Hardware: Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming 7577, model number 7577-92774 (new machine).

System: I am testing Linux Mint 19 Beta based on Ubuntu 18.04.

I have an Intel Kaby Lake CPU: Intel© Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (Ark Intel).

I am curious as to what advantages / disadvantages an installed intel-microcode package has, if I regularly update my UEFI/BIOS; the latest update was on 13 Jun 2018.

I also regularly check for vulnerabilities with the help of spectre-meltdown-checker from GitHub.

Its output is the same as with or without intel-microcode installed (I rebooted after de-/installation before each check):


So, I suppose from the security standpoint I am covered, at the time of writing at least.

What I am unsure of, are other aspects, like performance or stability with or without the package.



Unless you have an uncommon reason, yes, you should have it installed.

Long answer

The public intel-microcode distribution package is very low-risk, and after the issues with the first round of Spectre fixes, Intel has been even more conservative at pushing fixes to that distribution.

That means it is a good second-layer of safety to have it installed and up-to-date, in case your UEFI/BIOS starts getting outdated for whatever reason.

It is fact that it will become relevant sooner or later when your system vendor starts getting sloppy at updating the firmware because your system is not being sold anymore, etc.

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