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How much slower will your PC feel after patching for Spectre-Meltdown?


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Should you be concerned about how much of a performance hit that your PC will take after applying the Spectre-Meltdown patch? It depends.


"Intel made it clear that patching the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities would mean PCs taking a hit with regards to performance, but the company has now published data on just how much of a hit systems will experience.

Intel has published both data collected from both users and synthetic benchmarks and the bottom line is that users will experience a real-world performance hit of about between six and eight percent, with systems running 8th-generation processors seeing a smaller impact than those running 7th- or 6th-generation hardware.

Factors can swing the results, for example, 8th-generation systems running SSDs see a smaller impact, older systems with SSDs take a bigger hit, and some workloads, such as complex JavaScript operations, are more badly affected and could see as much as a 10 percent performance hit.

When it comes to synthetic benchmarking, we get a picture that's a little more detailed. Again, the generalization that older systems will experience a bigger hit still holds true overall, but that different workloads can skew the results.

And there are a few of interesting takeaways from the benchmark data that Intel published:

  • The performance hit for the SYSMark 2014 SE Data/Finance Analysis test showed little in the way of a performance hit, which will be reassuring to business users.
  • Gamers should also breathe a sigh of relief, as the 3DMark Sky Diver test suggests that DX11 gaming performance is also largely unaffected.
  • The benchmark that showed the biggest performance hit was the SYSMark 2014 SE Responsiveness test, which showed a performance hits of as much 21 percent for workloads such as application launches, file launches, web browsing with multiple tabs, multi-tasking, file copying, photo manipulation, file encryption, and compression, and background application installation."

THe rest of the article with benchmark charts for different systems is here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-much-slower-will-your-pc-feel-after-patching-for-spectre-and-meltdown/?loc=newsletter_large_thumb_related&ftag=TREc64629f&bhid=19724681974700635514865380622813


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