Intel Found that Spectre and Meltdown Fix Has a Performance Hit of 0-21%

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Microsoft, Red Hat and Intel have published their performance evaluation of the impact Meltdown and Spectre mitigation has on various systems.

There are a total of three variants for Spectre and Meltdown, two for Spectre (Variant 1 and 2) and one for Meltdown (Variant 3). In their benchmark tests Microsoft have concluded that “Variant 1 and Variant 3 mitigations have minimal performance impact, while Variant 2 remediation, including OS and microcode, has a performance impact.” Without providing number, they further detailed their finding as following:

  • There is insignificant performance impact on Windows 10 for desktop users with Intel Skylake, Kabylake or newer CPU
  • There is a noticeable performance decrease for Windows 7/8/10 for desktop users with Intel Haswell or older CPU
  • There is a “significant performance impact“ for Windows Server applications on any processor, especially I/O intensive ones

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