Microsoft's fix for bugs is wrecking some AMD-powered PCs

Microsoft: Meltdown and Spectre fixes may notably reduce performance

Microsoft: Meltdown and Spectre fixes may notably reduce performance

Last week, the world's biggest chip makers and software companies, including Intel and Microsoft, announced vulnerabilities that leave computers and smartphones susceptible to potential hacking.

Intel will issue updates 'within a week' to patch recently discovered security vulnerabilities in 90 per cent of its chipsets released over the course of last five years. In other developments, Microsoft also warned that some computers powered by older processors probably won't work as well as they once did after the antidotes to Spectre and Meltdown are installed. To get your affected PC back to a bootable state, you will have to visit Microsoft's support site for fixes.

But the reboot bug indicates that the flaw in the chips may be so fundamental that Intel may have a tougher time fixing it than it expected.

While much of the industry has been keen to distance itself from performance-related issues around Meltdown and Spectre, both Microsoft and Intel have now stated that some form of slowing is likely as the issues are fixed. It has been noticed however that the very nature of chips that has made them as fast as they are allowing us to have the immense computing power we experience today makes them vulnerable.

"Based on our most recent PC benchmarking, we continue to expect that the performance impact should not be significant for average computer users", Intel said.

AMD will begin issuing optional updates to guard against Spectre vulnerabilities later this week, the company said in a new blog post. The decision was taken as several AMD PCs were unable to boot after installing the said updates.

"For small to medium-sized installations and desktop usage I do not believe the performance to be an issue for most workloads". However, AMD has neither confirmed nor denied whether these updates could impact the performance of their chips or slow down servers utilising EPYC processors.

Intel said the overall impact depends on workload, computer configuration and mitigation techniques implemented for which in some cases there are multiple options.

Meltdown lets hackers bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer's memory, potentially letting hackers read a computer's memory and steal passwords.

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