L1 cache disabled

Segfault

n00b
Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
23
HP Compaq 8000 Elite USDT PC (AU248AV)

That's the computer. I happened to run dmidecode and noticed L1 cache is disabled.
Code:
Cache Information
        Socket Designation: L1 Cache
        Configuration: Disabled, Not Socketed, Level 1
        Operational Mode: Write Back
        Location: Internal
        Installed Size: 128 kB
        Maximum Size: 128 kB
        Supported SRAM Types:
                Burst
        Installed SRAM Type: Burst
        Speed: Unknown
        Error Correction Type: Parity
        System Type: Data
        Associativity: 8-way Set-associative
So I went into BIOS and there is no visible option to turn it on. Does anyone know if these computers have hidden menus in BIOS setup and how to access them?
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,551
I find it hard to believe the motherboard's BIOS would disable L1 cache, unless there was some ECC error and it had a function to automatically disable it. Though HP has a history of making crappy firmware for their boards, so anything is possible. Unfortunately, HP's BIOS implementations are locked up tighter than a crab's ass and "power user" features are very rare. If you can find a more recent BIOS version, I'd recommend trying to update it. You also may want to try swapping in another CPU to see if there's potentially a fault with the one currently in the computer.

Another possibility that one of the processor vulnerability patches to the Linux kernel is automatically disabling the L1 cache, but this is less likely and I can't find any information suggesting this.
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,551
An old Core 2 CPU is going to feel really slow on any modern Linux distro, or Windows 10 with all of the vulnerability patches.

I still service a couple of 11 year old Core 2 machines that have Windows 10 on them and they're painful. Customer doesn't want to replace them unless they get struck by lightning and are dead dead.
 

Segfault

n00b
Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
23
Thanks for replies. This is Wife's computer, could be called "nettop", I guess. It runs Kodi no problem and everything she does with web browsers works fine, too. The box itself is small and she likes it. L2 cache is enabled, so it is not completely crippled. Maybe I should see if I can flash Coreboot into it. Right now I'm even not sure if the chip is soldered. OTOH. she is not complaining ...
I build my own kernels and I study carefully every new feature before enabling it, sometimes choosing performance over security, I haven't seen anything in kernel which would disable L1.
It has the latest BIOS, the box is old and the latest BIOS is also old. :)
 

Segfault

n00b
Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
23
An old Core 2 CPU is going to feel really slow on any modern Linux distro, or Windows 10 with all of the vulnerability patches.
What is modern Linux distro? Something with lots of eyecandy and heavy on graphics? I run Gentoo in all my desktops/laptops. I make them lean, adding only components which are needed. The OS and GUI fully loaded in her computer consumes less than 100 MB of RAM, there is no eyecandy and even bloated web browsers do not load painfully slow. Indeed, Firefox is built with PGO, but even closed source Vivaldi is pretty snappy.
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,551
What is modern Linux distro? Something with lots of eyecandy and heavy on graphics? I run Gentoo in all my desktops/laptops. I make them lean, adding only components which are needed. The OS and GUI fully loaded in her computer consumes less than 100 MB of RAM, there is no eyecandy and even bloated web browsers do not load painfully slow. Indeed, Firefox is built with PGO, but even closed source Vivaldi is pretty snappy.

No, the kernel and distros that use SystemD are massively bloated before you even get to what GUI you use. Both KDE and Gnome are horrible and I never use them.
 

Segfault

n00b
Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
23
I do not use SystemD (nor PulseAudio). My systems are lean and aesthetic as Linux was in ancient Rome. ;)
Thanks for replies everyone. I'm 99% convinced now this dmidecode reading is bogus and L1 cache is actually enabled. Probably the proprietary BIOS of HP is too tough for dmidecode. Special thanks to thebufenator for pointing me in right direction.
Conky from my desktop, 1.3 GiB of RAM used, with one virtual machine running and Chromium loaded with this web page. Nightmare for RAM merchants.
RAM.png
 
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