MP5,1 MDS Mitigation - Real World Impacts & Results

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bsbeamer, May 21, 2019.

  1. bsbeamer, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 22, 2019

    bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #1
    All results below are:
    authentic MP5,1 mid-2012
    dual 3.46 GHz with 128GB RAM
    Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB
    BootROM 144.0.0.0.0
    Mojave 10.14.5 18F132
    (SMC 1.39f11)

    WITHOUT FULL MITIGATION (HT Enabled)
    Geekbench Single-Core Score: 2941
    Geekbench Multi-Core Score: 22195
    Geekbench OpenCL Score: 131963
    Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 13.1.2 Build 9 H.264 Pre-Rendered Encode via Export: 4:59.23 (min)

    WITH FULL MITIGATION (HT Disabled)
    Geekbench Single-Core Score: 2914
    Geekbench Multi-Core Score: 22401
    Geekbench OpenCL Score: 133345
    Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 13.1.2 Build 9 H.264 Pre-Rendered Encode via Export: 5:30.71 (min)

    -----

    Mitigation was applied via the two Terminal commands in Step 3:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210108

    Note for Step 1: wait at least 3 minutes holding Command (⌘)-R if you do not have boot screens (non-EFI GPU like RX580)

    I'm personally noticing approximately a 10% real world hit with HT disabled right now. It's not enough to slash and burn this machine, but it is enough to feel like I'm being forced to drink burnt coffee. Personally am angry with Intel for not releasing microcode updates to patch this properly, but at the same time angry with Apple for not providing a serviceable MP6,1 replacement or making information on MP7,1 available. Icing on the cake - it's still not 100% clear disabling HT actually provides full mitigation on MP5,1.

    Worth noting - several Geekbench scores actually increased with HT disabled. Approximately 1% for both OpenCL and Multi-Core scores. I personally do not rely on these at all, but many here swear by those numbers for everything. Geekbench 4.3.3 (401459) if it matters to anyone.

    Will be opening a ticket with Apple to hopefully get some clarity (or correction) on this list:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210107

    My machine is TECHNICALLY not part of the list and would default to assume it should be supported. I'm sure this is an oversight on Apple's part, or intended to make this look like it impacts 2010-era machines only. Looks much better on paper since those are all about 10+ years old. My personal mid-2012 is not quite 7 years old right now. Despite the lack of Apple's Pro machine focus these past several years, I would still prefer to upgrade to another Mac Pro in the next 12-18 months if it's a worthy and appealing workstation.
     
  2. axrst macrumors newbie

    axrst

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    Apr 6, 2019
    Location:
    Greece
    #2
    You maybe have done something wrong here: Is there 5.1 mac pro mid-2012? Do you mean mid-2010 ? Or I'm missing something?
     
  3. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #3
    What exactly do you think was "done wrong"?

    sc.jpg

    This is an authentic mid 2012 Mac Pro with upgraded processors to dual 3.46 GHz.
     
  4. axrst macrumors newbie

    axrst

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Location:
    Greece
    #4
    Yes.. but not 5.1, it's 6.1 i think. Mine (mid-2010) it's the 5.1.

    Please go to system report and see in the hardware overview / model identifier...
     
  5. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #5
    MP5,1 is mid 2010 and mid 2012. MP6,1 is late 2013. Please get your facts straight.
     
  6. axrst, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 21, 2019

    axrst macrumors newbie

    axrst

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    Apr 6, 2019
    Location:
    Greece
    #6
    Oh, sorry. I was almost sure that 2009 -> 4.1 , 2010 -> 5.1 and 2012 -> 6.1 I was wrong! I checked it now...

    edit:
    I apologize for my mistake and the off topic. Maybe a moderator could delete these off topic posts.
     
  7. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #7
    There is also no Mac Pro 5,2 or Mac Pro 5.2 model. Mac Pro early 2009 models are 4,1.

    This is ENTIRELY off topic for this thread.
     
