If you have a computer powered by an AMD processor, is your risk profile any different from someone with an Intel-powered PC? This Ars Technica article (January 18, 2018) summarizes the situation: “Meltdown and Spectre: Good news for AMD users, (more) bad news for Intel.”
Windows patches are fixed, but microcode updates are causing even more trouble.
Microsoft’s patches now work with newer and older AMD systems.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have installed the previous, bad update and now have a system that crashes on startup, you’ll still have to roll back the bad update before you can install the new one.
But Intel’s firmware patches remain an issue for several generations of their processors (something that will perplex the typical PC user).
The short article concludes with a perspective on what action really is practical for most of us with older PCs.
What this means is that if you’re lucky enough to have a system that is still being supported with firmware updates from its manufacturer—because let’s be honest: good luck getting any firmware updates for any consumer PC or motherboard that’s more than about 18 months old—you probably shouldn’t install the firmware anyway. Unless, that is, you’re in a high risk category such as a cloud host or VPS provider, in which case you’ll just have to install it anyway, because the consequences of not upgrading are probably worse than the consequences of upgrading.