Intel says security patches slow down chips by six percent

Updated 2018-01-10 09:01:08 Xinhua

File Photo: An Intel logo is seen at the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover, Germany, March 14, 2016. (Xinhua/Luo Huanhuan)

The world's top chip maker Intel Corp. confirmed Tuesday that patches to fix the Spectre and Meltdown flaws in its eighth generation Core chips are causing a six-percent slowdown in their performance, but insisted that it won't affect average computer users too much.

"Based on our most recent PC benchmarking, we continue to expect that the performance impact should not be significant for average computer users," the company said in a statement.

"This means the typical home and business PC user should not see significant slowdowns in common tasks such as reading email, writing a document or accessing digital photos," it said.

On Tuesday, Microsoft also released its latest evaluation of the performance impact of the Spectre and Meltdown fixes, which showed that only one Spectre remediation has a performance impact.

Specifically, Windows 10 computers with 2016 Intel Skylake, Kabylake or newer processors showed "single-digit slowdowns," which Microsoft didn't expect most users to notice a change because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds.

However, on Windows 8 and Windows 7 computers with 2015 Intel Haswell or older processors, "some benchmarks show more significant slowdowns, and we expect that some users will notice a decrease in system performance," it said.

The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities were first disclosed last week by Google's Project Zero, a team focused on discovering security issues, although Intel learned of their presence several months ago.

The chip giant reaffirmed that it's to issue updates for more than 90 percent of its chips introduced in the past five years within a week and the remainder by the end of January.

It also noted that no information has been received that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data.

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