The Current Spectre / Meltdown Mitigation Overhead Benchmarks On Linux 5.0

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 3 March 2019. Page 6 of 6. 32 Comments

The Memcached mcperf performance was affected on all three systems with Linux 5.0, but less so on the AMD Ryzen 7.

The Nginx and Apache web servers show roughly the same performance hits we've been seeing for the past year.

The OSBench operating system micro-benchmarks show some of the other associated costs involved with the default Spectre/Meltdown mitigations.

Of 57 benchmarks tested on these three systems with the Linux 5.0 kernel, the Core i9 7980XE performance was down by about 13% based upon the geometric mean of all the test results. The Intel Core i7 8086K performance was down by 17% with these out-of-the-box protections for Spectre and Meltdown. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X performance with its default Spectre mitigations was lower by just 3%. Should you choose to go against the security assessment and wish to recover from these performance losses, reverting the mitigations as tested can easily be done by some boot parameters albeit no single switch. Now with Microsoft shipping Retpolines for revising their Spectre V2 mitigation, some additional Spectre/Meltdown tests will be coming up soon on Phoronix.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via