Intel Won't Patch Spectre On These Older CPUs

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This week, Intel issued new guidance on which CPUs can expect patches for Spectre variant 2. While the company had previously dedicated itself to patching every chip, if you have an older CPU, it may not be fixed.

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The following lines of chips will not receive patches:

  • Bloomfield
  • Clarksfield
  • Gulftown
  • Harpertown
  • Jasper Forest
  • Penryn
  • SoFIA 3GR,
  • Wolfdale
  • Yorkfield

For the average laptop-owner, this means someone with a Core 2 Duo CPU. That's what my white plastic MacBook had in 2008.

Intel writes that these chips have "micro-architectural characteristics that preclude a practical implementation of features mitigating Variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715)." Additionally, Intel isn't going to patch these systems because they are no longer available to purchase  and few of them are likely active. The company also notes that many are " implemented as 'closed systems' and therefore are expected to have a lower likelihood of exposure to these vulnerabilities."

You can find a full list of every CPU and what its microcode update status is here. Intel has had issues patching Spectre, and even pulled its first patch after it caused problems with machines. 

While we continue to wait for Intel's patches to existing chips, be sure to update your operating system and install any updates from the company that made your laptop.

Image: Alexander Tolstykh / Shutterstock.com

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Author Bio
Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
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