MDS ZombieLoad Attacks on Intel CPUs doesn’t affect Gaming Performance

Earlier this week, a new vulnerability was discovered in Intel CPUs that can allow people access to sensitive information through the computer’s CPU. Dubbed Microarchitectural Data Sampling, or MDS by Intel, it makes use of speculative execution technology used by Intel CPUs, to improve performance. ZombieLoad, being the most dangerous of these attacks depends on the programs running on your PC and the corresponding fixes can reduce the performance by ~40% depending on your workloads.

Thankfully, gaming performance doesn’t seem to adversely affect by MDS ZombieLoad attacks or their migitations. A series of benchmark tests performed by Phoronix on the RX Vega 64 and the GTX 1080Ti on Linux (the vulnerability still hasn’t been patched on most Linux versions) show a ~1% hit on an average.

MDS Benchmarks
MDS Benchmarks

Depicting the same patterns as the CPU benchmarks, the performance hit increases with heavier workloads. Phoronix will be performing further tests on low-end systems. For the detailed benchmarking results, check out Phoronix’s site.

Further Reading:

Ambarish Sengupta
I've damaged way too many processors than I'd like to admit. Music and Sim Racing keep me sane; that is until I get a strange itch to tinker with stuff again.

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