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Intel reveals possible slowdowns from 'Meltdown' processor fix

Heavy applications mean more significant slowdown.
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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Your personal computers will be less than 10 percent slower after you install the Spectre/Meltdown fix, Intel has revealed in a blog post. Intel has come to that conclusion after assessing the performance changes in computers using 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel core processors with Windows 10. Systems equipped with 8th generation (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake) chips and SSDs will be the least affected, with the expected impact being less than 6 percent. Devices using the 7th Gen Kaby Lake-H mobile processors will be around 7 percent slower, while the performance impact on systems with the 6th Gen Skylake-S platform is approximately 8 percent.

Depending on how you use your computer, you may not even notice a difference. Based on Intel's benchmark results, though, you will notice some slowdown if you browse the web and use applications, and it's safe to say that most people do. Obviously, if you use your computer for heavy applications, the slowdown will be more noticeable. As Intel explained:

"In certain cases, some users may see a more noticeable impact. For instance, users who use web applications that involve complex JavaScript operations may see a somewhat higher impact (up to 10 percent based on our initial measurements)."

A few days ago, Intel admitted that the fix for the flaws that leave its chips open to remote attackers will slow down PCs, but it has changed its wording a few times when it comes to discussing the patch's performance impact. These numbers can give you a more concrete idea of how much you'll be affected.

In addition to releasing its benchmark results for PCs, Intel said it plans to share initial data on its assessment of server platforms these next few days. It also insisted that it has yet to receive any information that the Spectre/Meltdown flaw has been used to obtain customer data, but it's probably for the best to install the fix when you get it anyway.

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