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Microsoft: Meltdown / Spectre fix does slow down devices

(Image credit: Image Credit: Sergei Bachlakov / Shutterstock)

Microsoft says that its patch, designed to fix the Spectre and Meltdown flaws, will slow down older PCs – significantly. 

In a blog post written by Windows chief Terry Myerson, it says that newer machines, those running Windows 10 and run on chips like the Skylake, Kaby Lake, or newer, won't experience any noticeable slowdowns.

These chips will slow down, but it will be in ‘single digits’. In real life, that translates to milliseconds, so most users will not notice any difference. Older machines, however, are a different story. Those running Haswell and similar will “show more significant slowdowns, and we expect that some users will notice a decrease in system performance,” the blog post says.

The explanation behind the slowdown is this: older operating systems have features like the kernel-level font rendering that will feel the burn of the patches.

In early January, the media reported of new flaws that affect almost every machine on the planet. Dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, they affect CPUs, and allow potential hackers to steal sensitive data from the victim, such as passwords or banking data.

Arm, AMD, Intel, IBM, those are some of the companies affected by the flaw. Some manufacturers have already started issuing patches, but it seems as they are slowing machines down, and in the case of AMD, even bricking them.

Intel has already been hit with multiple lawsuits by users affected by the flaw.  

Image Credit: Sergei Bachlakov / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.