  8. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #8
    Full screenshots of Geekbench and system information for HT enabled (MDS mitigation not applied):

    HT_ENABLED_01.png
    HT_ENABLED_02.png
    HT_ENABLED_03.png
    HT_ENABLED_04.png
    HT_ENABLED_05.png
    HT_ENABLED_06.png
    HT_ENABLED_07.png
    HT_ENABLED_08.png
     
  9. MisterAndrew macrumors 65816

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #9
    Disabling SMT (HT) doesn’t seem to result in much of a performance loss, at least on 12 core machines. I agree it would be good to get more clarification on this issue, but here’s what I think.

    Disabling SMT is Apple’s method of “full mitigation,” but I think we are interpreting it wrong. Apple lists these machines as not supporting the mitigations due to lack of microcode updates. I think disabling SMT provides full mitigation for machines that are receiving microcode updates, but disabling SMT on these machines doesn’t provide full mitigation because Intel states that disabling SMT alone does not provide protection against MDS attacks.
     
  10. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #10
    Full screenshots of Geekbench and system information for HT disabled (MDS mitigation applied):

    HT_DISABLED_01.png
    HT_DISABLED_02.png
    HT_DISABLED_03.png
    HT_DISABLED_04.png

    HT_DISABLED_05.png
    HT_DISABLED_06.png
    HT_DISABLED_07.png
    HT_DISABLED_08.png
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2019 ---
    Still have my single 3.33GHz W3680 tray. May try to swap and perform these identical tests later this week or next week to see the difference.
     
  11. amedias macrumors regular

    amedias

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    #11
    typo? your screenshot says multicore result with HT disabled was 21401, which would also be more in keeping with the HT disablement, rather than the increase which your original post suggested. Although GB scores do fluctuate on each test within a small amount so I never take them as gospel anyway.
     
  12. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #12
    There is an absolute chance it's a typo. Here are several additional that I've just run with same setup and HT disabled, all showing different top-line numbers:

    Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 7.59.27 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 8.03.02 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 8.06.35 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 8.10.27 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 8.13.55 AM.png


    All multicore tests with HT disabled appear to be in the 20500-22000 range. As noted above, I'm personally not a fan of Geekbench scores. Too much value is put into them and they are not consistent.

    This machine is taking around a 10% real world performance hit with HT disabled for most of my common tasks. I'm sure I could press this further to make that difference even greater, but those are usually tasks run overnight.

    Will also note, initial boot times appear to be SLIGHTLY faster with HT disabled and NVME system drive.
     
  13. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #13
    All results below are:
    authentic MP5,1 mid-2012
    single 3.33 GHz with 48GB RAM (original single CPU tray)
    Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB
    BootROM 144.0.0.0.0
    Mojave 10.14.5 18F132
    (SMC 1.39f11)

    WITHOUT FULL MITIGATION (HT Enabled)
    Geekbench Single-Core Score: 3086
    Geekbench Multi-Core Score: 15262
    Geekbench OpenCL Score: 136186
    Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 13.1.2 Build 9 H.264 Pre-Rendered Encode via Export: 6:14.95 (min)

    WITH FULL MITIGATION (HT Disabled)
    Geekbench Single-Core Score: 3084
    Geekbench Multi-Core Score: 13396
    Geekbench OpenCL Score: 136146
    Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 13.1.2 Build 9 H.264 Pre-Rendered Encode via Export: 6:38.08 (min)

    Full screenshots of each will be posted shortly.
    --- Post Merged, May 22, 2019 ---
    SINGLE CPU - HT ENABLED (no mitigation)

    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-01.png
    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-02.png
    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-03.png
    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-04.png
    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-05.png
    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-06.png
    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-07.png
    SINGLE-HT-ENABLED-08.png
     
  14. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #14
    SINGLE CPU - HT DISABLED (mitigation applied)

    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-01.png
    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-02.png
    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-03.png
    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-04.png
    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-05.png
    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-06.png
    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-07.png
    SINGLE-HT-DISABLED-08.png
     
