Most PCs expected to get slower due to chip flaw fix

The company even said that "AMD is not susceptible to all three variants", in a statement last week, but it seems it is susceptible to two of them. "For context, on newer CPUs such as on Skylake and beyond, Intel has refined the instructions used to disable branch speculation to be more specific to indirect branches, reducing the overall performance penalty of the Spectre mitigation", Myerson explained.

Krzanich spent the first few minutes of his opening keynote speech at the CES tech industry trade show in Las Vegas promising that his company will work quickly to address the flaws, which theoretically allow hackers to access all a computer's data. It is also working with Microsoft to figure out why an earlier Windows 10 patch was preventing AMD powered computers from booting. Its newest chips were slowed down by 12 percent and one older type of chip, the Intel Core i7 6700K processor running on Windows 10, took a 21 percent hit in responsiveness. However it is supplying driver updates to "mitigate the CPU security issue". Some Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 users also report that the latest update for their OS has rendered their system unable to boot. In a post on its website, the chip firm goes into how it plans to deal with these problems.

AMD's processors don't appear to have the exact same attack surface for the Spectre and Meltdown speculative execution vulnerabilities that Intel's chips have, but the systems with red beating hearts still need updates. The no comment regarding Linux is odd as fixes for Oracle Linux landed here on January 9th.

Intel, the world's biggest chipmaker, has painted the problem as an industry-wide one that affects most modern processors.

Spectre is a more wide-ranging flaw and affects almost CPUs designed by Intel, AMD and ARM going back 20 years. We will publish data on benchmark performance in the weeks ahead.

For GPZ Variant 1, AMD mentions that it has been working closely with Microsoft to patch for AMD processors old and new. However, it is believed that this threat will be contained with an operating system patch. Most of the updates are available now, although Tesla and GRID users will have to wait until late January.

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