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.
Your mileage may vary.
Initial Benchmarks Of The Performance Impact Resulting From Linux's x86 Security Changes:
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