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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Good/bad time to buy a new computer?

    I am needing a more powerful computer for some work I've been doing. But I am hesitant to buy one right now based on what I've read about firmware vulnerabilities and hardware manufacturers being slow to develop updates to the firmware.

    Do you think there will be a new generation of chipsets coming out that will have more protection built in, and therefore worth waiting say 6 months?
    Or do you think the present chipsets with the current/upcoming firmware updates will be just as safe, and without having a hit on the performance?

    I am considering buying a Core I7 processor, or equivalent.

    Thanks

    (BTW thanks goes to Jerry for getting my account password situation with the new servers straightened out yesterday.)

  2. #2
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    It's always time for a new computer.
    If you buy a name brand then it's likely there will be a firmware update available. If you build your own you will be able to check on the motherboard site.

    It seems there are no "in the wild" exploits where a lack of firmware update makes you vulnerable, but W10 has microcode updates to protect against the easy to exploit bits.
    https://www.askwoody.com/2018/patch-...ocode-updates/

    cheers, Paul

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    Vincenzo (2018-03-13)

  4. #3
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    I was looking at parts to build a new Desktop when the news broke about Meltdown/Spectre and decided to hold off. At some point Intel will build a new chip with protection for the current Hardware dilemma and other technology's are changing also. I looked at cases and there are only a couple of them that are ready for the newer USB 3.1 connections that MB's are already incorporating and there isn't much to use with the newer 3.1 anyway.
    Prices are sky high right now for RAM and video cards especially ( the only way to beat the high prices on RAM and video cards is to buy a pre-built ).
    So the bottom line would be, if you really need that new computer right now, build it or buy it. If you can get by with what you have for now, wait as I am doing.
    Just my opinion, hope it helps in your decision making process.
    Good luck

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    Vincenzo (2018-03-13)

  6. #4
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Yes, Meltdown and Spectre are not yet in the wild, but it seems inevitable that they will be.

    When I run Steve Gibson's tool https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm to check vulnerability on all 7 of the computers we have here in our house, they are all waiting for firmware updates in order to be fully protected.

    They are indicated as having the latest Windows patches, but are listed as suffering performance issues as a result.

    I don't want to buy a new computer and find either a lack of firmware updates and/or a performance hit.

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    Artie (2018-06-16)

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    A new I7 with lots of RAM and an SSD will be a serious rocket even with the performance hits.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #6
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    I just came across this

    Intel’s 9th-generation ‘Ice Lake’ CPUs will have fixes for Meltdown, Spectre

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/comput...ixes-ice-lake/

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    chris b (2018-03-20),lumpy95 (2018-03-14)

  11. #7
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    That's probably when I build my next computer.

  12. #8
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    How expensive will they be? Get a fast I7 and live with the performance hit.

    cheers, Paul

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    chris b (2018-03-20)

  14. #9
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    You need to consider which OS you want to run. If you want to run Windows 7, you will have issues with running automatic Windows updates -- Microsoft has restricted auto updates on the newest chips. (Not sure about Windows 8.1.) Windows 10 won't have this concern, and neither will Linux, if you decide to go the Linux route.

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    Vincenzo (2018-03-20)

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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    How expensive will they be?
    If I can't afford it, I'll PM you for a loan Paul

  17. #11
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    According to this benchmark the i5-8700k is great value as it's almost as fast as an i7-8700k, the best rated chip on several sites, but 30% cheaper. Gives you more to spend on that video card / RAM / SSD - and saves taking out a loan.

    cheers, Paul

  18. #12
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    I assume you mean the i5-8600K for comparison.
    From a different article I read, the new chips due out this year will be Xeons for Servers so it may be awhile before I build.
    Looks like I have taken Vincenzo's post off track, but then again it's related to the OP I guess.
    Last edited by lumpy95; 2018-03-15 at 13:42.

  19. #13
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    Sorry, yes, 8600.

    cheers, Paul

  20. #14
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Performance hits only happen (right now) when software fixes are used to fixes issues that are normally fixed in hardware. So ideally there would be no speed sacrifice in the next gen chips.

  21. #15
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    My experience has been, there is always a reason to wait. Sometimes it is for some super new gizmo that's guaranteed (we promise!) to make your computer 1,000% faster. Other times it is fear of some problem that is certain (we direly predict!) to end Civilization As We Know It and leave a smoking heap of rubble on your desk.

    At various times the Next Big Thing has been: SSDs, USB3, USB2, USB, multi-core CPUs, SSE, Y2K, DDR6, DDR5, DDR3, DDR2, DDR, HBM2, HBM, Blu-Ray, DVD, CD-ROM, Intel, NEC, Cyrix, AMD, Intel (again), AMD (again), multi-media, Slot 1, RD-RAM, mice, GUIs, color monitors, hard drives, inkjet printers, laser printers, ...

    Like I said, there's always something. Balanced against that, you need a faster system. Why would you deny yourself a better, more appropriate tool in the face of that need?

    Now I am willing to make a minor exception. If there is something you really need or is of exceptional concern, then wait. However make sure that the 'waiting' is on a hard (and short) timeline. Never get caught up in a cycle of, "gee, they said it would be ready in 6 weeks, now it is 6 months later, I guess I'll just keep waiting." Never allow that!

    But if the timeline is outside of your control, how do you do that? The way is you take control. If the vendor/3rd party has actual control, then you set your own deadline. It's a drop-dead date; if the vendor/3rd party doesn't achieve their objectives on your deadline, then you make the buying decision after your own drop-dead date passes. Their delivery failure stops impeding your ability to make a decision that way.

    IMO 6 months is too long to give vendors, most of the time. However if your need for a better computer isn't dire then maybe you can wait that long.

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