Asus and ASRock release Z97 firmware updates to counter Spectre

As we reported on Wednesday, folks with Haswell and Broadwell CPUs may be able to get a Spectre-mitigating patch from Windows Update. It's really preferable to have that sort of patch in firmware, though. That way, you'll be protected even if you use a different OS. As it happens, folks using Asus and ASRock motherboards might be in luck. Those two companies have issued firmware updates for many of their Z97 boards that include the latest mitigations in microcode from Intel.

ASRock actually began patching its Z97 boards way back in the middle of March, but we didn't notice until today. TR honcho Jeff noticed that his own Asus Z97-A motherboard had a new beta firmware update available and sent me on a quest. Despite my searching, it seems like only Asus and ASRock have actually released updates for their Z97 boards. ASRock seems to have patched most (if not all) of its Z97 and H97 motherboards. Asus has released updates for most of its Z97 boards, but so far has skipped the H97 chipset. It did release an update for the Q87M-E/CSM, though.

You can click here for a complete list of ASRock's motherboards if you'd like to check yours for an update. Asus owners will need to go here and click "Socket 1150." Folks who want to stay in the loop for future updates can click here for MSI boards (check "Intel Socket LGA1150"), here for Gigabyte, over here for Biostar, and those with ECS motherboards can look on this page. If you think you're already patched, don't forget that you can use InSpectre to easily make sure you're protected against Spectre and Meltdown.

Comments closed
    • UnknownZA
    • 1 year ago

    I updated my ASUS Maximus VII Hero with the new BIOS update and my PC seems fine.

    [url<]https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VII_HERO/HelpDesk_BIOS/[/url<]

    • MetricT
    • 1 year ago

    You got me all excited for a minute… I have Asus H97M-Plus and H97I-Plus motherboards, neither of which have updates. Boo…..

    • firewired
    • 1 year ago

    ASRock has an updated BIOS for my Z97 Extreme6 dated 2018/3/13, but it was not on their specific URL noted. I found it by going to their support site and punching in my motherboard model. The BIOS description does indicate CPU microcode updated to revision 24.

    I flashed it about a week ago and it works fine. InSpectre reports the system as protected from all related vulnerabilities.

    • loc
    • 1 year ago

    Seems Asus have beta bios for some Z97 boards but no love for Z87 yet. Both being haswell boards.

    • uni-mitation
    • 1 year ago

    There are better attack vectors with the complicity that private companies have with governments in violating our privacy & security. I lose no sleep with this Spectre business.

    uni-mitation

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 1 year ago

      Thanks for your name at the end.

        • uni-mitation
        • 1 year ago

        Obliged.

        uni-mitation

    • willmore
    • 1 year ago

    So no point in holding my breath for Z77? 🙂

      • Lemonsquare
      • 1 year ago

      Z87 even…

      • Walkintarget
      • 1 year ago

      Hah, my Z68 from Gigabyte didn’t even get a UEFI BIOS other than a beta that was not fully fleshed out.

    • dagathon
    • 1 year ago

    Gigabyte announced they’d update Skylake and newer boards, that’s it. They’re not even interested in touching Haswell / Broadwell updates and their own forums are full of people begging them to include at least back to Haswell seeing as the 4790K is still in the top gaming CPUs in use today.

    Lesson learned, never buying Gigabyte again.

    SuperMicro has been slow to release updated BIOS as well, but they finally got X11/X10 series boards updated. I’m still hoping the X9 series gets an update in the coming weeks so my E5-1650V2 and E5-1650 systems get patched as well.

      • Goty
      • 1 year ago

      This is just me, but boycotting Gigabyte because they won’t devote engineering resources to a product they no longer support in order to patch a vulnerability they didn’t introduce in a product they didn’t manufacture doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 1 year ago

      If you contact Gigabyte via support forum, there’s a good chance they’ll give you a BIOS link, even though it’s not public. I opened a ticket, letting them know their ability to release a BIOS for my Z97X-UD5H-BK would determine my next motherboard brand, and several days later, I’ve received a link to a BIOS for my board.

    • rnalsation
    • 1 year ago

    I don’t have a Smeltdown update yet, but I do have an ASUS B85-E that got a BIOS update 2017/08/02. The H87M-PLUS/CSM I’m typing this on has been dry since 2015 though.

    • gmskking
    • 1 year ago

    My PC seems to be working just fine. I’ll pass on any of these updates.

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      Yes. We want you to avoid them too.
      — Totally not the h4ckz0rz who totally didn’t p4wn you.

        • gmskking
        • 1 year ago

        Installing the update probably just makes it easier to hack.

          • Redocbew
          • 1 year ago

          [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8qcccZy03s[/url<]

          • Goty
          • 1 year ago

          You wouldn’t happen to also be an anti-vaxxer too, would you?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    Interesting. Seems like the kind of thing you’d think companies would shout out in a press release. “Hey we’re supporting five-year-old hardware where apparently nobody else is, so next time you buy, buy from us.”

      • Kurotetsu
      • 1 year ago

      They don’t do a shout out because thats exactly the expectation they don’t want to create.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        Yeah, probably so. A shame, though.

      • Kougar
      • 1 year ago

      I don’t count a single security update after 2-3 years as “support”. Particularly when it is a “Beta Version” BIOS update that, if ASUS Xonar line was any indication, will remain in beta indefinitely.

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