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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-12-2019 08:34 AM
ThrashZone Hi,
Bios rarely if ever address Intel security flaws it's all Intel micro code updates for one and like I said MS is handling them plus any other os security flaws to workaround other flaws
New bios may have a micro code installed in it or new management engine but that's about it other than performance improvements usually related to memory.

It's just a game of whack a mole of threats one is so unlikely to get hit by it's silly to even entertain any worries over.
06-12-2019 07:55 AM
MysteryGuy
Quote: Originally Posted by nodezero View Post
as far as I know the updates that mitigated zombieload and other subsequent mds exploits were pushed by Windows, and the bios update from Asus then mitigates (as much as possible) the performance hit that resulted fromthe Windows updates. this is actually what 3803 did by re-enabling the overclock that many lost as a result of the previous Windows spectre/meltdown updates.
I got the impression that you needed the BIOS CPU Microcode updates to after reading https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en...sory/ADV190013. This suggests checking your mitigation status (of the Specter-like things) by running a program in Powershell (See https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...ngs-powershell).

Running that program on my X99-E WS USB/3.1 with BIOS 3803 seems to say that L1TF is mitigated, but MDS/Zombieload is not:

"...
Speculation control settings for CVE-2018-3620 [L1 terminal fault]

Hardware is vulnerable to L1 terminal fault: True
Windows OS support for L1 terminal fault mitigation is present: True
Windows OS support for L1 terminal fault mitigation is enabled: True

Speculation control settings for MDS [microarchitectural data sampling]

Windows OS support for MDS mitigation is present: True
Hardware is vulnerable to MDS: True
Windows OS support for MDS mitigation is enabled: False"

I have no idea if the 3901 BIOS update (which I assume would allow MDS protection) also somehow increases performance compared to 3803 (without MDS protection) though. The 3901 BIOS description claims some type of improved system performance, but doesn't seem to make it clear where this would be expected.

Also, I did see that a recent Windows 10 update has enabled 'retpoline' mitigation (at least for my CPU) for an older flaw. This appears to be faster than what they used to do before:

...
BTIHardwarePresent : True
BTIWindowsSupportPresent : True
BTIWindowsSupportEnabled : True
BTIDisabledBySystemPolicy : False
BTIDisabledByNoHardwareSupport : False
BTIKernelRetpolineEnabled : True
...
06-12-2019 07:16 AM
ThrashZone Hi,
Only close way to mitigate all these security flaws is to turn off hyper threading
Doubt any bios updates going to do anything worth wild otherwise

Windows updates is offering micro code updates no need for bios updates when that's going on unless a system has a problem with them being installed

Ever bsod help person I've ever read says update bios which is a lame response bios usually solves nothing and only adds more issues.
06-12-2019 06:45 AM
nodezero
Quote: Originally Posted by MysteryGuy View Post
I just saw that the 3901 BIOS update for my X99-E WS/USB 3.1 is available.



Are you saying that the 3901 update will make things faster (than 3803)?



I was thinking that the 3901 update would update the Processor Microcode and that would enable protection against 'zombieload', but probably degrade performance some more in the process. (As I think was the case when Meltdown/Specter updates came along).



If 3901 would boost performance (compared to 3803 under Windows 10) I would probably apply it...



Thanks.
as far as I know the updates that mitigated zombieload and other subsequent mds exploits were pushed by Windows, and the bios update from Asus then mitigates (as much as possible) the performance hit that resulted fromthe Windows updates. this is actually what 3803 did by re-enabling the overclock that many lost as a result of the previous Windows spectre/meltdown updates.
06-12-2019 06:21 AM
MysteryGuy
Quote: Originally Posted by nodezero View Post
welp, just flashed the 3901 bios that dropped today. seems the performance issues resulting from the microcode updates have been mostly mitigated.
I just saw that the 3901 BIOS update for my X99-E WS/USB 3.1 is available.

Are you saying that the 3901 update will make things faster (than 3803)?

I was thinking that the 3901 update would update the Processor Microcode and that would enable protection against 'zombieload', but probably degrade performance some more in the process. (As I think was the case when Meltdown/Specter updates came along).

If 3901 would boost performance (compared to 3803 under Windows 10) I would probably apply it...

Thanks.
06-10-2019 07:55 PM
Villanelle
Quote: Originally Posted by J7SC View Post
The plot thickens - when I checked the Asus site, Bios 3901 for the regular X99 E-WS (non USB 3.1) was still there, but for X99 E-WS/USB 3.1, it only showed Bios 3803 from August 2018 as the latest...may be one got pulled, or who knows ?
You can find it in Drivers & Tools. Select DOS as OS and it shows up.

