Install the latest microcode for your processor


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Introduction

You may be able to improve the functioning of the central processor (CPU) in your computer, by applying the latest Intel or AMD microcode. This might improve the functioning of your CPU, because it may correct bugs in the default microcode that it receives from the motherboard. Or it may add support for your CPU which the motherboard BIOS lacks.

BIOS / UEFI updates for your motherboard, often contain newer microcode for processors. So make sure that your BIOS / UEFI is up to date!

This tip only applies to Intel and AMD processors.

Notes:

- Installing the microcode package may cause problems on your computer. So only apply it when you experience problems with your CPU!

- Don't install microcode when the microcode package is older than your BIOS / UEFI!


Intel processors

1. For an Intel processor you proceed as follows:

Note: do you need a newer microcode package than the one available in your official software sources? Then you can download an installable .deb package from the Debian repositories, which always contain the latest packages. Download it and then double-click it to install it. Afterwards, reboot your computer.

a. Ubuntu: first make sure that you've installed Synaptic Package Manager (installable by means of the application Software). Linux Mint already has Synaptic by default.

b. Launch Synaptic Package Manager.

Ubuntu: click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: synaptic.
Click on Synaptic Package Manager.


Don't use the quick search field (it's buggy), but press the Search button in the toolbar of Synaptic and type microcode in the popup window.

Press Search in the popup window.

c. Check the date of the microcode package: it needs to be newer than your BIOS / UEFI! The date of the microcode package is in its version number, for example: 3.201501106.1 (meaning it's version 3 from November 6, 2015).

d. Now tick the following package:
intel-microcode

Press the button Apply in the toolbar.

e. Reboot your computer.

f. Now check whether the microcode has been loaded properly, with the following terminal command (use copy/paste to avoid typo's):
dmesg | grep microcode

Press Enter.

If all has gone well, you should see several reports about the applied microcode.


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AMD processors

2. For AMD processors this intervention is only useful for processors from 2006 and later (AMD K10 and newer).

For an AMD processor, the intervention is as follows:

Note: do you need a newer microcode package than the one available in your official software sources? Then you can download an installable .deb package from the Debian repositories, which always contain the latest packages. Download it and then double-click it to install it. Afterwards, reboot your computer.

a. First make sure that you've installed Synaptic Package Manager (installable by means of the application Software).

b. Launch Synaptic Package manager.

Ubuntu: click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: synaptic
Click on Synaptic Package Manager.


Don't use the quick search field (it's buggy), but press the Search button in the toolbar of Synaptic and type the following in the popup window:
amd64-microcode

Press Search in the popup window.

c. Check the date of the microcode package: it needs to be newer than your BIOS / UEFI! The date of the microcode package is in its version number, for example: 2.20160316.1 (meaning it's version 2 from March 16, 2016).

d. Now tick the following package:
amd64-microcode

Press the button Apply in the toolbar.

e. Reboot your computer.

f. Now check whether the microcode has been loaded properly, with the following terminal command (use copy/paste to avoid typo's):
dmesg | grep microcode

Press Enter.

If all has gone well, you should see several reports about the applied microcode.

Want more?

4. Do you want more tips and tweaks for Linux Mint and Ubuntu? There's a lot more of them on this website!


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