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by Mark Robinson on Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:12 am
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On a Dell XPS 8700 desktop system that works perfectly, I am constantly reminded to do a BIOS update. Any reason to do so?


by E.J. Peiker on Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:45 am
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If you aren't experiencing any issues and don't need to upgrade it's capability to handle new hardware than the trouble is much more than it is worth.  In many cases, just the update will result in the OS and other applications in thinking you have installed the software on a new computer triggering a lot of phone calls to get your install number reset or new licensing codes.  It can turn into a major pain.

by Mark Robinson on Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:37 pm
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Many thanks E.J. As always, I respect your opinion greatly.

by Jeff Colburn on Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:31 pm
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I've done many BIOS updates over the years. They are pretty easy.

That said, I do agree with E.J. But if you do decide to upgrade your BIOS, don't be the first kid on the block to do it. Wait at least a month after the update is released, and check online to see if anyone has had problems. I had one update that turned my computer into a brick. Tech support couldn't bring my computer back to life, and it took me about 6 hours to get it back to normal. And be sure to set a restore point before doing a BIOS, or any, update on a computer.

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by KeBul on Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:22 pm
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Hmmm... I think I'll have to disagree

Some CPU microcode fixes for Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities are in BIOS updates.

BIOS Release A13 for XPS 8700 specifically has fixes for CVE-2018-3639 & 3640

If I understand Microsoft on these particular vulnerabilities, they have enabled support for turning off the Speculative Store Bypass (SSBD - Speculative Store Bypass Disable) in their patches (security updates) for Windows, but for Intel processors you also need to update the CPU Microcode so that it supports SSBD.
Arm Processors will get the new microcode via Windows patches and AMD Processors, it seems, do not need to be upgraded, so I read that as they either already support SSB Disabling or do not support SSB.

Personally I think that's a fair reason to consider an upgrade to the BIOS

You're lucky, and good on Dell, I'm not sure how old the XPS 8700 is but I have a perfectly fine Win 7 machine that I have no intention of replacing, sadly it will never get a BIOS update from the manufacturer, so no fixes for those issues on that machine.

Agree with Jeff as well, take the time to do some research on updating your particular BIOS.


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