Tuesday, January 12th 2016

Intel Core Skylake Processors Freeze Under Certain Workloads, Company Issues Fix

Intel's 6th generation Core "Skylake" architecture is faced with a major bug. Responding to a support question on its Communities page, on how certain multi-threaded stress tests like Prime95 can cause the system to freeze; Intel confirmed that an issue affects all 6th generation Core products. In certain highly-specific workloads, such as Prime95, "Skylake" chips hang or cause "unpredictable behavior."

Intel stated that it identified the issue and has released a fix. The company is working with its motherboard partners to get the fix across to users through a system BIOS update:
Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th Gen Intel Core family of products. This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95. In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behavior. Intel has identified and released a fix and is working with external business partners to get the fix deployed through BIOS.
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34 Comments on Intel Core Skylake Processors Freeze Under Certain Workloads, Company Issues Fix

#26
Octopuss
RejZoR, post: 3400544, member: 1515"
Now I feel much better for going with the older Haswell-E instead. I don't want "unpredictable behavior" under stress.
What makes you believe Hasswell-E doesn't have any bugs?
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#27
R-T-B
Octopuss, post: 3400990, member: 74316"
What makes you believe Hasswell-E doesn't have any bugs?
It actaully has more eratta than is presently known in Skylake, but this is not unusual. Eratta generally gets noticed more as a platform ages. He is correct that the platform is far more mature, and thus errata is generally known and patched.
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#28
Octopuss
I still wonder how exactly (well, in human speech :P) they work around bugs like this. Disable specific instructions in the CPU maybe?
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#29
R-T-B
Octopuss, post: 3401028, member: 74316"
I still wonder how exactly (well, in human speech :p) they work around bugs like this. Disable specific instructions in the CPU maybe?
They don't disable entire instructions usually if that's what you mean. It's worth noting a machine as complex as a modern cpu has literally hundreds of KNOWN eratta issues. Most of these are insignifigant and get worked around via microcode, albeit usually prior to retail release...
Posted on Reply
#30
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Its funny AMD Phenom 1 had the TLB bug and everyone lost their minds.
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#31
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
eidairaman1, post: 3401659, member: 40556"
Its funny AMD Phenom 1 had the TLB bug and everyone lost their minds.
Issues like this are common, the problem with the TLB bug was that the fix had a very notable affect on performance. Plus, AMD knew about the issue before releasing the processors(it was in the earlier released Opterons based on the same core, and the knew about it before the Phenom's release). So the performance hit, and the fact that AMD knew about it before releasing the processors, and only issued the fix after the reviews on the processors were done, making the processors look faster than they really were, is why people were harsh on AMD.
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#32
Tsukiyomi91
I'm gonna try OCing my locked Skylake i5 chip after updating my board's BIOS & see how it goes. Will update on this thread whether the freeze bug can be replicated or not.
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#33
R-T-B
Tsukiyomi91, post: 3402037, member: 129086"
I'm gonna try OCing my locked Skylake i5 chip after updating my board's BIOS & see how it goes. Will update on this thread whether the freeze bug can be replicated or not.
Are there any Skylake i5's with hyperthreading?

Bug won't happen without that.
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#34
EarthDog
R-T-B, post: 3402626, member: 41983"
Are there any Skylake i5's with hyperthreading?

Bug won't happen without that.
exactly... :)
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