Intel’s latest update on its response to the Spectre and Meldown processor vulnerabilities, sheds some more light on the performance impact that users can expect from system fixes.
The company’s executive vice-president and GM of the data centre group, Navin Shenoy, yesterday shared data on several 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel Core processor platforms using Windows 10.
“We previously said that we expected our performance impact should not be significant for average computer users, and the data we are sharing today support that expectation on these platforms,” he writes in the company blog.
“The performance impact of the mitigation on 8th generation platforms (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake) with SSDs is small,” Shenoy says. Across a variety of workloads, including office productivity and media creation as represented in the SYSMark2014SE benchmark, the expected impact is less than 6%.
However, in certain cases, some users may see a more noticeable impact – users who use web applications that involve complex JavaScript operations may see a somewhat higher impact (up to 10% based on our 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% on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark),” Shenoy adds.
“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% 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% on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark). Observed impact is even lower on systems with HDDs.”
Shenoy promises to share additional information as it becomes available.
“Within the next week, we intend to offer a representative set of data for mobile and desktop platforms that were launched within the past five years. For those Intel customers who are worried about performance impacts, you should know that we will work on creative solutions with our industry partners to reduce those performance impacts wherever possible.
“In addition to all the work we’re doing for products in the hands of our customers, we’re hard at work upgrading the technology in our future products to maximise security and performance.
“To be clear, we do not want to see the performance of our products impacted in any way, and we know our customers feel the same way. However, the security of our products and our customers’ data is our number one priority. We are passionate about continuing to work with our partners in the industry to provide the best possible experience for our customers.”