How Much Slower Will My PC Become After Meltdown And Spectre Patches?

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The Meltdown and Spectre exploits have rocked the computing world, as chipmakers scramble to patch the vulnerabilities. According to AMD, GPZ Variant 1, otherwise known as the 'Bounds Check Bypass' is applicable to its own processors.

Intel has said it is committed to publicly identify significant security vulnerabilities and follow rules of responsible disclosure, in order to accelerate the security of the entire industry.

Mark Papermaster, senior vice president and chief technology officer at AMD said: "We will provide further updates as appropriate on this site as AMD and the industry continue our collaborative work to develop mitigation solutions to protect users from these latest security threats".

AMD said that its chips were vulnerable to one variant of the Spectre bug, but there was "near zero risks" from the second Spectre variant and vulnerability to the second variant "has not been demonstrated on AMD processors to date". Many chip and operating system vendors, including Microsoft, Google, Intel, AMD, among others, are working aggressively to address these issues as soon as feasible.

Browsing the web and using applications will see some performance reduction, and usage of heavy applications will see that increase again, as Intel explained: "In certain cases, some users may see a more noticeable impact".

The magnitude of the Meltdown/Spectre debacle is yet to be truly understood. The benchmarks cover SYSmark 2014 SE, PCMark 10, and 3DMark Sky Diver for DX11 gaming numbers.

Google on Thursday, January 11, said that it has already deployed the necessary patches for processor vulnerabilities Spectre and Meltdown last year, which do not negatively impact the performance of its cloud services.

The real change in AMD's position is with GPZ Variant 2 (Branch Target Injection or Spectre).

However older hardware, specifically devices powered by the 7th Gen Kaby Lake-H mobile processors will be around seven per cent slower, while the performance impact on systems with the 6th Gen Skylake-S platform estimated at around eight per cent.

Meltdowns, suspect share dealing and class-action suits, it's been an interesting 2018 for Intel so far, and it doesn't seem to be getting better quickly. Sadly, the company has been forced to confirm a flaw in the fix for the flaw which is causing systems based on the company's older Haswell and Broadwell microarchitectures to randomly reboot. However, safe working updates from Microsoft should resume by next week.

Intel have since promised to be transparent on the matter, with an open letter from Brian Krzanich stating the company's 'security-first pledge'.