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Intel details performance loss from Meltdown and Spectre fixes

13 Enero 2018

Internet and networking equipment maker Cisco Systems said in a security advisory that it has identified 18 vulnerable products, including some of its blade servers, rack servers and routers, and expects to have patches for servers in about five weeks.

AMD has published an update on its processor security in the wake of the Spectre and Meltdown saga.

Following the Wall Street Journal report, Intel issued a statement by Nevin Shenoy, general manager of its datacentre group, confirming that Intel had received reports from "a few customers" of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates.

Mark Papermaster, senior vice president and chief technology officer at AMD said: "We will provide further updates as appropriate on this site as AMD and the industry continue our collaborative work to develop mitigation solutions to protect users from these latest security threats".

The news finally confirms that Intel's patches for Meltdown and Spectre will affect the perfomance of at-risk devices, after the company apparently changed its opinion several times. Meltdown on the other hand doesn't seem to be a concern. We are also working directly with data center customers to discuss the issue.

Google says their new security patches for the processor vulnerabilities have no negative effects to performance. Sadly, the company has been forced to confirm a flaw in the fix for the flaw which is causing systems based on the company's older Haswell and Broadwell microarchitectures to randomly reboot.

The security patches for Meltdown and a variant of Spectre were issued in September, reports Reuters. Users running HDD drives will see a lessened impact as the bottleneck from the slower drive is greater than the impact of the potential patches.

Variation 2 (Branch Target Injection or Spectre), which is harder to exploit, is being addressed through optional microcode updates for Ryzen and EPYC processors starting this week.

In particular, he thanked the Google Project Zero team for practising responsible disclosure, creating the opportunity for the industry to address these issues in a co-ordinated way.

Microsoft said earlier this week that people running computers on 2015-era Intel Haswell or earlier processors would see the biggest performance slowdown, particularly if they weren't using Windows 10.

Apple claims that performance of Macs, iPhones and iPads is largely unaffected by the patches, stating "our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS as measured by the GeekBench 4 benchmark, or in common Web browsing benchmarks".

Intel details performance loss from Meltdown and Spectre fixes