Downfall patch adversely affects Intel processor performance

Intel has discovered a vulnerability CVE-2022-40982, known as Downfall, that affects several generations of the company's processors. Downfall affects Intel consumer and server processors from the Skylake family to Rocket Lake (except for the latest models).

Aug 14, 2023 - 11:36
Aug 14, 2023 - 11:36
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Downfall patch adversely affects Intel processor performance

A firmware update was released that partially fixes the vulnerability, but there was a problem with the chips' performance degradation in AVX2 and AVX-512 workloads.

Employees of the Phoronix resource test lab conducted tests and compared the chips' performance. The server processors Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 (Ice Lake) and Xeon Gold 6226R (Cascade Lake) and consumer Core i7-1165G7 (Tiger Lake) were chosen for the test. Software with Intel oneAPI support was used. It turned out that the update could reduce the computers' power up to 39%. During testing Xeon Platinum 8380 performance dropped by 6%, Xeon Gold 6226R - by 33%, and Core i7-1165G7 - from 11 to 39%.

Users will have to choose between rejecting the vulnerability fixing update or installing it but sacrificing speed.

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