Intel releases their internal performance analysis after Spectre/Meltdown fixes

Intel releases their own performance analysis after Spectre/Meltdown fixes

Intel releases their internal performance analysis after Spectre/Meltdown fixes

One of the big questions over the past few weeks has been the impact that Meltdown and Spectre Security fixes will have on the performance of Intel-based systems. 

We have conducted our own performance testing to look at this matter, though what must be noted is that our data does not include BIOS-level fixes for Spectre, so the impact could be higher in the future. These fixes have not been released yet for the motherboard we tested, though we plan to conduct additional testing when a new BIOS is released. 

Intel has now released their own internal impact assessment, showcasing how the performance of their 6th Generation and newer CPUs will be hit by Meltdown and Spectre fixes. This data mostly includes synthetic benchmarks, with 3DMARK being the only test used to look at gaming workloads. 

Regardless, this data is worth looking at, with Intel providing a PDF of their results and testing methodology here. When looking at Intel’s own Coffee Lake results, we can see a performance impact of between 0% (no difference) and 12%, though it is worth remembering that these results are from Synthetic benchmarks and not real-world workloads.  

  

     Today we are sharing data on several 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processor platforms using Windows* 10. We previously said that we expected our performance impact should not be significant for average computer users, and the data we are sharing today support that expectation on these platforms.

The performance impact of the mitigation on 8th generation platforms (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake) with SSDs is small. Across a variety of workloads, including office productivity and media creation as represented in the SYSMark2014SE benchmark, the expected impact is less than 6 percent. 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). Workloads that are graphics-intensive like gaming or compute-intensive like financial analysis see minimal impact.

Our measurements of the impact on the 7th Gen Kaby Lake-H performance mobile platform are similar to the 8th generation platforms (approximately 7 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark).

For the 6th generation Skylake-S platform, our measurements show the performance impact is slightly higher, but generally in line with the observations on 8th and 7th generation platforms (approximately 8 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark). We have also measured performance on the same platform with Windows 7, a common configuration in the installed base, especially in office environments. The observed impact is small (approximately 6 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark). Observed impact is even lower on systems with HDDs.

  

Intel releases their own performance analysis after Spectre/Meltdown fixes  (See Intel’s full datasheet here)

It is a shame that Intel has decided not to release any performance data on their pre-Skylake generation products, as Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake and Skylake are mostly the same CPU architecture, with clock speeds and core counts being the only real differentiator between each platform. 

You can join the discussion on Intel’s Impact assessment on Spectre/Meltdown performance hits on the OC3D Forums. 

Intel releases their own performance analysis after Spectre/Meltdown fixes

Intel releases their internal performance analysis after Spectre/Meltdown fixes

One of the big questions over the past few weeks has been the impact that Meltdown and Spectre Security fixes will have on the performance of Intel-based systems. 

We have conducted our own performance testing to look at this matter, though what must be noted is that our data does not include BIOS-level fixes for Spectre, so the impact could be higher in the future. These fixes have not been released yet for the motherboard we tested, though we plan to conduct additional testing when a new BIOS is released. 

Intel has now released their own internal impact assessment, showcasing how the performance of their 6th Generation and newer CPUs will be hit by Meltdown and Spectre fixes. This data mostly includes synthetic benchmarks, with 3DMARK being the only test used to look at gaming workloads. 

Regardless, this data is worth looking at, with Intel providing a PDF of their results and testing methodology here. When looking at Intel’s own Coffee Lake results, we can see a performance impact of between 0% (no difference) and 12%, though it is worth remembering that these results are from Synthetic benchmarks and not real-world workloads.  

  

     Today we are sharing data on several 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processor platforms using Windows* 10. We previously said that we expected our performance impact should not be significant for average computer users, and the data we are sharing today support that expectation on these platforms.

The performance impact of the mitigation on 8th generation platforms (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake) with SSDs is small. Across a variety of workloads, including office productivity and media creation as represented in the SYSMark2014SE benchmark, the expected impact is less than 6 percent. 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). Workloads that are graphics-intensive like gaming or compute-intensive like financial analysis see minimal impact.

Our measurements of the impact on the 7th Gen Kaby Lake-H performance mobile platform are similar to the 8th generation platforms (approximately 7 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark).

For the 6th generation Skylake-S platform, our measurements show the performance impact is slightly higher, but generally in line with the observations on 8th and 7th generation platforms (approximately 8 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark). We have also measured performance on the same platform with Windows 7, a common configuration in the installed base, especially in office environments. The observed impact is small (approximately 6 percent on the SYSMark2014SE benchmark). Observed impact is even lower on systems with HDDs.

  

Intel releases their own performance analysis after Spectre/Meltdown fixes  (See Intel’s full datasheet here)

It is a shame that Intel has decided not to release any performance data on their pre-Skylake generation products, as Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake and Skylake are mostly the same CPU architecture, with clock speeds and core counts being the only real differentiator between each platform. 

You can join the discussion on Intel’s Impact assessment on Spectre/Meltdown performance hits on the OC3D Forums.