Epic Games Reports of CPU Performance Issues from Security Patches to Fix Meltdown Vulnerability

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 7 Jan 2018

Last week, the tech industry was rocked by two major CPU bugs: Meltdown and Spectre. Back then, reports suggested that a fix for the issues would lead to a performance impact of anywhere between 5-3o percent. Early benchmarks suggested that the performance impact was less than 5%. However, as time is passing and the patch is being applied by major tech giants, reports about significant performance issues and its impact are starting to show.

Epic Games, known for its Unreal and Gear of War series of games, has detailed the performance impact its back-end have had after installing the security patch. The chart shows that there was nearly 20 percent increase in CPU utilization after the security patches were applied. Many Fornite gamers have been complaining about login and stability issues since late last week and the company’s spokesperson says that the issues will continue due to ongoing updates.

The increased CPU utilization will force Epic Games and other companies who are in the same boat to either increase their server resources or further optimise their code for optimum performance. One thing is clear though, Meltdown and Spectre are going to have some serious impact on cloud service providers. And as more companies apply the security patches, expect them to run into similar performance and stability issues as well.

Future revisions to the security patch from Intel might help reduce the performance impact, but for now, cloud service providers will have to take into account the high CPU utilization and optimise accordingly.

Last week, two major CPU bugs were discovered by security researchers: Meltdown and Spectre. The former is a design flaw found in all Intel CPUs released over the last decade, while the latter affects processors from all major vendors: Intel, AMD, and even ARM. Intel can fix Meltdown using a software patch but it will lead to a negative impact on performance as it is now being slowly reported. In its official statement, Intel had said that any performance impact due to its Meltdown security patch would be highly workload-dependent.

Read: ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Vulnerabilities FAQ: All Your Questions Answered

[Via The Verge]