Microsoft Says Chip Fix May Significantly Slow Some Servers

Microsoft said fixes for security flaws present in most processors may significantly slow down certain servers and dent the performance of some personal computers, according to Bloomberg.

That statement suggests slowdowns could be more substantial than Intel previously indicated. While Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the problem may be more pervasive than first thought, he didn’t discuss the degree of impact, only that some machines would be more affected than others.

The company cautioned in a blog post that servers used for certain tasks may show "more significant impact." Not all servers will be affected, it said. They said they are testing a variety of systems and will update users on what they find. PCs running Windows 10 and sold since 2016 will face slowdowns of less than 10 percent, which Microsoft said will probably not be noticeable to users.

Customers with older Windows 10 PCs will notice some slowness because those machines contain older chips. Machines running Windows 7 and Windows 8 from 2015 or earlier will be the most affected with users noticing a decrease in system performance. Microsoft temporarily suspended some updates for PCs with AMD chips after users who were installing the patches had trouble turning their machines on, or had computers freeze.

Microsoft has said most customers of its Azure cloud-computing service will see no noticeable impact. The company has updated its cloud systems to work around the flaw by taking such steps as isolating cloud servers dedicated to one client from those storing the data of other clients. The fixes don’t work in all cases, and the other remedies Microsoft is offering may indeed hurt performance.

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