The patches fix the Spectre and Meltdown flaws that make the chips susceptible to attacks from hackers. The company said in a notice Tuesday on its website that it's working with AMD to resolve the problem so people can resume installing the recommended repairs.
This slowdown becomes even more worrisome for users running Windows OS on older Intel CPUs-2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU, to be precise. After that, Intel will focus on releasing updates for older products based on requests and priorities of its customers.
Microsoft is also working closely with antivirus software partners to ensure that all customers receive the January Windows security updates as soon as possible. So we have to patch our drivers to patch the CPU vulnerabilities. "The security of the systems our customers depend upon and enjoy is a top priority for us".
The Spectre and Meltdown flaws were originally discovered by Google engineers, and have sent computer makers scrambling to patch their hardware to protect against potential hacks. Notably, the statement explains that Meltdown and Spectre Variant 1 will have minimal impact on performance.
From the earliest rumors, the performance decrease from Meltdown and Spectre ranged from negligible (2% or less) to significant (20% or more), on both Linux servers and Windows machines.
Intel has also pledged to be more open about security, with CEO Brian Krzanich penning an open letter to the tech industry. The worst-case scenario appears to be SYSMark 2014's Responsiveness test which sees double-digit performance hits on every platform except the Windows 7 setup with a hard drive (which actually gains sees a performance gain).
What is being done to prevent similar problems in the future? Browsers can be used to exploit these vulnerabilities. In other developments, Microsoft also warned that some computers powered by older processors probably won't work as well as they once did after the antidotes to Spectre and Meltdown are installed. Using top-of-the line Core i7-8700K consumer CPU with six-cores and 12 threats, and a fast Intel 600p M.2 NVMe SSD, the company could still see a 6-percent slowdown across the board in SYSmark benchmarks, with each individual benchmark ranging from 2 percent to 14 percent less.
Further, some antivirus software who do not have the ability to change Windows registry keys, may require some time to add those abilities to the software.
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