AMD customers complain that Microsoft's Spectre patches have been freezing their PCs

Microsoft said it would soon resume Windows operating system software updates to affected AMD devices via its Windows Update process

If existing systems slow, customers may need to purchase more servers just to get back to where they were before patches were applied, an extra cost that is likely to further arouse the ire of Intel customers.

This is a flaw that affects laptops, desktop computers and internet servers with Intel chips. Many described the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities as flaws in the basic design of modern processors, so the patches were expected to cause problems. The fixes don't work in all cases, and the other remedies Microsoft is offering may indeed hurt performance. There have been no reports of hackers using the flaw, but early reports suggested any workarounds could slow down computer performance by 5 to 30 percent.

Intel said last week that fixes for security issues in its microchips would not slow down computers, rebuffing concerns that the flaws would significantly reduce performance. "That's why we've chosen to provide more context and information today and why we released updates and remediations as quickly as we could on January 3".

Following reports that it was causing issues for some users, Microsoft has paused the rollout of its Meltdown and Spectre patch for some AMD-based PCs.

With Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skylake, 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.

The issue is more serious with older computers, however.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Windows 10 will be affected the least by the patches. According to the company, machines running Windows 7 and 8, as well as computers based on Haswell chips or older, will see "significant slowdowns" from the update. "AMD is aware of an issue with some older generational processors following installation of a Microsoft security update that was published over the weekend", the U.S. chipmaker said in a statement.

Intel said a typical home and business PC user should not see significant slowdowns in common tasks such as reading email, writing a document or accessing digital photos.

The question many will be asking is whether the performance hit is a price with paying for the security mitigation. A significant slowdown in performance for such high-workload computing could undermine Intel's central claim of technical superiority. Krzanich told employees he had created a new organization within the company, called Intel Product Assurance and Security, and assigned a number of veteran executives to run it. Hardware OEMs and OS manufactures have banded together to release patches to help mitigate the effects of any attacks based on Meltdown or Spectre, although some of those patches have been disastrous.

Intel was down about 0.6% before the blog post, and is trading about 1.65% lower after.

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