As vendors scramble to patch the security vulnerabilities caused by Meltdown and Spectre, the likelihood that such fixes will hit the performance of affected computers is swelling.
Meltdown and Spectre - two related, side-channel attacks against modern CPU microprocessors - affects almost every modern computer and has rattled the industry in recent days.
While much of the industry has been keen to distance itself from performance-related issues around Meltdown and Spectre, both Microsoft and Intel have now stated that some form of slowing is likely as the issues are fixed.
Terry Myerson, executive vice president for the Microsoft Windows and Devices Group, wrote a blog admitting that for Windows 10 on older silicon, defined as 2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU, benchmarks show "more significant slowdowns", and the vendor giant expects that "some users will notice a decrease in system performance".
Myerson also stated that with Windows 10 on newer silicon, so 2016-era PCs with Skylake, Kabylake or newer CPU, benchmarks show only single-digit slowdowns and Microsoft does not "expect most users to notice a change because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds".
As for Intel, it has issued a statement on potential slowdowns around a fix and claimed: "Based on our most recent PC benchmarking, we continue to expect that the performance impact should not be significant for average computer users.
"This means the 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."
Intel added that based on its tests on SYSmark 2014 SE - a benchmark of PC performance - 8th Generation Core platforms with solid-state storage will see a performance impact of six per cent or less.
However, Forbes had some independent tests carried out by security researcher Thomas Roth and found that while the average PC user might be in the clear, larger corporates with heavy workloads on their servers could witness a "significant impact".
"I believe the main impact will be on really large-scale environments such as search engines, large websites and cloud providers, where even a five per cent increase of the base workload requires additional hardware," Roth told Forbes.
"For small to medium-sized installations and desktop usage I do not believe the performance to be an issue for most workloads."
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