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Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers

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"Microsoft Says Windows 10 PCs Running Haswell Or Older Intel CPUs Can Expect Significant Slowdowns Post-Spectre Patch"

https://hothardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-10-pcs-haswell-intel-cpus-significant-slowdowns-post-spectre-patch

For its part, Microsoft is addressing some of the performance

ramifications for installing patches to mitigate the Meltdown and

Spectre vulnerabilities. Windows Chief Terry Myerson describes three

exploits (two for Spectre, one for Meltdown) that have been addressed

using a combination of silicon microcode updates and changes to the

Windows operating system:

> Variant 1 (Spectre): CVE-2017-5753 (Bound Check Bypass)

> Variant 2 (Spectre): CVE-2017-5715 (Branch Target Injection)

> Variant 3 (Meltdown): CVE-2017-5754 (Rogue Data Cache Load)

> Now for some good news and bad news. We'll get the good news out of

the way first and tell you that Variant 1 and Variant 3 will have

"minimal performance impact" for users. However, bad news comes with

the revelation that the mitigation protocols put in place with Variant 2

can have a profound effect on system performance, especially for

users running Haswell (or older) processors on Windows 10 and 

Windows Server customers (regardless of what processor being used).

> Windows 10 PCs with Skylake, Kaby Lake or anything newer may see "single-digit slowdowns", 

but for most users the impact will be minimal.

> Windows 10 PCs with Haswell or older processors will see "more significant slowdowns" and 

Microsoft notes that a segment of customers may "notice a decrease in system performance”.

> Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs powered by Haswell or older processors will see 

a "decrease in system performance" for "most users".

> As for customers running Windows Server, "Hold on to your butts":

> Windows Server on any silicon, especially in any IO-intensive application, 

shows a more significant performance impact when you

enable the mitigations to isolate untrusted code within a Windows

Server instance. This is why you want to be careful to evaluate the

risk of untrusted code for each Windows Server instance, and balance

the security versus performance tradeoff for your environment.

Not sure about Windows 7 and 8 PCs running on newer processors.

Don't know yet if Apple, Linux, and Google have said how much their devices will slow down.

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One wonders whether this is a collusion between different manufacturers in an attempt to stimulate sales for newer devices in cohort with the major OS vendors. I say this since, why would ARM and Intel who operate completely different Microprocessor architectures and designs be both impacted. Something smells fishy here.

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One wonders whether this is a collusion between different manufacturers in an attempt to stimulate sales for newer devices in cohort with the major OS vendors. I say this since, why would ARM and Intel who operate completely different Microprocessor architectures and designs be both impacted. Something smells fishy here.

A lot of answers can be found here:

https://spectreattack.com/

Basically, the cpu design flaw goes back decades (around early 90's) - in a bid to make chips perform ever more faster and faster

Fundamentally, both exploits use somewhat similar core concepts. All modern processors use various features and techniques to improve performance - including out-of-order execution, branch prediction, and speculative execution (basically like pre-fetching, predicting what would be the next instruction). However, all of these have the potential to execute code that shouldn't be allowed.

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