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Intel admits to Skylake bug that freezes Windows and Linux systems


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#1 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 06:32 PM

INTEL HAS ADMITTED that its latest 6th-generation Core Skylake processors are suffering from a bug that can cause computer systems to freeze.

The bug, which doesn't yet have a name, was uncovered by German computing community Hardwareluxx.de, and is said to occur in Windows and Linux when the system needs to perform complex workloads.

Intel admitted that the problem occurs when a computer is using GIMPS' Prime95, an application used to test benchmark systems and discover Mersenne prime numbers with at least 100,000,000 decimal digits.

"Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th-generation Intel Core family of products," the company said in a statement. "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 behaviour."

But the big worry is that the bug might not just affect Prime95, and that other industries that rely on complex computational workloads, such as scientific and financial institutions, could also be hit. GIMPS confirmed that its software works perfectly well on any other Intel processors. 

Nevertheless, Intel has already developed a fix for the problem and is apparently working with hardware partners to distribute it via a BIOS update. Even so, it is likely to be a bit of a headache for the firm, as its client computing group posted Q3 2015 revenue of $8.5bn, down seven percent year over year.

 

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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 07:01 PM

Here are a few more articles about this:

 

https://communities.intel.com/mobile/mobile-access.jspa#jive-content?content=%2Fapi%2Fcore%2Fv3%2Fcontents%2F524553

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/search-huge-prime-numbers-may-173121667.html


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#3 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:38 PM

Guess I'm glad I went haswell.

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#4 MadmanRB

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:50 PM

same here really


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#5 rqt

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 03:38 AM

From the Yahoo article "The upshot is that some users have identified an easy fix. Turning off Hyper-Threading prevents the system from crashing" - so does this mean the non Hyper-threading chips are not affected ???

A post on the Intel thread suggests that the problem only occurs with 4 physical cores & hyper-threading - so that would be i7 processors only - which would make the problem a lot smaller than the headlines would suggest.

Edited by rqt, 13 January 2016 - 03:49 AM.


#6 MadmanRB

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 06:11 PM

Yeah but with the i7 being intels top tier processor its not a good thing.

It would certainly make i5's look better


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#7 ScathEnfys

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 10:13 PM

This is still something QA should have caught... Do they not do burn tests of their own? Does this affect all chips or just random ones?
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