Intel has releases their internal Meltdown and Spectre benchmarks results showing the influence of the patches addressing the vulnerabilities for Meltdown and Spectre attacks. Until the final versions of those patches hit the market they were rumored to slow down affected processors by up to 30%.
At least for the tested models the numbers didn’t get that high with Skylake taking the biggest hit in SYSMark 2014 responsiveness tests on Windows 10. But a 21% drop in performance is not something to just brush aside. Despite Intels claims that the impacts for the average computer user should not be significant it seems that it’s the everyday performance (Office productivity, responsiveness etc) that sees the biggest overall dip in performance all but nulling the edge they had over AMDs Ryzen processors in this area. Overall the tests that are influenced most by storage and CPU performance are the ones that are influenced the most.
Despite Intels effort to downplay the results by stating that the observed impact is small (6 to 8 percent) it stands to reason that the customoers might think otherwise when they have to take a setback in performance on a processors just two years old. But at least gamers can breathe a sigh of relief: gaming performance isn’t dropping at all if you weren’t already bottlenecked by CPU performance.
Sadly there is no data for previous generations of processors that will also be influenced by this patch. Seeing that Skylake is affected more than coffee lake one could fear that the performance drops get even bigger for older generations.
Furthermore those benchmarks don’t reflect a wide range of workloads so we might still see some taks being affected more. Especially after Epic Games, already blaming performance issues on the recent patches and Microsoft warning users about more significant drops when using older chips.