interesting and timely because I plan on buying a new desktop in the next 2 weeks, just waiting for the right deal to come out, hopefully on Cyber Monday. While not getting a server, I will be getting Windows 7. I had been planning on an i7, but now am hesitant. Is there a problem with these processors for home use/gaming purposes under Windows 7? Or would I better off going with a Quad Core?

Re:What about for Windows 7? (5, Informative)

Viros (1128445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255988)

I've got an i7 920 on my desktop and run Windows 7 for gaming/home use purposes and it works fine. Don't let the problems with the server software dissuade you from a very good processor for home and gaming use. The kind of stuff you're describing doing will never run into anything close to the problems from this article.

Re:What about for Windows 7? (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256426)

Second. Been running the same proc with Windows 7 since RC and RTM. No probs whatsoever. I have been running VMWare for XP and encountered no issues.

Re:What about for Windows 7? (3, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256002)

No, this only applies to the Hyper-V component of Server 2008 R2. Normal people do not use Windows Server for "home use/gaming purposes" (cue a dozen replies of people talking about how cool they are because they use pirated copies for said purpose), so its not a big deal. Also, Core i5/i7 is already a Quad Core, I assume you mean Core 2 Quad.

Re:What about for Windows 7? (1, Funny)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256390)

(cue a dozen replies of people talking about how cool they are because they use pirated copies for said purpose)

I'm cool because I use a pirated copy of Windows Server for said purpose.

(Looks around.) Hey, waitaminute! Where'd the other 11 guys go? I've been set up! Curse you Microsoft and your clever Slashdot traps!

Re:What about for Windows 7? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257418)

Does it affect the XP Mode component of Windows 7? Obviously you aren't going to use that for gaming unless you don't mind having less than one frame per second in your games through it's internal RPD thingy, but you may well have some sort of XP program running in the background when you are playing your game, even if it is just your XP virus scanner.

Re:What about for Windows 7? (0, Troll)

Fookin (652988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256010)

This story is interesting and timely because I plan on buying a new desktop in the next 2 weeks, just waiting for the right deal to come out, hopefully on Cyber Monday. While not getting a server, I will be getting Windows 7. I had been planning on an i7, but now am hesitant. Is there a problem with these processors for home use/gaming purposes under Windows 7? Or would I better off going with a Quad Core?

No problems at all. I'm running an i7 920 with 12 GB of RAM and Windows 7 64-Bit Ultimate. I've been playing BF2, GTA4, COD:MW/MW2, Batman: AA and others without any problem. Not to mention running 2 or 3 VMWare sessions, putty sessions, winscp, IE8, pidgin and streaming TV through Windows Media Center all at the same time.

Re:What about for Windows 7? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256188)

No problems at all. I'm running an i7 920 with 12 GB of RAM and Windows 7 64-Bit Ultimate. I've been playing BF2, GTA4, COD:MW/MW2, Batman: AA and others without any problem. Not to mention running 2 or 3 VMWare sessions, putty sessions, winscp, IE8, pidgin and streaming TV through Windows Media Center all at the same time.

Okay you have a big penis (not literally). We get it.

Re:What about for Windows 7? (1)

Fookin (652988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256662)

Really? Cool. I figured I'd lose points for mentioning IE8 :)

Re:What about for Windows 7? (2, Insightful)

cwebster (100824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256792)

Actaully no, IE8 is the only program you mentioned that actually needs an i7 920 and 12 gigs or ram to properly execute.

The rest of your post is like a word problem, "Sally has 5 fish, 2 turtles and a cat. How many cats does Sally have?." That is to say, completely irrelevant to the question at hand.

Using putty to justify a multiple core machine, quite hardcore...

Re:What about for Windows 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256200)

Microsoft advisory mentions i7 800 series, so i7-920 is not affected?

Re:What about for Windows 7? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256798)

I may be wrong, but if they said IO-APIC, then it's probably due to that normally being in the northbridge (I BELIEVE!) and thus in the case of the i920 not actually on-chip. The difference being the LGA1156 series chips have almost all, or all the northbridge functionality on-chip (PCIe channels are from the CPU, not a northbridge like on the LGA1366 series hardware). So possibly it was something that was noted, but not considered a problem for the segment the chip was aimed at, wasn't an issue that came up in testing with previous microsoft virtualisation or anybody else's (which probably got more thorough testing), and upon release it turned out 'ooops, people actually ARE going to use it for that purpose and we didn't do something smart like pressure microsoft to change their interrupts so it won't fall on us.'

