In the world of computer hardware, microcode is a crucial layer of hardware-level instructions that control the central processing unit (CPU). Intel, one of the leading manufacturers of CPUs, regularly releases microcode updates to improve the stability and performance of their processors. This article will guide you through the process of properly updating Intel microcode.
To properly update Intel microcode, you need to check your current microcode version, download the latest microcode package, install it using the
dpkg command, reboot your computer, and verify the update. If the microcode doesn’t seem to be updating, troubleshooting may be required. Updating Intel microcode is a straightforward process that can improve system performance and stability.
Before we delve into the process, it’s important to understand what microcode is. Microcode is essentially firmware for your CPU, containing low-level code that controls the processor’s operations. Intel periodically releases updates to this microcode to fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features.
Checking Your Current Microcode Version
Before updating, it’s essential to know your current microcode version. You can check this by opening the terminal and typing:
dmesg | grep microcode
This command shows the system’s boot messages and filters them for ‘microcode’. The output will show the current microcode version.
Finding and Downloading the Latest Microcode
Intel provides microcode updates through Linux distribution vendors. For Ubuntu, you can find the latest microcode in the Ubuntu pool of microcodes.
Download the latest microcode package in .deb format. This is a Debian software package format that Ubuntu uses.
Installing the Microcode Update
Once you have the .deb file, you can install it using the
dpkg is a package manager for Debian-based systems. The
-i parameter tells dpkg to install a package. Open the terminal, navigate to the directory where you downloaded the .deb file, and type:
sudo dpkg -i intel-microcode_3.20191115.1ubuntu3_amd64.deb
Replace ‘intel-microcode_3.20191115.1ubuntu3_amd64.deb’ with the name of the .deb file you downloaded.
Rebooting and Verifying the Update
After installing the update, reboot your computer. The new microcode will be loaded at boot time. After rebooting, you can check if the microcode has been loaded properly by running the
dmg | grep microcode command again.
If the microcode doesn’t seem to be updating, it could be due to several reasons:
- The installed package may already contain the most recent microcode suitable for your processor.
- The microcode file you downloaded may not have a more recent update for your specific processor.
- The microcode update may not be compatible with your system.
In such cases, verify if there is a more recent microcode file available for your processor and check if it is compatible with your system. You can use the
iucode_tool command to unpack the microcode file and compare it with the currently loaded microcode.
Updating the Intel microcode is a straightforward process that can significantly improve your system’s performance and stability. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your processor is running the latest microcode and benefiting from all the improvements that Intel has to offer. Remember to check regularly for new updates to keep your system running smoothly.
Yes, you can update the microcode on any Intel CPU. However, it’s important to ensure that the microcode update you are installing is compatible with your specific processor.
It is recommended to regularly check for microcode updates and install them as they become available. Intel releases updates to fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features, so keeping your microcode up to date can help ensure optimal performance and stability.
The process mentioned in this article is specifically for Linux-based systems. However, Intel provides microcode updates for other operating systems as well. You should check Intel’s official website or the support page of your operating system to find the appropriate method for updating the microcode on your specific system.
Yes, it is necessary to reboot your computer after installing a microcode update. The new microcode will be loaded at boot time, and a reboot is required for the changes to take effect.
After rebooting your computer, you can check if the microcode has been loaded properly by running the
dmesg | grep microcode command again. If the output shows the updated microcode version, then the update has been successfully installed.
If the microcode update is not working, it could be due to several reasons. First, check if the installed package already contains the most recent microcode suitable for your processor. Also, verify if there is a more recent microcode file available for your processor and check if it is compatible with your system. You can use the
iucode_tool command to unpack the microcode file and compare it with the currently loaded microcode. If the issue persists, you may need to seek further assistance from Intel or your system manufacturer.