Looking At The Linux Performance Two Years After Spectre / Meltdown Mitigations
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 13 January 2020. Page 11 of 11. 33 Comments

Lastly to sum up the desktop and server numbers from the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS development testing via the geometric means of all tests carried out...

The Intel Core i7 5960X saw 86% the performance out-of-the-box compared to the unmitigated performance, the Core i7 8700K about 84% the unmitigated performance, the Core i5 9400F at 86%, the Core i9 9900K at 88%, and then the new Intel Core i9 10980XE at 97% based upon the tests ran that are affected by Spectre, Meltdown, and other CPU vulnerability mitigations. With the Cascade Lake parts and other Intel CPUs covered by hardware mitigations the impact is at least in much better shape, but for the many CPUs without, as shown by these results, the impact is still very real and for real-world applications.

Meanwhile in the server tests, the geometric mean of the E3-1280 v5 was at 77% performance out-of-the-box compared to no mitigations, the Xeon E3-1275 v6 at 79% compared to no mitigations, and then the Xeon Platinum 8280 Cascade Lake came in at 95% thanks to its hardware mitigations in the various server-focused benchmarks ran that are impacted by these kernel mitigations.

That's the quick look at how the Intel Linux performance stemming from the various CPU vulnerability mitigations stand two years after the first reveal of Spectre and Meltdown. That's it for now, at least until any other vulnerabilities are disclosed.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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