But hey, what do I know, right?

Re:What about for Windows 7? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256708)

No problems at all. I'm running an i7 920 with 12 GB of RAM and Windows 7 64-Bit Ultimate. I've been playing BF2, GTA4, COD:MW/MW2, Batman: AA and others without any problem. Not to mention running 2 or 3 VMWare sessions, putty sessions, winscp, IE8, pidgin and streaming TV through Windows Media Center all at the same time.

But have you solved... love?

First Rev of New Architecture (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255862)

Many of the benchmarking sites have also posted some poor results - I was thinking this might be a generation to skip, but now I wonder if a flaw has been discovered that could be fixed with a microcode upload. Might help the benchmarks too if it was a hidden variable.

Re:First Rev of New Architecture (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256048)

A generation to skip for servers (or move to AMD for a generation) but Core i7s are amazing for home/gaming use. For just about anything other than visualization and server-specific stuff, Core i7s and CPUs with the same architecture have no comparison with what AMD has to offer.

Re:First Rev of New Architecture (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256092)

I'm cautiously optimistic that Nehalem-EX will be a decent server processor, at least in the 1-2 socket segment. It seems to handle multithreading quite well, and have decent FP performance. For now, though, the 6-core Opteron is king.

Re:First Rev of New Architecture (1)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257040)

A generation to skip for servers (or move to AMD for a generation) but Core i7s are amazing for home/gaming use. For just about anything other than visualization and server-specific stuff, Core i7s and CPUs with the same architecture have no comparison with what AMD has to offer.

"citation needed"

You're saying that like Microsoft Hyper-V is the only virtualization platform, nobody ever uses a server without virtualization, and there's no way Microsoft could ever release a hotfix for the issue. Sell your Intel stock now!

Re:First Rev of New Architecture (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256394)

What benchmarks were you looking at? The Xeon 5500 CPUs are fast as hell. They no longer need slow FB-DIMMs. They use much less power and yet deliver more Performance.

A Dual-Socket, Quad Core Xeon 5500 machine can beat a quad-socket, Six Core AMD machine (c't, a Magazine also bei Heise published a test regarding this some issues ago).

Re:First Rev of New Architecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30257208)

A Dual-Socket, Quad Core Xeon 5500 machine can beat a quad-socket, Six Core AMD machine (c't, a Magazine also bei Heise published a test regarding this some issues ago).

[[Citation Needed]]

Re:First Rev of New Architecture (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257588)

What benchmarks were you looking at? The Xeon 5500 CPUs are fast as hell. They no longer need slow FB-DIMMs. They use much less power and yet deliver more Performance.

I don't have a handy link to give you, but the focus was on the cache, IIRC. They performed slower than the previous Xeons for certain workloads. The focus was work/cycle - agreed they're much better in work/Watt.

Windows specific? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255868)

It sounds like microsoft should retract the advice and issue a warning that no OS should be run on a processor with such spurious interrupts?

Or is this the sort of crappy hardware kernels are supposed to put up with in which case it should be Intel advising against running windows on it's hardware?

Int€l bashing..check
M$ bahing...check
now i just sit back and watch the karma roll in

Re:Windows specific? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255894)

Uh, guy? That symbol you used is a "C" with two lines through it, not an "E". Get it right.

Re:Windows specific? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256020)

Uh, guy? That symbol you used is a "C" with two lines through it, not an "E". Get it right.

No.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_sign

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epsilon

Re:Windows specific? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256072)

That "C with two lines through it" is worth more than the "S with a vertical line through it".

Re:Windows specific? (0, Offtopic)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256118)

The funny symbol (a C with two lines in it ) is the international symbol for the Euro.
You know that funny currency that is in use in a bigger trading block than the almighty US Dollar. Ok, not all EU countries use it but places like Germany, France, Italy, Spain etc use it and have done for over 5 years.

At the moment, the Euro is regarded as a more valuable currency thant the USD.

Re:Windows specific? (4, Funny)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256406)

I think you just missed out on the joke. It's unlikely the OP meant to show any kind of disrespect (heaven forbid) for the wonderful, lovely Euro, so try not to be so defensive huh? Relax.