Direct link: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/m...-ASUS-3901.zip
SHA512 checksum: b3bb40ae0dee5c274e9ce6626e5e5b5c8ca5cf7d5afb487be6 8164d9f1bc9de4752df3d211ad5e6b8b895e5c47cd9e4bf543 2e6c524c90808070b21c6cac9f8b
05-29-2019 10:27 AM
jsutter71 Well this is it for me and the X99-E WS USB 3.1. I finally have decided to list mine and my CPU and my Titan XP's on ebay. If you have seen my posts then you will know that I have been interactive in support of this community. Now that my wife has signed our final divorce agreement I don't have any limitations on how I choose to spend and upgrade. I haven't decided yet on where to go next, but it's a safe bet that an Asus WS motherboard will be at the top of the list.
05-27-2019 07:45 PM
J7SC The plot thickens - when I checked the Asus site, Bios 3901 for the regular X99 E-WS (non USB 3.1) was still there, but for X99 E-WS/USB 3.1, it only showed Bios 3803 from August 2018 as the latest...may be one got pulled, or who knows ?
05-27-2019 05:12 PM
jsutter71
Quote: Originally Posted by J7SC View Post
Thank you. I do believe the purpose of a thread like this is to outline potential problems, among other things. In any case, one of my original posts on this board is here https://www.overclock.net/forum/6-in...l#post27867592 ...I think it shows that even with earlier Bios issues that also befell others, I really like this board. Now, Bios 3803 on my original Asus X99 E-ES (USB 3.0 - the first model) worked great in stock and oc'ed form, whether it was with 16GB of Corsair Platinum or 32 GB of GSkill TridentZ. Bios 3901 has serious issues with both memory kits even at stock; essentially I have to leave it an 'auto' which amounts to 2133 RAM speed. Furthermore, XMP for both memory kits switch strap 125 to strap 166 with the new Bios. As soon as I switched back to 3803, all problems disappeared. After decades of heading a software firm with its own server network, I do like to think that I recognize a problem like that when I see it. It may very well be hardware specific, but if one Bios worked perfectly, and the next one bricks the thing only to be back to normal after reinstalling the previous Bios, I think it is prudent to warn other users that there are confirmed problems, at least in this case.

At the end of the day, it is the repeated side-channel issues (primarily affecting Intel) that are the real issue. Asus has so many different mainstream and commercial boards out there that updating and thoroughly testing Bios for each is becoming quite a task. For example, I did talk with Asus Taiwan many months ago about some other E-WS boards we have re. fix for then-new Spectre and Meltdown. The promised-within-two-weeks Bios update never materialized at all...a problem for business users of these products. As to your advice of putting the X99 E-WS on eBay or s.th., thank you, I'll take it under advisement...For now, we have put in a call to the regional Asus rep re. our issues with '3901' on the original X99 E-WS.
Good luck with your issue and followup with Support. I can understand your frustration. In the past, I have also experienced BIOS related issues. IMHO Asus makes outstanding hardware but their BIOS support needs improvement. Most of my past issues pertained to over clocking and on more then a few occasions found myself resetting the CMOS button. The fact that Asus has so much redundancy support for corrupted BIOS files and overclocking issues is a good indicator that their engineers would agree.
05-27-2019 04:40 PM
J7SC
Quote: Originally Posted by jsutter71 View Post
Your experience didn't mirror mine. I am using the memory in my signature with no issues at 3200. Granted my memory is rated for that speed so maybe you have another setting in the BIOS or your memory itself that could be causing your issues. Without detailed information pertaining to your settings and hardware no one here would be able to help you with your problem. Just to clarify this thread is not meant for people to complain about the hardware or issues with Asus. It's meant for people to post legitimate information, issues, or questions pertaining to the usage of this board.

Unfortunately I would not be able to provide accurate support other then general information because I am using the USB 3.1 version of this board which uses a different BIOS. If your not happy then these boards do have an excellent resale value averaging in the $500 range on ebay. Their resale value is a good indicator of their value since they are no longer made. The non WS X99 boards don't even come close in retraining that much value.

Thank you. I do believe the purpose of a thread like this is to outline potential problems, among other things. In any case, one of my original posts on this board is here https://www.overclock.net/forum/6-in...l#post27867592 ...I think it shows that even with earlier Bios issues that also befell others, I really like this board. Now, Bios 3803 on my original Asus X99 E-ES (USB 3.0 - the first model) worked great in stock and oc'ed form, whether it was with 16GB of Corsair Platinum or 32 GB of GSkill TridentZ. Bios 3901 has serious issues with both memory kits even at stock; essentially I have to leave it an 'auto' which amounts to 2133 RAM speed. Furthermore, XMP for both memory kits switch strap 125 to strap 166 with the new Bios. As soon as I switched back to 3803, all problems disappeared. After decades of heading a software firm with its own server network, I do like to think that I recognize a problem like that when I see it. It may very well be hardware specific, but if one Bios worked perfectly, and the next one bricks the thing only to be back to normal after reinstalling the previous Bios, I think it is prudent to warn other users that there are confirmed problems, at least in this case.

At the end of the day, it is the repeated side-channel issues (primarily affecting Intel) that are the real issue. Asus has so many different mainstream and commercial boards out there that updating and thoroughly testing Bios for each is becoming quite a task. For example, I did talk with Asus Taiwan many months ago about some other E-WS boards we have re. fix for then-new Spectre and Meltdown. The promised-within-two-weeks Bios update never materialized at all...a problem for business users of these products. As to your advice of putting the X99 E-WS on eBay or s.th., thank you, I'll take it under advisement...For now, we have put in a call to the regional Asus rep re. our issues with '3901' on the original X99 E-WS.
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