  15. Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #15
    Does disabling hyperthreading with CPUSetter have the same protection as the terminal method? I ran Geekbench before and after using CPUSetter w shutdown and restart and my scores in 32-bit mode (free license) went up after disabling hyperthreading (21,541 before vs 21,757 after disabling hyperthreading). Both times Geekbench listed my machine as having 2 processors and 24 threads. Is it supposed to list 24 threads even though I disabled with CPUSetter and restarted before running the second test? My Bios is 141.0.0.0.0 on 10.14.5 and Software Update in Sys Prefs doesn't list any available updates.
     
  16. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #16
  17. Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #17
    Thanks, it's all done now. Does this mean that CPUSetter is not a safe way to shut down hyperthreading, even with BIOS 144? Before and after scores are 21,541 vs. 20,281 (Note: before with hyperthreading was measured with Geekbench v2 and after without hyperthreading was measured with Geekbench v4)
     
  18. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #18
    Apple's own documentation is not 100% clear that the "fix" implemented by the two Terminal commands entered via Recovery Boot even truly fully addresses the MDS vulnerability on MP5,1. Everything I've read so far seems to suggest this will prevent an MDS attack, however.

    I personally would not suggest any third party tool (like CPUSetter) for MDS mitigation at this time. Stick with Apple's methods unless there is provided documentation suggesting something else. If you're already taking the performance hit, best to stick with what they recommend with macOS Mojave at this time. From what I'm reading, mitigation for MP5,1 will depend on up to date software in addition to the HT disable.

    Unless your Hardware Overview shows this:

    Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 8.29.19 AM.png

    MDS mitigation has not been applied.

    -----

    Just an update - ticket was opened with Apple earlier this week for MP5,1/mid 2012 not being on "the list" but there has been no followup or clarification provided. Still only cites 2009/2010 machines on the list as of right now.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 8.26.03 AM.png
     
  19. Lycestra macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    Location:
    Cheesey Midwest
    #19
    There's a third option that lays between CPUSetter and Apple's "full mitigation" nvram method that requires bootrom 144. In Instruments (part of Xcode), preferences, CPUs, theres a way to disable "Hardware Multi-Threading", and seems to behave similar to CPUSetter. Doesn't require a reboot, but also doesn't stick past reboot either. My non-thorough testing seemed to show that System Information doesn't show Hyper-Threading as disabled for either CPUSetter or Instruments. But I contend that Instruments' checkbox is an Apple method, and like CPUSetter, doesn't require a rom upgrade (which requires mojave compatibility, which is a pretty high bar). Is it worth running a test to see if geekbench gets similar results with the Instruments method?
     
  20. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #20
    Geekbench scores or tests with HT disabled via this method may not be very helpful, but if you have the chance go ahead and run before/after. Have a feeling methods of mitigation for HT disable via software post-boot do not actually provide mitigation as intended. What we really need is further documentation about MDS mitigation on macOS Mojave 10.14.5+ with MacPro5,1 and proper methods to do so... or microcodes from Intel to simplify this entire thing.
     
  21. treekram macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2015
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    Honolulu HI
    #21
  22. startergo macrumors 6502a

    startergo

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  23. flaubert macrumors regular

    flaubert

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    Jun 16, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #23
    Well, I finally managed to disable Hyperthreading on my X5690 cMP 5,1. I ran test encodes of a simple half hour segment of a DVD using Handbrake. Surprisingly, despite have half as many computing units in play, the performance loss was not dramatic: the time to encode went from 6 min 15 secs to 6 min 46 secs, an increase of about 8%. I think in my everyday use the performance hit will be imperceptible; I don’t even rip DVD’s that often.
     
  24. Synchro3 macrumors 68000

    Synchro3

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    Jan 12, 2014
    #24
  25. bsbeamer thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #25
    Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 8.01.52 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 8.00.22 AM.png

    Also on the list of products NOT having microcode updates.
     

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24 May 21, 2019