Re:Windows specific? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256472)

Sorry, but what does this have to do with the misuse of the Euro symbol? We already know it's the Euro symbol so the first sentence is redundant. We weren't talking about dollars at all, and right away you jump in with several more sentences loudly proclaiming how USA sucks and Europe rules. WTF dude?

Re:Windows specific? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257116)

Yes, but don't worry poor little Euro peoples, if the dollar falls too much we will just have to "liberate" you! Them Germans might put up a bit of a fuss, they were tough little buggers in WWII you know, but I don't think we'll have to worry too much about them Frenchies. So don't worry little Euros, soon you will all be free! To shop at strip malls filled with Walmarts!

Re:Windows specific? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257442)

You know that funny currency that is in use in a bigger trading block than the almighty US Dollar.

At the moment, the Euro is regarded as a more valuable currency thant the USD.

Used across a population 170% the size of the US, and yet the Euro is only slightly more valuable than USD.

And the USD remains the dominant world currency. The days of the Euro being looked at as a possibility for long-term investments were very short-lived indeed.

Re:Windows specific? (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256176)

Actually, no, it isn't. In official bullshit-speak:

Inspiration for the symbol itself came from the Greek epsilon () - a reference to the cradle of European civilisation - and the first letter of the word Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to 'certify' the stability of the euro.

Straight from the horse's mouth [europa.eu] .

The single-stroke $-sign OTOH might just as well be an 8:

That the dollar sign is derived from a slash through the numeral eight, denoting pieces of eight. The Oxford English Dictionary before 1963 held that this was the most probable explanation, though later editions have placed it in doubt.

according to wikipedia [citation needed].

If this was true it would herald a major crisis for derogatory spelling worldwide. I propose a conference to establish new and reliable standards (.) that provide sustainable ways to express our unstillable rage (..) and call attention to the seriousness of the offenses (...) committed by mega-corps (*gasping for air*) in one handy typographical sign.

Re:Windows specific? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256358)

So you mean it's even MORE nonsensical to use it in place of a letter? At least C is a letter, "sigma" doesn't even exist in the Latin characters.

Re:Windows specific? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256082)

It sounds like microsoft should retract the advice and issue a warning that no OS should be run on a processor with such spurious interrupts?

Ehm, aren't these spurious interrupts a hardware feature, designed to test the code handling them?

(ducks to avoid in-flight chair)

Re:Windows specific? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256222)

Yeah baby, wintel, a proud member of the MAFIAA family.

The next chip I will be buying is a Loongson [lemote.com]

Re:Windows specific? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256266)

Been running Linux on a Corei7-920 for nearly a year now (ok, only 11.5 months). Not even the slightest sniff of trouble. One of the hard drives is giving a lot of bad/relocated sectors, but thats another story (and it was new in January too).

VMWare may also be a problem (2, Informative)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255882)

I've been experiencing problems with intermittent lockups under VMWare as well. DL370-G6 boxes. HP has given us BIOS fixes and is even shipping new boxes, but if there's a suspect problem
with working with MS' hypervisor, I wonder if this is the same issue?

Re:VMWare may also be a problem (2, Interesting)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256110)

Is it in response to a documented problem with VMWare ESX that HP trying to remedy with a specific BIOS change or is HP just flailing around suggesting BIOS updates as a fix to a problem they don't yet understand? There are 100s of reasons why you're having VMWare lockup issues - the ONLY similarity to MSFT issue that you seem to have is they are both hypervisors running on Nelhalem procs. Pretty thin. What does VMWare think the problem is?

Re:VMWare may also be a problem (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257280)

What do they think? Replace the hardware. Which I may believe on one box but on two? They've replaced system boards, HBAs, BIOS updates... it hasn't fixed the root cause of the boxes locking up.

SO, now new boxes while the VMs are migrated to "stable" hardware. They're running fine on G5s..

I like the Nehalem architecture and am willing to put up with some initial discomfort but these processors have been on the market for over 9 months now.

I'd also disagree on "100s of reasons" with VMWare lockups. VMWare has been very stable in our environment and outside of new Nehalem boxes we don't suffer from lockups that often. We have but usually we can pinpoint a specific problem. In the case of this issue HP and VMWare can't identify anything specific.

