Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Jan 2018 00:42 UTC

A fundamental design flaw in Intel's processor chips has forced a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug.

Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel's virtual memory system. Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to publicly introduce the necessary changes to its Windows operating system in an upcoming Patch Tuesday: these changes were seeded to beta testers running fast-ring Windows Insider builds in November and December.

Crucially, these updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products. The effects are still being benchmarked, however we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model. More recent Intel chips have features - such as PCID - to reduce the performance hit.

That's one hell of a bug.

Thread beginning with comment 652464
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Member since:

It comes down to use case I guess. There are folks on OSNews (and the internet as a whole) who run 1000+ build farms at work, there are some who tinker as hobbyists and some who probably only use x86 when absolutely necessary.

It's gonna impact different people in different ways (if at all). Some folks are thinking about their brand new gaming rig, others about their company's 8-figure cloud operations.

That's why I love this site, it's a whole mix of backgrounds.

Reply Parent Score: 4

grat Member since:

The impact of the security fix varies depending on what your workload is.

Gaming, which all runs in user space, rather than kernel space, seems largely unaffected.

Similarly, I would question whether a well tuned DB would be heavily affected, since it's largely IO bound as a rule, rather than heavy kernel CPU.

Best plan is to start preparing for increased CPU counts, but wait to verify it's a problem first.

... or buy AMD. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3