A serious security memory problem in all Intel chips has led to Linux’s developers resetting how to deal with memory. The result will be a more secure, but — as Linux creator Linus Torvalds says — slower operating system.
Long ago, Intel made a design mistake in its 64-bit chips — and now, all Intel-based operating systems and their users must pay the price.
Linux’s developers saw this coming early on and patched Linux to deal with it. That’s the good news. The bad news is it will cause at least a 5-percent performance drop. Applications may see far more serious performance hits. The popular PostgreSQL database is estimated to see at least a 17-percent slowdown.
How bad will it really be? I asked Linux’s creator Linus Torvalds, who said: “There’s no one number. It will depend on your hardware and on your load. I think 5 percent for a load with a noticeable kernel component (e.g. a database) is roughly in the right ballpark. But if you do micro-benchmarks that really try to stress it, you might see double-digit performance degradation.”
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