More Productivity Tests

Photoshop suffers from the patches as well, though it does depend on the filter you are using. One of the most intensive in the application is the Iris Blur, which takes 11 percent longer on Intel’s 8th gen CPUs and 19 percent longer on 5th gen after the patches are applied. This is a bit of a worst-case scenario as a number of the less intensive filters see a negligible difference, but that is a reminder that only some workloads are hit by the patches.

For benchmarking enthusiasts like us, it’s disappointing to see one of our favorite tools – Microsoft Excel – suffer from a performance hit due to the security patches. On both the Kaby Lake Refresh and Broadwell ultraportable platforms, the Monte Carlo workload takes a four to six percent performance hit, which is in line with most other drops we’ve seen.

Compression and decompression is a very interesting workload to test before and after the patches. In 7-Zip, performance is mostly unchanged, with the only real decline seen in compression on the i5-5200U, to the tune of 4 percent. However in WinRAR compression, things get a bit crazy, with the i7-8550U showing performance improvements while the i5-5200U gets hit with a six percent performance drop. Strange, but I double and triple checked this result and it came up the same every time.

MATLAB is another workload where Broadwell is affected more than Kaby Lake Refresh. On the i5-5200U, simulation performance dropped by a rather significant 15 percent, while on the i5-8550U the impact was less severe at just 5 percent.

While neither of the Dell XPS 13s I benchmarked are very good gaming machines, I thought it’d also be interesting to look at 3DMark. This test mostly hits the integrated GPU hard rather than the CPU, so it’s not a massive surprise to see no real performance impact here.