The Intel Emergency Patch Won’t Slow Down Gaming (That Much)

Security? Sure. All your data possibly compromised? I guess that’s an issue.

But let’s be honest, when you found out that Windows 10 would be issuing an emergency patch for the Intel processor design flaw, I know what was running though most of your heads.


Thankfully, the answer so far seems to be ‘not too much’. There were plenty of figures thrown around. Worst case scenario seemed to be a 30% hit on processing, but the folks over at Hardware Unboxed have done extensive testing with some of the more up-to-date processors and the hit seems to be extremely minimal, which is good!

But also sorta expected. We knew that newer processors wouldn’t be impacted quite as much as the older ones, but this is still good news.


  • The biggest hits of desktops are mainly around small 4k read/write performance, a 25% performance hit is generally being observed in that department for people testing with higher end NVME M.2 drives. Generally most desktop usage scenarios won’t be any different when patched.

    The real problem is the data centre side of things, this is going to have some serious ramifications for cloud service performance and security.

    • The real problem is the data centre side of things, this is going to have some serious ramifications for cloud service performance and security.
      Spot on. Services like AWS are going to see a bigger performance hit than your average consumer.

    • Indeed. Most home users won’t notice that much difference. I have a more workstation oriented desktop for rendering and such, and I have windows installed on a Samsung EVO m.2 drive, but I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference yet tbh.
      I woke up this morning to find my pc rebooted, and I assume it’s due to the patch, but playing a few games this morning, I haven’t seen any difference in terms of how well they run. It might be a little more noticeable when I get down to rendering some 3d stuff or videos, but I won’t know til I try later today. Not expecting it to be a major issue for me though.

      • I doubt I’ll see much difference, but I have a couple of servers due to data requirements for my work.

        So I’m gonna have a lot of fun seeing if TrueOS (based on FreeBSD) has been patched out of band.

  • Note that we’re still waiting on tests for older systems, like the i7-4770k/4790k era that a lot of gamers are still holding onto. They’ll be more affected than current gen CPUs.

    • …I7-980X (1st gen I7!!!) I’m expecting a little hit, but I’m not overly concerned, there’s a fair bit of overhead.

      I’ve been holding out to build a new PC because this one’s still doing the job, but now I have a reason to hold out a little longer.

    • I’ve got a 4770k. Currently playing the RE7 DLC’s might jump on again tonight and see if there is any difference from yesterday.

  • What’s the expected performance hit on an i7-4790k @4.4Ghz running on Windows 7?

    Is this going to take a huge hit to try to force me into buying a Coffee Lake CPU (and a new MoBo and RAM to match it, as I only have a Z97-k Mobo and DDR3 RAM), and infect my rig with Windows 10?

    As I’m on Windows 7 Pro (x64), I only get 4 updates a year (Quarterly Rollup Updates, sometimes I get a Preview Quarterly Rollup shortly before) and tons of MSE definition updates.

    So I can’t isolate the meltdown patch as it deeply buried inside the last Quarterly Rollup update.

    Not all of us can afford to go out and buy a new MoBo, CPU, and RAM, and not all of us want Windows 10 anywhere near our rigs.

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