Intel and AMD fixing Meltdown and Spectre CPU bugs


Both Intel and AMD are now working hard to fix the recently discovered Meltdown and Spectre issues and have shed a bit more information regarding the magnitude of the problem as well as the first benchmark figures regarding performance impacts after fixing these CPU vulnerabilities.

While Intel, which is more affected by both Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, has originally claimed that the performance impact with Meltdown and Spectre patches should not be significant, first results showed that we will be looking at anywhere between two and 14 percent hit, especially on older CPU architectures.

Microsoft has also confirmed that we can expect a significant performance hit where users “will notice a decrease in system performance” on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows Server OS, especially with 2015-era Haswell and older CPU architectures.

Intel has officially released the performance data results for client systems, pretty much confirming that older systems will take the biggest performance hit. Unfortunately, Intel did not talk about the server side of things, where the impact is expected to be even greater.

Intel already got reports that some customers are experiencing higher system reboots after applying firmware updates with Broadwell- and Haswell-architecture CPUs for both client and data center and it appears that these will need a new update as well.

Data centers will need to further update which means another maintenance and with performance impact and reduced stability, these big customers won’t be happy at all.

AMD, which was originally considered to be immune to some of these issues, apparently is not.

According to AMD, both Spectre issues variants are applicable to AMD processors and while AMD believes that its CPU architectures make it difficult to exploit Variant 2, it is working with the industry and plans microcode updates for Ryzen and EPYC server CPUs as soon as possible.

AMD still claims that it is immune to the Variant 3, also known as Meltdown.

Unfortunately, we still do not have any precise details regarding the magnitude it will have on server market but some reports suggest that server companies expect a big loss due to these issues.


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Slobodan Simic is foremost an IT enthusiast who discovered his knack for writing, which lead to becoming both an IT journalist and later an Editor for a number of publications. He has been covering anything from the consumer- and professional-oriented hardware to software markets and networks. With a focus on chasing down leads, making sure that fresh content is ready for publishing, as well as keeping up with the evergrowing and evolving IT world, writing has become more of his passion rather than just a job.