Could Zombies And Spectres Have Caused An Intel Meltdown?
A Modest Proposal
Phoronix have spent a large chunk of time testing the effect Spectre, Meltdown, L1TF/Foreshadow, and Zombieload have on the performance of AMD and Intel chips and have noticed a definite pattern. Leaving aside the fact that AMD’s architectural differences make their chips immune to some of these recently discovered vulnerabilities, the overall findings show the performance of Intel chips are degraded significantly more than AMD’s. This lead them to theorize that if these various nasty flaws had come to light in the days of AMD’s FX Vishera and Intel’s Sandybridge and Ivybridge, would we be looking at a very different market?
You will have to look through all of their results for the proof, but in the end it may not have made as big a difference as you might think; almost all Intel processors retained at least a slight lead in the majority of tests.
If Spectre, Meltdown, L1TF/Foreshadow, and now Zombieload had come to light years ago would it have shaken that pivotal point in the industry? Here are benchmarks looking at the the performance today with and without the mitigations to the known CPU vulnerabilities to date.