Intel releases benchmark results detailing Meltdown patch performance slowdown

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In the wake of the Meltdown and Spectre bug revelations, Intel has been eager to downplay the impact patches will have on performance. Having already shed a little light on exactly what users can expect in terms of a performance hit, the company has now released more detailed benchmark results

In a blog post, Intel's Navin Shenoy shares details of benchmarks performed with sixth, seventh and eighth generation processors in Windows 10, and sixth generation processors in Windows 7, 8 and 10. Shenoy reiterates the company position that the "performance impact should not be significant for average computer users", saying that "the data we are sharing today support that expectation on these platforms." It's worth bearing in mind, however, that the hardware used in the tests is not necessary that which would be used by the average computer user.

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Intel has chosen to run performance tests using SYSmark 2014 SE, 3DMark and PCMark 10. The results are a little difficult to interpret, as benchmarks only test very specific sets of circumstances, but they show that the performance impact for Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake systems with SSDs lies between 6 and 14 percent depending on the task. For Skylake systems, the performance hit can be as much as 21 percent.

The results of Intel's test can be seen in the table below (click the image to see a larger version, or click here for a PDF version):

Intel Meltdown patch benchmarks

If you're interested to know precisely what hardware Intel performed its benchmarks on, the company has obliged by providing a detailed breakdown:

KBL-R U 4+2 Configuration:

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-8650U Processor (KBL-R U 4+2) PL1=15W TDP, 4C8T, Turbo up to 4.2GHz Memory: 2x4GB DDR4-2400 1Rx8 Samsung M471A5143EB1 Storage: Intel® 600p m.2 NVME SSD Display Resolution: 1920x1080 OS: Windows* 10 Build RS3 16299.15. Power policy set to AC/High Perf for all benchmarks Graphics driver: 15.60.4901_whql RST: 15.9.1.1018_pv-RFfix

CFL-S 6+2 95W Configuration:

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-8700K Processor (CFL-S 6+2), PL1=95W TDP, 6C12T, Turbo up to 4.7GHz Memory: 2x8GB DDR4-2666 2Rx4 HyperX HX426C15FBK2/16 Storage: Intel® 600p M.2 NVMe SSD Display Resolution: 1920x1080 OS: Windows 10 Build RS3 16299.15. Power policy set to AC/HighPerf for all benchmarks Graphics driver: 15.60.4877_Whql, RST: 15.9.1.1018_pv-Rffix

KBL-H 4+2 45W Configuration:

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-7920HQ Processor (KBL-H 4+2), PL1=45W TDP, 4C8T, Turbo up to 4.1GHz Memory: 2x4GB DDR4-2400 1Rx8 Samsung M471A5143EB1 Storage: Intel® 600p M.2 NVMe SSD Display Resolution: 1920x1080 OS: Windows 10 Build RS3 16299.15. Power policy set to AC/HighPerf for all benchmarks Graphics driver: 15.60.4877_Whql, RST: 15.9.1.1018_pv-Rffix

SKL-S 4+2 91W Configuration:

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-6700K Processor (SKL-S 4+2), PL1=91W TDP, 4C8T, Turbo up to 4.2GHz Memory: 2x8GB DDR4-2400 [running at 2133] 2Rx8 G.Skill Ripjaws F4-2400C15D-16GVR Storage: Intel® 600p M.2 NVMe SSD Display Resolution: 1900x1200 OS: Windows 10 Build RS3 16299.15. Power policy set to AC/HighPerf for all benchmarks Graphics driver: 10.18.15.4256, RST: 14.6.0.1029

SKL-S 4+2 91W Configuration:

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-6700K Processor (SKL-S 4+2), PL1=91W TDP, 4C8T, Turbo up to 4.2GHz Memory: 2x8GB DDR4-2400 [running at 2133] 2Rx8 G.Skill Ripjaws F4-2400C15D-16GVR Storage: Intel® 540s Series 240GB SATA SSD Display Resolution: 190x1200 OS: Windows 7 Build 7601 Service Pack 1. Power policy set to AC/HighPerf for all benchmarks Graphics driver: 10.18.15.4256, RST: 14.6.0.1029

SKL-S 4+2 91W Configuration:

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-6700K Processor (SKL-S 4+2), PL1=91W TDP, 4C8T, Turbo up to 4.2GHz Memory: 2x8GB DDR4-2400 [running at 2133] 2Rx8 G.Skill Ripjaws F4-2400C15D-16GVR Storage: Western Digital Black Edition 1TB 7200RPM SATA HDD WD1003FZEX Display Resolution: 1900x1200 OS: Windows 7 Build 7601 Service Pack 1. Power policy set to AC/HighPerf for all benchmarks Graphics driver: 10.18.15.4256, RST: 14.6.0.1029

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