Intel benchmarks show Spectre and Meltdown patches slow down PCs considerably

Posted 12 January 2018 14:45 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

The updates that should protect users against the Spectre and Meltdown attacks do influence system performance, according to benchmarks released by Intel. The performance decrease of systems with Kaby Lake or Coffee Lake CPUs combined with an SSD are relative small, According to the chip giant.

Tests performed by Intel using the SYSMark2014SE benchmark, report a performance loss of 6% on systems with those CPUs and an SSD.

In specific cases the effect on performance in much larger. Intel mentions that e.g. web applications with complex Javascript operations could see a slowdown of up to 10%. For other applications, such as games and financial analysis software the impact should be minimal, Intel writes.

The SYSMark2014SE benchmark results show that systems with a mobile Kaby Lake H CPU become about 7% slower. The drop of performance on Skylake S CPUs is a little bit larger, according to Intel. The SYSMark2014SE benchmark shows a 8% decrease. All tests were performed on Windows 10 PCs, when the same tests were performed on a PC running Windows 7, the benchmark shows a negative impact of 6%.

Systems with a SSD are less affected by performance degradation caused by the patches than systems with a traditional HDD.

Intel has stated it will collect and publish more benchmarks the coming week.  The chip giant also states to be working on measures to lower the impact of the patches on system performance in the future.

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