Jim is having boot up issues with his computer. He gets an error on his SSD and Leo suspects that the drive is failing and the computer can't see the boot drive. Leo suspects that his SSD isn't meant to be a boot drive since it's an Intel hybrid drive. He shouldn't mess with it. It's not really two drives, it's one drive that appears as two.
Leo says if there's data on the drive, it's going to be tricky to recover it. The Dell recovery disks could help but chances are, he'll need a tech to get the data off it. It would be best to replace it with a dedicated SSD.
With the now infamous Spectre and Meltdown processor flaws affecting every intel based computer for the last ten years, Intel pushed out a fast fix to plug the holes. Now they're saying not to use it. It seems that some computers will get stuck in a reboot loop. So the cure is worse than the disease. To date, there's been no evidence that the Spectre and Meltdown flaws have been exploited, so Leo is wondering if the right advice is to do nothing at all. At least until a new fix has been released, or that malware shows up that will take advantage of it.
Intel has announced that the fix for the Spectre exploit can actually cause blue screens of death (BSOD) and crash your system unless you make sure everything is updated first — especially third-party antivirus. Leo says this is why it makes more sense to use Windows Defender and not use a third party app. They really do more harm than good.
Travis is having trouble getting the Windows update that will fix the Meltdown/Spectre exploit. Leo says he should make sure to update his antivirus first, because the fix will break the AVS and crash the machine, forcing a reinstall of the OS. He may also need to do a BIOS update. In fact, the entire machine may need to be updated to prevent the Windows OS update from breaking the machine.
The latest exploit "Spectre" affects every single chip made in the last ten years. At first, security researchers thought that the exploit only affected Intel processors, but it turns out this hack also effects ARM, AMD, and any other processor that uses speculative prediction. The white hat hackers who found the flaw discovered that you can use it to access valuable data including passwords and other information. Leo says that Microsoft has already pushed out a fix, and Apple's High Sierra has patched the vulnerability with a recent fix. Apple has also patched the iPhone and iPad.
Jack is looking to get a new laptop for music recording. Should he buy an i7? Leo says that an i5 is fine, and he should spend the money on a larger SSD and more RAM. 16GB is good. But after that, the performance slows down when using more RAM, and most applications don't even use it. So he should stick with 16GB. He should get a good screen as well.
Qingnan is looking to get a Windows Surface Book. Leo had one and he thought it was an interesting design, but it fell short on performance. The second version is about to drop and it's supposed to be better, though. Qingnan is confused though with the processor designation — it has two different processors claiming it's the 8th generation. Leo says that's marketing and often times that can be confusing.
Brian is looking to get a new Intel 8th-gen Core laptop. Leo says that the last few generations of processors really haven't had much of a boost in performance, making it really difficult to justify buying a new PC just for the processor. But if one needs a new PC, Leo recommends the Thinkpad X1 Yoga. It's a 2-in-1 that allows customers to turn it into a tablet.
Randall wants to know if the LattePanda processor is a good one for creating small Raspberry Pi applications. Leo says it looks pretty good, with an intel Atom processor on it. It's a computer on a tiny board. It even comes with Windows 10. He's never used it, but it looks pretty good and seems to be the latest in a growing category. Atom processors can handle some pretty good loads.