Intel, Apple: Performance Impact Of Spectre, Meltdown CPU Patches To Be Insignificant

Following the confirmation that software fixes will be required in order to plug security flaws known as Spectre and Meltdown, impacting CPUs from Intel, AMD and ARM, there had been an initial suggestion that we may see a performance reduction as much as 30% on patched machines.

Now, though, it seems that such worries were overblown.

Following further announcements about the situation facing chip makers and operating system makers, Reuters carried a report in which Intel says that the performance hit experienced by patched servers and computers should not be significant and that it would be “mitigated over time.” This will be music to the ears of system administrators and IT professionals the world over, not to mention anyone who relies on cloud computing that may already be running close to its performance limit in order to save money – like small independent developers and the like.

Security issues with Intel microchips are only slowing computers slightly, technology companies said, as researchers played down the need for mass hardware replacements to protect millions of devices from hackers […]

Intel said in a statement after U.S. stock markets closed on Thursday that the performance impact of the recent security updates should not be significant and would be mitigated over time.

It said Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft had all reported little to no performance impact from security patches.

Apple concurs, saying in its own statement that there is no “measurable” impact to performance as a result of patching.

Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS […] or in common Web browsing benchmarks.

Apple has already rolled a patch out for macOS, with a fix for smartphones and tablets also as part of iOS 11.2, the company says.

It had been speculated that performance degradation may only be noticed on machines that are stressed in particular ways, those with high I/O throughout like databases for example, but following these statements we can only hope that we will not see the mass computer slowdown that had been feared.

(Source: Reuters)

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