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A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.

A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby engrssc » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:36 pm

https://www.howtogeek.com/338269/a-huge-intel-security-hole-could-slow-down-your-pc-soon/

Not sure how or if this will affect Hauptwerk systems, looking for more answers.

The fix slows down system calls, so tasks with a lot of system calls, such as compiling software and running virtual machines, will likely slow down the most.

The Register expects Microsoft to publicly release this patch on the next Patch Tuesday, which is January 9, 2018. The changes will appear in an upcoming version of the Linux kernel, and we’d also expect Apple to patch macOS with similar changes fairly soon.

AMD hardware is not affected. This change (and possible slowdown) only affects systems with Intel chips.

But one thing is clear: Your computer is definitely not getting any faster with this patch. If you have an Intel CPU, it can only get slower.


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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby jkinkennon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:49 pm

I run the Windows Insider previews (fast lane) where the fixes are said to already be in place. Hadn't noticed any difference in performance. Let's hope that's the case for most of us or we will all be running to the local tech stores for replacement CPU's when they become available.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby nrorganist » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:32 pm

Admittedly so much is hidden behind non-disclosures, that it is difficult to know the impact prior to updates being released and actual use and performance comparisons. The ars technica article appears to offer the best current information:
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/01/whats-behind-the-intel-design-flaw-forcing-numerous-patches/

Once there is enough solid information, it will be interesting to hear Martin's thoughts regarding impacting on Hauptwerk.

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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby nrorganist » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:13 pm

A late afternoon in the US update with more authoritative information:

There are actually 2 speculative execution flaws in at least Intel, if not ARM and AMD processors:
1. Meltdown - breaks kernel memory isolation from user programs
- general fixes in OS updates imminent (with workload-specific performance impacts)
2. Spectre - breaks user program 1 memory isolation from user program 2
- specific fixes possible, processor design enhancements needed

Papers on each are available at: https://meltdownattack.com/

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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby abaymajr » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:15 pm

I have just applied the KB4056892 critical update and SSD performance benchmark IOPS scores lowered considerably from 90,253/70,509 (read/write prior the update) to 56,538/48,596 (read/write after the update). The sequencial scores remained almost the same (1-2% decrease in write sequential operations). The storage device is a Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB. Don't know the impact for Hauptwerk operation.

UPDATE: Boot time, from the very first Microsoft ring to the state of all taskbar icons loaded, increased 17%.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby abaymajr » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:55 pm

abaymajr wrote:I have just applied the KB4056892 critical update and SSD performance benchmark IOPS scores lowered considerably from 90,253/70,509 (read/write prior the update) to 56,538/48,596 (read/write after the update). The sequencial scores remained almost the same (1-2% decrease in write sequential operations). The storage device is a Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB. Don't know the impact for Hauptwerk operation.

UPDATE: Boot time, from the very first Microsoft ring to the state of all taskbar icons loaded, increased 17%.


I have just tested Hauptwerk after this update and I sadly report that it has impact on Haupwerk sampleset loading, at least on my system. It used to top 300MB/s. Now it reaches a maximum of 220MB/s , a performance decrease of 27%. Also, Hauptwerk now takes noticeably longer to close or to unload a given sampleset (the same time took to load a given sampleset) than it began to do since Windows 10 FCU update. The CPU is an Intel 6th gen i7-6500U mobile. For offline Intel-based Hauptwerk systems, the evidences suggest not to apply the Meltdown patch, and even the Windows 10 FCU release, for the sake of prompt HW closing and sampleset unloading.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:49 pm

I timed the load of the full-blown Goerlitz samples and came up with 2 min 20 sec which was a lot slower than last summer. This in spite of:

Sample loader: approx. avg. data read rate during disk reader activity: 1227.26 MB/s.

So, yeah, let's wait in line for a hardware fix that will likely not happen all that soon. Must say that the enjoyment of Hauptwerk isn't diminished for me as I typically load up one organ and play for 20 to 30 minutes at most. Meanwhile back to 20-bits for the big sample set.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby telemanr » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:53 am

I’m not going to apply any update to my HW computer since it is not ever connected to the internet. But if I get a new computer sometime I guess I’ll be stuck. This really is a disaster.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby engrssc » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:26 am

So far no noticeable effect using a Mac. Is that the case with other's of you?

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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby jkinkennon » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:13 pm

I had said "no noticeable effect" in my case and I'm sure the same will be true for my Mac-mini. That said, there will likely be some marginal hardware where this slowdown will put the older PC or Mac out of business for Hauptwerk.

The slower load times are annoying, but at least in my case the CPU is so lightly loaded by Hauptwerk, Reaper, and multiple instances of Seventh Heaven reverb that once HW is loaded I haven't seen any problems. On my all-purpose PC I turn on game mode and turn off any cloud services and the superfetch service and have no issues as before.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby telemanr » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:50 pm

It’s slower loading times that would bother me.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby sonar11 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:59 pm

telemanr wrote:It’s slower loading times that would bother me.


If you want to "buy your way out" of this, then you could just purchase an intel RAID controller and two 256 gig SSD drives, configure them in RAID 0 (striping) and put just your HW organs and cache on there (not windows or anything important). Loading speed would be quite fast.

But the "fix" doesn't affect all programs the same way. Some programs are really affected, others not so much (at least in linux, I'm assuming windows works the same way here). And though I haven't bothered to look to far into it, from what I understand Intel chips are hit hardest by this, AMD has less problems (AMD is affected by spectre but not meltdown). And their ryzen chips are very very fast, I just built a computer using their 16 core chip.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby engrssc » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:10 pm

Slightly surprising, we haven 't heard anything from Martin or Brett on this yet.

Back to leaving the PC running 24/7 or putting it to sleep? But Hauptwerk doesn't
allow for the sleep option.

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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby telemanr » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:40 pm

I’ve used sleep with HW if I first shut down the audio engine. The when I wake up I start the engine. It works for me.
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Re: A Huge Intel Security Hole Could Slow Down Your PC Soon

Postby abaymajr » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:22 am

jkinkennon wrote:I timed the load of the full-blown Goerlitz samples and came up with 2 min 20 sec which was a lot slower than last summer. This in spite of:

Sample loader: approx. avg. data read rate during disk reader activity: 1227.26 MB/s.

So, yeah, let's wait in line for a hardware fix that will likely not happen all that soon. Must say that the enjoyment of Hauptwerk isn't diminished for me as I typically load up one organ and play for 20 to 30 minutes at most. Meanwhile back to 20-bits for the big sample set.


It seems Meltdown and/or Spectre patches are only (near to) 100% effective after a BIOS/UEFI update, which is already released on installed for my (Dell Inspiron 7568) portable HW laptop. That's why I'm already experiencing huge performance drop on heavy I/O tasks.

By the way, which CPU and SSD/interface do you use to achieve this great 1.2MB/s sampleset opening performance?
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