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I've just installed Linux Mint 18 on my laptop and so far it's going well. However, I suspect that the intel-microcode is incorrect for my processor.

My processor: Intel® Core(TM) i3-2348M CPU @ 2.30GHz

If you look up this processor's driver downloads on Intel's website here, you can see that the most recent intel-microcode data file is 3.20150121.

However, in Driver Manager it says that it is using intel-microcode version 3.20151106.1

Driver Manager

If you look up this microcode here, you will find that i3-2348M here is not listed as a supported processor.

Should I try and install the older driver? I am intending to play games on this laptop, so I will need the processor to be functioning well - especially since this is not the best processor there ever was!

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The Intel download site is... incorrect at best. They play a random game with the list of processors that are compatible with each Linux microcode release, and lately they can't even get the release date right...

Your processor is an i3-2348M, that's a Sandybridge processor with signature 0x206a7. The latest public version of the microcode for your processor is:

sig 0x000206a7, pf_mask 0x12, 2013-06-12, rev 0x0029, size 10240

Which is being distributed unmodified in all Intel Linux microcode releases since version 2013-08-08. So, the current Linux microcode releases are also compatible with your processor.

You are using Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian. Debian's intel-microcode package has a changelog (unlike almost every other microcode distribution package), please look at /usr/share/doc/intel-microcode/changelog.gz:

zless /usr/share/doc/intel-microcode/changelog.gz

(or visit that file using a browser capable of reading compressed files. Firefox works just fine).

You can use the "iucode-tool" package to know what is your processor signature. Install the iucode-tool package, and also the intel-microcode packages from Mint/Ubuntu/Debian and use the command:

/usr/sbin/iucode_tool -S

It will tell you what is your processor signature.

If you want to know whether the Linux kernel applied the microcode update properly, look for "microcode updated early to revision"... log messages in the kernel log, examples:

journalctl -k -b | grep microcode
dmesg | grep microcode
grep microcode /var/log/kern.log

So, you can keep the current driver...

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