Errata 123 Enhancement – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Errata 123 Enhancement - The BIOS Optimization Guide

Errata 123 Enhancement

Common Options : Auto, Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review

Errata 123 refers to the 123rd bug identified in AMD Athlon and Opteron processors. This bug affects the cache bypass feature in those processors.

These processors have an internal data path that allows the processor to bypass the L2 cache and initiate an early DRAM read for certain cache line fill requests, even before receiving the hit/miss status from the L2 cache.

However, at low core frequencies, the DRAM data read may reach the processor core before it is ready. This causes data corruption and/or the processor to hang.

This bug affects the following processor families :

  • Dual Core AMD Opteron (Socket 940, 939)
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Socket 939)

The Errata 123 BIOS feature is a workaround for the bug. It allows you to disable the cache bypass feature and avoid the bug from manifesting.

When enabled, the processor will not bypass the L2 cache to prefetch data from the system memory.

When disabled, the processor will continue to bypass the L2 cache for certain cache line fill requests. This improves its performance.

When set to Auto, the BIOS will query the processor to see if it is affected by the bug. If the processor is affected, the BIOS will enable this BIOS feature. Otherwise, it will leave it disabled.

If your processor is affected by this bug, you should enable this BIOS feature to prevent the processor from hanging or corrupting data. But if your processor is not affected by this bug, disable this BIOS feature for maximum performance.

 

Details

As processors get more and more complex, every new processor design inevitably comes with a plethora of bugs. Those that are identified are given errata numbers.

Errata 123 refers to the 123rd bug identified in AMD Athlon and Opteron processors. This bug affects the cache bypass feature in those processors.

These processors have an internal data path that allows the processor to bypass the L2 cache and initiate an early DRAM read for certain cache line fill requests, even before receiving the hit/miss status from the L2 cache.

However, at low core frequencies, the DRAM data read may reach the processor core before it is ready. This causes data corruption and/or the processor to hang.

This bug is present in AMD’s processor revisions of JH-E1, BH-E4 and JH-E6. These revisions affect the following processor families :

  • Dual Core AMD Opteron (Socket 940, 939)
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Socket 939)

The processor families that are not affected are :

  • AMD Opteron (Socket 940)
  • AMD Athlon 64 (Socket 754, 939)
  • AMD Athlon 64 FX (Socket 940, 939)
  • Mobile AMD Athlon 64 (Socket 754)
  • AMD Sempron (Socket 754, 939)
  • Mobile AMD Sempron (Socket 754)
  • Mobile AMD Athlon XP-M (Socket 754)
  • AMD Turion Mobile Technology

The Errata 123 BIOS feature is a workaround for the bug. It allows you to disable the cache bypass feature and avoid the bug from manifesting.

When enabled, the processor will not bypass the L2 cache to prefetch data from the system memory.

When disabled, the processor will continue to bypass the L2 cache for certain cache line fill requests. This improves its performance.

When set to Auto, the BIOS will query the processor to see if it is affected by the bug. If the processor is affected, the BIOS will enable this BIOS feature. Otherwise, it will leave it disabled.

If your processor is affected by this bug, you should enable this BIOS feature to prevent the processor from hanging or corrupting data. But if your processor is not affected by this bug, disable this BIOS feature for maximum performance.

 

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