Intel details performance loss from Meltdown and Spectre fixes

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Intel has issued a fix for the Meltdown and Spectre exploits, but users are hesitant to install these updates as they might impact their systems’ performance.

For the last week Intel has been conducting benchmark tests in a bid to determine just how big of an impact the fixes have.

“We previously said that we expected our performance impact should not be significant for average computer users, and the data we are sharing today support[s] that expectation on these platforms,” said executive vice president of Intel’s data center group Navin Shenoy.

Testing both Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake platforms (the 8th generation of Intel processors) the firm saw performance degrade by 6 percent during the SYSMark2014SE, which tests workloads such as office productivity and media creation.

“Users who use web applications that involve complex JavaScript operations may see a somewhat higher impact (up to 10 percent based on our initial measurements),” said Intel of its 8th generation processors.

The firm added that workloads that are graphic and compute intensive (such as gaming and financial analysis respectively) will impact performance very minimally.

Performance in the 7th Generation Kaby Lake H processors is said to mirror the impact in performance seen in the 8th Generation processors.

The final SKU tested in this run was a 6th generation Skylake-S processor and there Intel found performance impact to be slightly higher when running Windows 10, but lower when running Windows 7 and even lower if the system is running on a hard drive rather than a solid state drive.

“Within the next week, we intend to offer a representative set of data for mobile and desktop platforms that were launched within the past five years. For those Intel customers who are worried about performance impacts, you should know that we will work on creative solutions with our industry partners to reduce those performance impacts wherever possible,” said Shenoy.

Intel has also said that performance impact on its server processors will be released in the next few days.

You can peruse the results of Intel’s benchmarks in the table below.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.