Security Tech News Windows

Revealed: How Spectre Updates Will Affect Your PC

Dave Parrack 10-01-2018

We assume you’re fully aware of Meltdown and Spectre, the two new, and rather scary, CPU exploits, by now. If not, then read our overview of Meltdown and Spectre Meltdown and Spectre Leave Every CPU Vulnerable to Attack A huge security flaw with Intel CPUs has been uncovered. Meltdown and Spectre are two new vulnerabilities that affect the CPU. You ARE affected. What can you do about it? Read More before continuing. Done? Good. Now it’s time to find out exactly how the Windows updates Microsoft has released will affect your PC.


We have written a whole article answering the question, “Is your Windows PC affected by Meltdown and Spectre? How to Protect Windows From Meltdown and Spectre Security Threats Meltdown and Spectre are major security threats that affect billions of devices. Find out whether your Windows computer is affected and what you can do. Read More ” And now, thanks to Microsoft, we know how the firmware updates designed to fix these CPU exploits will affect your computer. And it’s fair to say there’s some good news and bad news.

Microsoft Reveals Potential Performance Impacts

In a blog post titled, “Understanding the performance impact of Spectre and Meltdown mitigations on Windows Systems,” Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, shares what Microsoft has learned so far about the impact its updates will have on performance.

Essentially, if you’re using an older computer (2015 or earlier) running Windows 7 or Windows 8 then you may notice the change in performance. However, if you’re using a newer computer (2016 and later) running Windows 10 then you probably won’t notice the miniscule change in performance.

Diving deeper, Windows 10 PCs with Skylake, Kaby Lake, or newer processors show “single-digit slowdowns […] reflected in milliseconds.” Older Windows 10 PCs with Haswell or older processors may be affected more, but older PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8 will be the worst hit.

Microsoft is also warning that Windows Server “shows a more significant performance impact.” So any IT admins 5 Tricks To Get Your IT Department To Help You Faster How many I.T. techs does it take to change a lightbulb? None, you didn't submit a help desk ticket for it. Read More reading this should be careful to “evaluate the risk of untrusted code for each Windows Server instance, and balance the security versus performance tradeoff for your environment.”


Have Spectre and Meltdown Been Vanquished?

Microsoft has released this information as part of its commitment to “being as transparent and factual as possible to help our customers make the best possible decisions for their devices.” Which is to the company’s credit. Let’s just hope Spectre and Meltdown have been vanquished.

Have you updated your Windows PC to safeguard against Meltdown and Spectre? If so, have you noticed any effect on the performance of your computer? Are you worried about Meltdown and Spectre? Or do you consider the issue fixed? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Update.

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  1. Najd
    February 23, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    I will never update spectre and meltdown for my personal PC, these fixes are even more worse than exploits for home user, they have a big degradation in performance 20-40% .
    By the way, I have already tested these updates in my test PC and there was a hit in performance from 22-38% in various benchmarks.

  2. Andrew Wolfe
    January 15, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Chip vulnerabilities "vanguished"? Nope.

  3. G
    January 11, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Crash plan is no more. Try backblaze. It's cheaper and gets more.

    • Doc
      January 11, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      What does that have to do with the Spectre/Meltdown exploits?