Intel slowdown

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by gman713, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. macmee

    macmee Active Member

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    When I turned my Surface on the other day it just got stuck in a boot loop. I guess this update ^ might be why.

    In any case, I'm fed up now with Windows. Every few months it seems like one update or another screws up my device and I have to start over.

    I installed Linux Mint and ironically it boots faster and has better battery life than Windows (really not sure how this can be possible but whatever).

    Problem is, how the heck do I install firmware updates without windows? Am I just going to have to live with the spectre and meltdown bugs or will the linux kernel patch fix them for me?
     
  2. wynand32

    wynand32 Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that Linux is severely affected by the issue. So that might not provide much relief.
     
  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    An OS that doesn't address all the system management issues is not so good as it ought to be. If they don't have solutions for doing Firmware updates or drivers for devices and device firmware updating... It's lacking. let me translate that into Linus language ... $$@&!/>¦~@#. shit.
     
  4. macmee

    macmee Active Member

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    I don't think it's fair to say linux is bad because it doesn't let me update the firmware on my surface. The ability to update firmware is going to vary from device to device and Microsoft is running a lot of proprietary code and intentionally makes it difficult for open solutions to flashing new firmware.

    wouldnt it be effected the same as windows is?
     
  5. chekhonte

    chekhonte Member

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    I hope so. I'm not too worried about the performance hit but it will always be in the back of my mind. I'm avoiding benchmarks since I can't tell from day to day use that there's any performance degradation. I hate it when I let a series of numbers dictate how much I'm enjoying my machine when in fact it still runs great.

    As for people wanting to run linux but are worried about not being able to upgrade firmware. Why not just put linux on another drive and boot to windows when there are updates available?
     
  6. wynand32

    wynand32 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I wanted to resurrect this thread because my opinion of the patch effects has completely changed. Since my 15" SB2 1TB received the firmware update, it has been a hot mess of performance issues. First, the touchpad and keyboard are now lagging like crazy, both on battery and when plugged in (it happens regardless of which power mode it's in). Second, opening apps and files is slower, and general performance has dropped significantly. Games like Halo Wars that played flawlessly prior to the patch now suffer from intermittent lag.

    I've done a bit of research and I'm not alone. I'm not sure if this is specific to the Surface line, or if other machines are also suffering slowdowns. Right now, I have four days left before the holiday return policy ends, and I'm seriously considering returning this and rethinking the whole thing. It's just not performing as a $3,400 notebook should perform. In fact, it's not performing as a $700 notebook should perform.
     
  7. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately it seems all CPUs are in the same boat up the same creek without a paddle.
     
  8. chekhonte

    chekhonte Member

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    That really sucks. I have not had those problems. Outside of benchmarks I can't tell the difference personally.
     
  9. wynand32

    wynand32 Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could say the same. At times, the touchpad is literally unusable because I can't hit a very precise spot. That lasts for a couple of seconds at a time, revolves, and then comes back. I'm really curious though why some people would see the issues and others wouldn't.
     
  10. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll speculate that speculative execution is much like any other speculation, prone to being wrong at times. Exacerbated by timing issues. i.e. If the timing is off a bit and it varies from CPU to CPU even within the same model CPU (potentially due to microcode issues) then another immutable law comes into effect. All timing holes are infinite, meaning that no matter how short the timing hole is the heavenly bodies or dependent objects will align so that you repeatedly fall into the same hole. Such that the end result of bad timing and bad speculation conspire to make all things down right squirrelly as hell.

    If you had a database of benchmarks for a given CPU there would be variances in the performance from one run to another and post Spectre updates those variances would be greater i.e. the standard deviation of scores is greater. when things don't occur within their expected window the squirrels run rampant but timing may be on the margin such that it's not always outside the expected window so sometimes it's ok and other times it's causing a lag and perhaps other times Blue Screens.

    We tend to think computers are very precise but in fact they are very chaotic, modern computers very much so, they are just very fast so you don't normally notice. It's like the Pinball Wizard except now he doesn't always play it clean, doesn't always get the replay, misses some bumpers, his flipper finger is just a little off, and sometimes he does fall.
     
  11. wynand32

    wynand32 Well-Known Member

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    I'm running a little experiment. One thing that I noticed and commented on in the thread I started specific to the touchpad/keyboard lag is that it seemed to be caused by Edge. Then I backed away from that, because it seemed to be occurring independent of Edge.

    Now I'm thinking it might actually be related to RAM usage. I've noticed that it gets worse after a time following a restart, and after using Task Manager to monitor performance, I then noticed that it seems to start when RAM usage goes above 10GB. The interesting thing is, that happens mostly when I'm using Edge -- open my usual number of tabs, RAM usage goes to 10GB or more, and then the lagginess seems to start.

    So, I fired up Firefox Beta 59 that I'd been giving a try, and noticed that RAM usage stayed under 8GB when opening my usual tabs and with all of my usual apps opened. And, performance remained better (still a bit of an overall slowdown in the UI, but not absolutely terrible). Funny thing is, I'm kind of liking the newest Firefox builds, it's significantly faster than Edge and Chrome, and I'm not finding it to be much worse on my battery life than Edge (and better than Chrome).

    I might very well change my tune, as I've done before. I'll report back on whether there is indeed a valid correlation between RAM usage and lag.
     
  12. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    As an experiment- I switched to using the NVIDIA GPU as the default and any lag I was experiencing went away with Edge. It's possible the CPU patch has impacted the Intel GMA.
     

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