Microsoft has confirmed its latest firmware updates could slow PCs
The new firmware upgrades are being pushed out in an attempt to battle the latest Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.
These bugs were discovered last week with the revelation that they could give hackers the ability to steal vital personal data via flaws in certain computer chips.
Clearly it’s vital users make sure their PCs are up to date but these latest security fixes do come with a problem.
Microsoft has just confirmed that some Windows 10, 8 and 7 adopters will face slower computers once the patch is installed.
Speaking on a blog post, Windows chief Terry Myerson, confirmed: “One of the questions for all these fixes is the impact they could have on the performance of both PCs and servers.”
Microsoft’s research appears to show that most Windows 10 users with a new PC won’t see any significant changes but users of Windows 7 and 8 with older devices could see a decrease in system performance.
Here’s a full summary of what Microsoft has found so far:
• With Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skyla•ke, Kabylake or newer CPU), benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns, but we don’t expect most users to notice a change because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds.
• With Windows 10 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), some benchmarks show more significant slowdowns, and we expect that some users will notice a decrease in system performance.
• With Windows 8 and Windows 7 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), we expect most users to notice a decrease in system performance.
According to Myerson, older versions of Windows have a larger performance impact because Windows 7 and Windows 8 have more user-kernel transitions because of legacy design decisions, such as all font rendering taking place in the kernel.
Microsoft says that it is committed to being as transparent and factual as possible to help its customers make the best possible decisions for their devices.
The news of slower PCs comes after a number of Windows 10 users have purportedly been left unable to boot-up their machine after installing Microsoft’s patch for the Meltdown-Spectre vulnerability.
The emergency update, which was rolled-out by Microsoft on Jan 4th, is designed to protect against a processor bug unearthed in Intel, AMD, and ARM chipsets.
However, the patch is rumoured to be wrecking havoc for users with AMD Athlon CPUs.
Users have flooded Microsoft’s community forums with complaints about machines no longer being able to boot-up.
According to the complaints, it appears the problems are most prevalent in AMD Athlon systems that received the update for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, labelled KB4056892.
The latest update was delivered via Windows Update.
According to one of the complaints, after installing the new update – the PC no longer boots, and only displays the Windows logo.
The US technology giant isn’t the only company rushing to fix the Spectre and Meltdown bug with Apple also releasing a major update to users earlier this week.
iPhone 5s and newer, iPad Air and later, and sixth-generation iPod Touch owners should download iOS 11.2.2.
Those running macOS should update to High Sierra 10.13.2 to patch the flaws in the processor.
Apple published a blog post about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities earlier this month.
“All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time,” the US company shared on its site.
“These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems.”
Meltdown does not affect Apple Watch, since the flaw is present in Intel processors, which are not used in the wearable.
Google and Microsoft have also issued updates to address the vulnerabilities.