Meltdown and Spectre

Discussion in 'Technology' started by bfun, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. So every Intel chip after the Core2Duo appears to be affected by this vulnerability. Some Windows patches went out today and so far it appears that only server performance is affected. Epic said their cloud services CPU utilization shot up 20% after the patch and caused outages. I've read that Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge might get hit the hardest but I haven't seen any benchmarks yet. Coffee Lake benchmarks show almost no impact. Work is going to suck tomorrow.
  2. #2 cmdrmonkey, Jan 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    I'm not sure how this will turn out for Intel. They may sell more chips in the long run due to people buying new PCs and servers because of the slowdown. But they're also looking at class action lawsuits. I'm wondering what kind of slowdown I can expect to see on my PCs. I have a 2 Haswell i7s and a Haswell i3. I wonder if I will get a small payout in the lawsuits.
  3. My understanding is that the vulnerability is baked into the architecture. It's not clear if Intel will be able to resolve this anytime soon without a major design change to their chips. I have to wonder if they will be delaying the release of any new chips for the next couple of years. Several class action lawsuits have already been started.
  4. I know the problem is with the architecture, but if I'm not mistaken haven't modern OSs been patched to make it hard or impossible to exploit?
  5. Yes but that is a software work around to a hardware problem and not a real fix. The concern now is that hackers will start targeting these OS patches. I don't think personal PCs are going to be a major issue. It's mostly going to be a problem for data centers where servers are shared through remote access. AMD is also affected but the risk is much lower. I think the hacker would need physical access to an AMD system to take advantage where as Intel can be hit remotely.
  6. #6 cmdrmonkey, Jan 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    What's the likelihood of anyone actually exploiting this? It all sounds very academic and hypothetical.

    I'll probably be upgrading all of my stuff in the next couple of years. I guess I'll hold out until Intel figures out how to block this at a hardware level.
  7. #7 bfun, Jan 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    One expert seems to think it was being exploited 24 hours after it went public. It doesn't leave any kind trail and isn't detectable so there is no way to know if you've been hit. A proof of concept attack was shown by executing a javascript in the Chrome Browser. This means the attach could happen simply by visiting a website. Google is working on their own patch.
  8. My work PC doesn't seem to have slowed down at all but then I only use it for productivity so might not really know.

    I have heald off doing our VMware and Windows Servers at the moment. One of them runs a big Progress Database so dreading that.
  9. #9 cmdrmonkey, Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    I haven't noticed any slowdown. Maybe they're referring to chips that are slower, like celerons, ULV chips, and i3s. I would imagine any kind of change would be noticeable on those.
  10. The things it affects are very specific like certain size disk reads. The good news is gaming isn't affected. Here are some benchmarks. Skylake takes an average 8% performance hit and Kaby lake is more like 3 to 4%. That's probably only noticeable in benchmarks although the 10% hit in Win 10 web applications might be noticeable.

  11. I guess it was a good time to upgrade from 2600K Sandy Bridge to 1800x Ryzen.

    Have you seen any comparisons of CPU utilization regarding this issue? Most games use a fraction of processing power of high end CPUs. I wondered if just a fraction of a hit to utilization would show up in benchmarks given many games might only use 20-30% of the CPUs power.
  12. It only shows up in CPU intensive games at low resolution. I doubt its actually noticable except in benchmarks.
  13. I was going to say, with the resolutions most people are running these days (eg 1440p, 4k), the CPU is rarely much of a factor.