Microsoft: PCs with Haswell CPUs and older may notice performance impact from Spectre...

By midian182 · 24 replies
Jan 10, 2018
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  1. We know that PCs receiving the Spectre and Meltdown firmware updates will see performance issues—you can see our own report into the effects here. Now, Microsoft has released its own set of benchmarks. It’s good news if you have modern hardware and run Windows 10, but those still using an old OS or a Haswell CPU and older could start noticing problems.

    Microsoft writes that most of the benchmarks published so far do not include both OS and silicon updates. Windows chief Terry Myerson writes that a change to the operating system designed to mitigate against a variation of Spectre can have a significant impact on some PCs.

    According to the Redmond firm’s tests, anyone running Windows 10 on a 6th-generation Intel Core processor (Skylake) or newer should only see “single-digit slowdowns.” Most users won’t even notice a change because the differences are measured in milliseconds.

    Some users running Windows 10 on 4th-generation (Haswell) or older CPUs will notice a drop in performance as Microsoft’s benchmarks show more significant slowdowns on these systems. This is because Skylake CPUs and newer have more refined branch prediction, reducing the performance penalty of the Spectre patch.

    The problem is even worse when this older silicon is combined with Windows 8 and Windows 7, which will result in most users experiencing a decrease in performance. “Older versions of Windows have a larger performance impact because Windows 7 and Windows 8 have more user-kernel transitions because of legacy design decisions, such as all font rendering taking place in the kernel”

    Microsoft warns that the biggest performance impact will hit Windows Server running any silicon, especially when it comes to IO-intensive applications. “This is why you want to be careful to evaluate the risk of untrusted code for each Windows Server instance and balance the security versus performance tradeoff for your environment,” says Myerson.

    AMD systems aren’t affected by Meltdown, and the company says only one of the two Spectre variants could impact machines using its chips. Intel’s shares have dropped nearly 2.5 percent since the flaws were exposed, while AMD’s have risen almost 20 percent in the last week.

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  2. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 578   +354

    Did I dodge a bullet or just take one? (Skylake and Windows 10 Inside).
    No patch from ASUS yet. Did find after a mega search a page saying for 100 series chipset to update to bios 37xx. Unfortunately mobo driver page only lists bios version 3504 as latest. No patch from MS yet either.
     
  3. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 393   +252

    This all Meldown/Spectre 'debacle' starts to look like fake news to force people to upgrade. Enyone actually heard of an exploit being used in the wild? Cannot find it in all those alarming articles.
     
  4. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 578   +354

    again, the best exploit is the one where they get in and out and nobody is the wiser. Copy the digital info and go sell it. These folks certainly aren't going to tell you about a flaw. Also many companies, especially banks are hacked regularly and do not disclose it because it would hurt their brand.
    edit: but I don't rule out in this crazy world that the flaw exists, but is itself being exploited to force people to upgrade by not making as good patches for older gear than for newer gear. That the flaw exists seems too well corroborated to be a lie
     
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  5. Flebbert

    Flebbert TS Addict Posts: 173   +123

    There has been an embargo on the whole thing until recently and the big thing is that you would never know someone has accessed the information.

    If you are looking at the consumer devices then you are being short sighted.

    We are going to test a 100 seat (autocad) VDI solution at one of our sites next week to see what the impact is...... I am expecting it is going to be significant.
     
    Charles Olson likes this.
  6. Angga B

    Angga B TS Rookie Posts: 23   +11

    As I have predicted. Thx Intel ;-P
     
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  7. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 393   +252

    [/QUOTE]
    If you are looking at the consumer devices then you are being short sighted.
    [/QUOTE]

    As an owner of Haswell based PC, and not having money to burn on a "new" system, I am "shortsighted".
    Fortunately I run Windows 7 so I can just skip the patches.
    I'll wait till the performance on this architechture is fully tested till apply anything.
    And f*ck those greedy Intel bast*rds. They knew for few month about the weaknes and used this time to sell more CPUs and their company's shares. Isn't there some law for such a behaviour?
     
    Jules Mark likes this.
  8. meric

    meric TS Addict Posts: 133   +67

    If my i5 4460 slows down I'm done with intel
     
  9. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 205   +176

    Almost seems like they're taking advantage of this whole fiasco to get people to upgrade their processors.
     
    Charles Olson and Peter Farkas like this.
  10. tylerb1489

    tylerb1489 TS Rookie

    I’ll be buying a Zen+ After April and if my i5-2500 slows down noticeably.
     
    VeeTeeF, Charles Olson and Mike st like this.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,889   +1,313

    I doubt you'll get the microcode update for that CPU.
     
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,527   +3,038

    Actually there is. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to apply to the people it was written to protect us against..
     
    senketsu likes this.
  13. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 289   +97

    I was thinking of the same. I have a 4770K and until now there was no reason for me to upgrade. I might be OK for a while after this, but this looks fishy....
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    Charles Olson likes this.
  14. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 289   +97

    Please share your experience and the perfomance impact. I am curious.
     
  15. Potato Judge

    Potato Judge TS Booster Posts: 128   +60

    But.... I don't want to drop Win 7 and my i5 4690 is still not dead.
     