Linux works fine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255898)

Gee, Linux is working fine with all of these really hot, super fast chips. Goes like the wind, no bugs, no errors, no problems, and if I remember reading the microsofts internal documentation (from microsoft research of all places), Linux does context switches with about 5 times less code than microsofts best and newest, and also switches contexts about 5 times as fast as well (and these are full processes, not threads). Seems like microsoft is having problems (again), not that I would troll the fanboidom or anything. Just sayin'. One of these systems goes like stink running high octane, and one can't stay in the kitchen 'cause its too darn hot (and stay away from those Xeons too, cause someone can't make software well enough to run with the big boys). Oh, and thanks for showing up!

Re:Linux works fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30255992)

I wouldnt be so sure without seeing test results

Re:Linux works fine (1, Flamebait)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256272)

and also switches contexts about 5 times as fast as well (and these are full processes, not threads)

Seeing as Linux has about 1/5th of useful software compared to Windows, I guess it all balances out in the end.

And here's me, with a ton of recent Insightfuls and a good backlog of Excellent karma, pissing it all up the wall for one dig at an obvious Linux fanboi ... when will I ever learn ?

Inverted perceptions and Llanelli (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256646)

> Seeing as Linux has about 1/5th of useful software compared to Windows, I guess it all balances out in the end.

That's odd, we must be running different versions of Windows. I run it too, and it has exactly one useful program on it, the game I play. In contrast, my O/S of choice, Linux, has thousands of useful programs on it, which I use daily. No contest.

> I look like somebody from Llanelli !

And you think like one too! Although on the positive side, you can probably recognize fine beers instead. ;-)

Re:Inverted perceptions and Llanelli (2, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256732)

Thousand(s) implies at least two thousand.

Ergo, you use each program on average for 43.2 seconds. Is this because they *all* suck, or you simply have the attention span of a concussed duckling ?

Re:Inverted perceptions and Llanelli (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257292)

It's just too bad they haven't invented some way for a computer to run more than one program at a time, or his claim might have been plausible! :)

Ok, thousands is probably hyperbole in any case, but I'm certainly running dozens just on this one machine alone, and when I finish typing this and go off to get a snack, that number won't change to any appreciable degree.

Damn pesky kids (0, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30255904)

Nothing to see here. Move along. What? Nevermind where I work.

Re:Damn pesky kids (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256104)

Nothing to see here. Move along. What? Nevermind where I work.

Sorry, didn't get the message - running with interrupts disabled due to too many interrupts - so Im goo@#@!%!!#)(MN!NO CARRIER

I for one welcome our non-interrupted cpu overlords, because in Soviet Russia, interrupts disable YOU!

Please Explain Further (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256030)

I read the article, I read the MS support report, and I read the Intel advisory. And I don't think that the summary is correct.

The summary says that the hotfix disables power savings and turbo boost. But my reading of the MS report is that an affected system has two options, (1) a workaround, and (2) the hotfix. The difference is that the workaround disables advanced power savings and is known to be stable without side effects, but the hotfix actually fixes the problem with the vector table, presumably by following the instructions provided in the Intel advisory note.

Said another way, the hotfix doesn't disable power savings and doesn't disable turbo boost.

I expect that this is another fine example where Slashdot editors misunderstand a situation. Someone prove me wrong.

Re:Please Explain Further (4, Informative)

RDaneel2 (533639) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256134)

I just saw your post as I was finishing researching mine... and I certainly agree with you that the summary is wrong.

The Microsoft KB article is quite explicit that the workaround is what disables the sleep states, leading to higher power usage - the hotfix itself does not exhibit this problem.

Re:Please Explain Further (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256156)

Your explanation is exactly how I interpreted the KB article. I think Slashdot was going for some sensationalistic journalism. :-)

Taken from TFA:
You can disable the Advance Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) C-states by using a BIOS firmware option on the computer. If the firmware does not include this option, a software workaround is available. You can disable the ACPI C2-state and C3-state by setting a registry key. To do this, follow these steps:

      1. At a command prompt, run the following command:
            reg add HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Processor /v Capabilities /t REG_DWORD /d 0x0007c044
      2. Restart the computer.

Note The computer idle power consumption will increase significantly if the deeper ACPI C-states (processor idle sleep states) are disabled. Windows Server 2008 R2 uses these deeper C-states on the Xeon 5500 series as a key energy saving feature.

To continue to benefit from these energy saving states, remove this registry key after you install the hotfix that this article describes. To do remove this registry key, follow these steps:

      1. At a command prompt, run the following command:
            reg delete HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Processor /v Capabilities /f
      2. Restart the computer.

