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  1. #1

    Default Consequences of Intel processor security bug?

    I am in the process of replacing my studio computer. The first machine I bought used an AMD processor, and I had to take it back, not because of the processor, but because the NIC failed. I could not get another of the same machine, so I upgraded to a more powerful HP machine using an Intel i7.

    Now I find out about the security flaw in Intel processors. I am near the end of the period where i could return my computer to replace it (AGAIN), so I need to quickly find out just how important this is. For those not yet aware, it has been reported that the necessary software patches to fix the Intel security flaw could reduce performance anywhere from 5 to as much as 30 per cent, a pretty serious hit. AMD processors are supposed to be immune to this problem.

    So, just how serious is this problem for us SAW/SAC users?
    Does it make sense for me to switch to an AMD machine while I still can without having to lose money on the change?
    Will the upcoming needed software patch also slow down AMD based systems?

    Monday may be the last day I can still pull the trigger on this, so I hope for the answers I need very soon.

    Computer upgrades are soooo much fun...
    Cary B. Cornett
    aka "Puzzler"
    www.chinesepuzzlerecording.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fresno CA USA
    Posts
    935

    Default Re: Consequences of Intel processor security bug?

    If you're like most users, the SAC/SAW pc would never see the outside world. Ounce configured, it would be only looking its own network. Also at the rate patches are coming in, it won't be long before a soft solution is reached.
    If the pc is a dual use, then you may have an issue...for a while.
    I have a couple of XP i5 2nd Gen that have only be on line once. If a hatcher even came across them all they'd find is one app and a couple of drivers.
    I think you're fine with the intel.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Consequences of Intel processor security bug?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary B. Cornett View Post
    I am in the process of replacing my studio computer. The first machine I bought used an AMD processor, and I had to take it back, not because of the processor, but because the NIC failed. I could not get another of the same machine, so I upgraded to a more powerful HP machine using an Intel i7.

    Now I find out about the security flaw in Intel processors. I am near the end of the period where i could return my computer to replace it (AGAIN), so I need to quickly find out just how important this is. For those not yet aware, it has been reported that the necessary software patches to fix the Intel security flaw could reduce performance anywhere from 5 to as much as 30 per cent, a pretty serious hit. AMD processors are supposed to be immune to this problem.

    So, just how serious is this problem for us SAW/SAC users?
    Does it make sense for me to switch to an AMD machine while I still can without having to lose money on the change?
    Will the upcoming needed software patch also slow down AMD based systems?

    Monday may be the last day I can still pull the trigger on this, so I hope for the answers I need very soon.

    Computer upgrades are soooo much fun...
    Cary,

    I posted a follow up to Dell's link in the other thread about this. The follow up is from the same source as his (The Register) and details this. They talk about the idea it will have the most impact on web servers, data centers and heavy computing in the cloud. We likely don't need to worry and/or make buying decisions based on this bug.

    They discuss the performance hit down near the end of this article. I quoted the actual paragraphs in the other thread also. I'll paste here.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01...s_annotations/

    It really boils down to as we said, and Intel pointed out your workload. If you just play games on your PC, you will not see a slowdown because the software rarely jumps to the kernel during gameplay. Your game will be mostly talking to the graphics processor.
    If all you do is browse Twitter, write emails, and type away in a word processor, you probably won't notice any difference. If you do a lot of in-memory number crunching, you won't see much of an impact because again the kernel isn't getting in the way. If you have PCID support enabled on your hardware and in your kernel, any performance hit should be minimized.

    If you hammer the disk, the network, or use software that makes lots of system calls in and out of the kernel, and you're lacking working PCID support, you will see a performance hit. And it's a good idea to warn you, right?

    It's a given for this particular issue that any slowdown is dependent upon the kind of work the affected system is being asked to do. Gamers will maintain their frame rates, but that's not what this is about. It's about enterprise workloads and data centers. With reports of SQL database slowdowns of up to 20 or so per cent, it seems premature to say the impact should not be significant. If a company's AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud bill ends up being, say, three, five or eight per cent higher as a consequence of prolonged compute times, that's significant.

    No doubt the patches will be benchmarked, and we'll write about them.

    Here's the original thread:

    http://www.sawstudiouser.com/forums/...memory-leaking

    NATURALLY DIGITAL
    www.naturallydigital.ca

  4. #4

    Default Re: Consequences of Intel processor security bug?

    Thanks to both for the informative replies. I think the key phrase in the analysis of the problem was "massive disk access". Now, for SAC, this is not an issue, but for SAW, which is the main thing I will use the new machine for, there is a LOT of disk access going on, yes? Which suggests to me that performance in SawStudio will be affected by the OS patches to fix the security bug. (I posted here instead of the other forum because here is where I first posted about my computer upgrade, and this is where I knew at least one of the people who answered hangs out).

    So, I think SawStudio performance will be affected by the OS fixes for the Intel bug. I suspect that those OS fixes will also operate (waste processor cycles) even on AMD systems, even thought the AMD processor does not have the same vulnerability. Translation: the innocent may be punished along with the guilty.

    So I must ask two questions.

    First, will all the disk accessing done by SawStudio be "slowed down" by the OS bug fixes?

    And second, will a switch to an AMD-based computer avoid the slowdowns imposed by those bug fixes?

    If the answer to both questions is "yes", it seems a switch to an AMD machine makes sense for SawStudio users (including me). Can I get a witness? Er, I mean, answers to those two questions?
    Cary B. Cornett
    aka "Puzzler"
    www.chinesepuzzlerecording.com

  5. Default Re: Consequences of Intel processor security bug?

    I'm not so sure SAC performance will not suffer from the fix of this "bug". As I understand it, all kernel calls will be slowed down, and that probably mean all i/o will suffer, not just file access and network access, but also audio i/o.
    Peter Olsen

    Hardware: Asus TUF Z270 mark 2, Intel Core i3-7350K, 8 GB ram, 250GB NVMe SSD, 2 RayDAT, 2 DSB2408 preamp/converters.
    OS: Windows 10. Buffer: 1X32.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Consequences of Intel processor security bug?

    well I assume that 'random wild guess preloading' will make any sense with Audio data...

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