Intel details performance impact due to fixes released for Spectre and Meltdown issues

Earlier this week, Microsoft published its initial report on the performance impact that will be seen on the Windows PCs after installing the Meltdown and Spectre security issue related fixes. Microsoft said that PCs running Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skylake, Kabylake or newer CPU) will see single-digit slowdowns and most users will not notice it because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds. Today, Intel published their own results after testing the performance impact of their security fixes. Please read the summary below.

  • The performance impact of the mitigation on 8th generation platforms (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake) with SSDs is small. Across a variety of workloads, including office productivity and media creation as represented in the SYSMark2014SE benchmark, the expected impact is less than 6 percent. In certain cases, some users may see a more noticeable impact. For instance, 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). Workloads that are graphics-intensive like gaming or compute-intensive like financial analysis see minimal impact.
  • Our measurements of the impact on the 7th Gen Kaby Lake-H performance mobile platform are similar to the 8th generation platforms (approximately 7 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark).
  • For the 6th generation Skylake-S platform, our measurements show the performance impact is slightly higher, but generally in line with the observations on 8th and 7th generation platforms (approximately 8 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark). We have also measured performance on the same platform with Windows 7, a common configuration in the installed base, especially in office environments. The observed impact is small (approximately 6 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark). Observed impact is even lower on systems with HDDs.

Next week, Intel will publish the information across the broad range of usages and Intel platforms.

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