Re:Please Explain Further (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256446)

Your explanation is exactly how I interpreted the KB article. I think Slashdot was going for some sensationalistic journalism. :-)

NO WAY!

Re:Please Explain Further (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256916)

people keep saying "power savings" is disabled.

ONLY Core parking is disabled.

Turbo mode is not handled by the OS, but by the CPU itself. In order for turbo mode to kick in at least 1 core must be parked(turned off). Disabling Parking indirectly disables turbo mode.

AMD does not support core parking, so the i7 is reduced to work like any other CPU. Yes, the i7 is still much more efficient than any other CPU on the market even with core parking disabled.

(just further elaborating on what the above poster said)

Actual errata (2, Informative)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256160)

From the pdf file linked from the Intel site, I think it's AAK36, as it's the only one that mentions the word "spurious." This has to do with writing to the interrupt vector table when a local interrupt is pending. That doesn't look terribly serious from my perspective. If I'm mistaken and it's a different errata, please reply with the correction.

Re:Actual errata (2, Informative)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256182)

AAK36 for the Xeon version. AAN31 is the code for the i7 and i5 version. It's the same errata, just a different code number for different chips.

Re:Actual errata (2, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256524)

I don't think it's either of them. The top one about changing vectors would be unlikely to happen in commercial software like Windows, because they would have handlers installed for all interrupts already.

I think it issue really is the watchdog, MS is using the APIC during C6 state and as the 119 errata, the APIC counter stops during C6 state. So some interrupt that is supposed to fire to reset the watchdog doesn't fire and thus the watchdog goes off (as indicated by the error code).

So the 119 errata is related only as much as it mentions that the APIC counter doesn't increment during C6 state (which is also probably documented elsewhere).

There really isn't enough info in this article to know for sure what is up. That didn't stop the slashdot editors from going off half-cocked though.

No evidence of problem in Xen or VMWare -MSFT bug (2, Insightful)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256228)

Looks like it's a Microsoft coding problem if there is no problem in Xen or VMWare ESX Hypervisors (post on VMware above is far from useful).
And poster didn't read the MSFT article very closely. The hotfix doesn't preclude the energy saving sleep states, it's the workaround that inhibits their use.

Re:No evidence of problem in Xen or VMWare -MSFT b (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256518)

It couldn't possible be that VMware, Xen and Microsoft have different approaches to the whole Hypervisor thing, which could expose different bugs in Intel's Hardware.

Re:No evidence of problem in Xen or VMWare -MSFT b (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257232)

Xen need not use the hardware virtualization, and in fact performs far better in "para-virtualization". So would any system that avoided so much of the hardware virtualization and used a customized kernel, more suited to use in a virtualized OS by speaking more gracefully with the virtual server's system. I find it wonderful, and dearly with that VMWare could be convinced to support that kind of guest environment.

Will this affect my upcoming server build? (1)

kamikaze2112 (792393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256320)

I'm putting together a dual i7 xeon server for a customer in a couple weeks. He's planning to run SBS 2008 on it. if he's not doing any virtualization on it will he be affected?

Re:Will this affect my upcoming server build? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256536)

No. It only affects Hyper-V.

I have 3 IBM x3400 M2 and 2 x3650 M2 (both Nehalem machines) with SBS 2008 at customers, all of them run without a single issue.

The article supposes that Intel blocked this (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30256330)

There is no evidence Intel pressured MS into their wording of the fix/workaround. It's quite possible that after not finding a fix/workaround for it and writing an initial draft saying not to use the processors, MS developed a workaround/fix (perhaps with Intel's help) that actually does work and put that in instead of saying not to use the chips.

To those are are suddenly concerned about Intel chips because they have an errata, every chip has errata, tons of them. AMD has them too, trust me.

I've been running a Core i7 (920) for a year and it's worked great under Vista and Windows 7. I'm sure it has faults, but they don't seem to be an issue in my regular use.

hrm, how times have changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30256996)

How times have changed. I remember when Intel used to be the bitch in the relationship.

Can't believe... (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30257156)

People still buy processors from a thrice-convicted, unrepentant monopolist.

3 decades of anti-consumer anti-competitive activity and still they come up smelling like roses...

Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30257314)

A Xeon proc is not the same as an i5 or i7.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...