    Mike st and poohbear like this.
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,849   +493

    The exploit has PoC code and can then be distributed with other zero days. Sure you can ignore the warning and not take the perf hit. Good luck with that.

    Forcing people to upgrade is likely going to get people to look away from Intel - it's not the sort of PR they'd have wanted. AMD shares up 20%... yeah I'm sure that was what Intel was aiming for.
     
  17. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,849   +493

    Anyone can skip the patches on Win10 as well - what's your point?
     
  18. poohbear

    poohbear TS Addict Posts: 193   +95

    Lmao "upgrade ur old CPUs and yea if ure using win 7 or older u have to upgrade those too." Puuuuuuullleeease! Just cause theres no reason to upgrade our perfectly fine 5 year old CPUs ure gin a manufacture a fake reason for us to upgrade?? Why dont u manufacture something worth upgrading too? My Haswell i7 handles EVERYTHING spectacularly, now ure gonna throttle it?? Just like Apple throttles their older phones??

    AMD and google chrome are looking mighty good right now MS & Intel.
     
  19. Flebbert

    Flebbert TS Addict Posts: 173   +123

    If you are looking at the consumer devices then you are being short sighted.
    [/QUOTE]

    As an owner of Haswell based PC, and not having money to burn on a "new" system, I am "shortsighted".
    Fortunately I run Windows 7 so I can just skip the patches.
    I'll wait till the performance on this architechture is fully tested till apply anything.
    And f*ck those greedy Intel bast*rds. They knew for few month about the weaknes and used this time to sell more CPUs and their company's shares. Isn't there some law for such a behaviour?[/QUOTE]

    Yeah Intel are jerks which isn't anything new but people have been throwing money at them for years and this will be forgotten in 2 months time and people will go back to buying Intel.

    The chances are you may even buy Intel again as well, its just the way she goes.

    I am very curious about when people will give up there Windows 7 devices.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  20. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 578   +354

    Just got my Windows 10 patch (January 3, 2018—KB4056892 (OS Build 16299.192)) I run Intel, but I noticed under "Known issues in this update" this:
    "Microsoft has reports of some customers with AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after installing this KB. To prevent this issue, Microsoft will temporarily pause Windows OS updates to devices with impacted AMD processors at this time."
     
  21. VeeTeeF

    VeeTeeF TS Rookie

    So they're sending out an update that patches Intel systems but might BRICK AMD systems? Um...
     
  22. mark kram

    mark kram TS Member Posts: 20

    I have an i5 sandybridge that I hate giving up. I received my os patch the same day and my machine bogged down. It's back to running without noticeable delays after I increased virtual memory to match 4gb ram. Gamers may have a problem but office programs run just fine.
     
  23. mark kram

    mark kram TS Member Posts: 20

    As an owner of Haswell based PC, and not having money to burn on a "new" system, I am "shortsighted".
    Fortunately I run Windows 7 so I can just skip the patches.
    I'll wait till the performance on this architechture is fully tested till apply anything.
    And f*ck those greedy Intel bast*rds. They knew for few month about the weaknes and used this time to sell more CPUs and their company's shares. Isn't there some law for such a behaviour?[/QUOTE]

    Yeah Intel are jerks which isn't anything new but people have been throwing money at them for years and this will be forgotten in 2 months time and people will go back to buying Intel.

    The chances are you may even buy Intel again as well, its just the way she goes.

    I am very curious about when people will give up there Windows 7 devices.[/QUOTE]
    The last I knew MS had a drop dead date for win 7 security updates until 2020. Mainstream support for 8.1 ended jan 9 and its security updates end in 2022. Since MS has to support its windows programs phones with 8.1 or 10 have been supported too as long as the phone could also run in desktop mode.
     
  24. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 578   +354

    I've had my MS patch and now an Asus bios update (with microcode change). Win 10 and 6th gen Intel. Everything works well although I've not done anything intensive like video transcoding etc. Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB seems to have lost some random IOP's (that's all the detail Samsung Magician gives), but I don't notice any difference. Reads and writes are just as good as before although again Samsung Magician software doesn't give you details. It's an NVMe drive
     
  25. Flebbert

    Flebbert TS Addict Posts: 173   +123

    Yeah Intel are jerks which isn't anything new but people have been throwing money at them for years and this will be forgotten in 2 months time and people will go back to buying Intel.

    The chances are you may even buy Intel again as well, its just the way she goes.

    I am very curious about when people will give up there Windows 7 devices.[/QUOTE]
    The last I knew MS had a drop dead date for win 7 security updates until 2020. Mainstream support for 8.1 ended jan 9 and its security updates end in 2022. Since MS has to support its windows programs phones with 8.1 or 10 have been supported too as long as the phone could also run in desktop mode.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah security patches are one thing but holding on to and OS for that long as a consumer is often related to why technology and software is held back, Windows 7 was released in 2009 and being around in 2020 and beyond means that people still program to support the older OS's around.

    I know this is not the only thing that hold alot of that stuff back but it is definitely a big contributor
     

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