To protect users from the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, Microsoft had recently released security updates for its systems. However, these security updates slow down the performance of some computers and servers.
More than a week ago, security researchers discovered the Meltdown and Spectre malicious actors which were affecting all mobile devices and computers. These attacks take place in three variants- Variant 1 (Spectre), Variant 2 (Spectre), and Variant 3 (Meltdown).
Microsoft currently supports 45 editions of Windows, and have issued security updates for 41 of them already. Talking about slow system performance, the tech giant said that Variant 1 and Variant 3 don’t affect much, but Variant 2 seems to have more performance impact on devices.
Windows 10 users with 2016-era CPUs or newer won’t see much performance impact as the benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns that are reflected in milliseconds.
While the Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 users with 2015-era CPUs or older might notice a decline in their system performance. The users of Windows Server are more likely to see significant performance impact.
“Older versions of Windows have a larger performance impact because Windows 7 and Windows 8 have more user-kernel transitions because of legacy design decisions, such as all font rendering taking place in the kernel. We will publish data on benchmark performance in the weeks ahead,” said Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group.
Customers don’t look convinced with Microsoft as a lot of users complained on Twitter that they are compromising the performance in the name of security. While others said that they are forced to add more servers to have the system performance they had before applying security updates.
Following the knowledge of vulnerabilities gaining momentum last week, Intel too had announced to release security updates within a week, for 90% of the systems it had introduced in the last five years, and for the remaining ones by January end. Talking about performance impact on systems, Intel said that the average computer users (the home and business PC users reading emails, writing documents, accessing photos, etc.) might not see significant system slowdowns.
“Based on our tests on SYSmark 2014 SE, a leading benchmark of PC performance, 8th Generation Core platforms with solid state storage will see a performance impact of 6 percent or less,” stated Intel.