Here's how Intel's Spectre and Meltdown patch affects server CPUs

Oracle issues patches for Spectre and Meltdown

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Intel had said last week that it had received reports that its security patches were causing problems in systems with its older Broadwell and Haswell chips.

He claims that AMD's initial reaction to the flaw, which saw it declare that Spectre posed "near zero risk" to its chips before admitting that its processors were, in fact, affected by both variants of the vulnerability, resulted in AMD's stock prices first spiking, then falling. "But we have more work to do".

However, while the firmware updates are effective at mitigating exposure to the security issues, customers have reported more frequent reboots on firmware updated systems.

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"Intel recommends that these partners, at their discretion, continue development and release of updates with existing microcode to provide protection against these exploits, understanding that the current versions may introduce issues such as reboot in some configurations", the company wrote. For its part, Intel says it has made "significant progress" toward finding the root cause of the issue. "In parallel, we will be providing beta microcode to vendors for validation by next week".

Microsoft started releasing emergency patches addressing serious processor chips flaws namely Meltdown and Spectre.

The general manager of the data center group, Navin Shenoy said in a statement on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)'s website that the company has confirmed the patches for the security issues might cause more than expected reboot rates in Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake processors. It now says the patch is having a similar effect on newer processors.

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We also see a 4% impact to performance in an online transaction processing benchmark, so things look good there as well. But there are also instances where performance is more adversely affected.

Patching: Performance ImpactTested: Server platforms running two-socket Intel Xeon Scalable systems (code-named Skylake), which is Intel's latest server microarchitecture.

On one benchmark at full CPU utilization, Intel found an 18 percent decrease in throughput performance, while on a 73/30 read/write model there was only a two percent hit on throughput performance.

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The post highlights other mitigation options that have less of a performance impact, including Google's "Retpoline" security solution, which is said to have nearly no effect on a system's speed.

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