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Meltdown / Spectre Benchmark A free standalone tool to assess the performance impact of the recent Meltdown and Spectre security patches for Microsoft Windows. Download: X86: Meltdown.Spectre.Benchmark_X86.exe X64: Meltdown.Spectre.Benchmark_X64.exe System Requirements: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer .NET Framework 4.5 or newer Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable (most systems should already have this) Feel free to share this tool, updates will be posted to the URLs above as necessary. (both files are signed with the Covecube Inc. certificate) FAQ Q: What is Meltdown / Spectre? A: Meltdown and Spectre are the names of 2 vulnerabilities that were recently discovered in a range of microprocessors from different manufacturers. In order to protect systems against exploitation, Operating System and hardware firmware patches will be necessary. Unfortunately, these patches will inflict an overall performance degradation, sometimes a severe one. In general: Meltdown is Intel specific and does not affect AMD processors. It's mitigated using a Windows patch from Microsoft. Non-elevated processes will be affected most by this patch. Spectre requires a Windows patch and a CPU microcode update from your motherboard manufacturer (in the form of a BIOS / firmware update). For more information on these exploits, see Wikipedia: Meltdown (security vulnerability) Spectre (security vulnerability) Q: What is this tool for? A: This tool allows you to: See if your Windows OS is patched for Meltdown / Spectre and if the patches are enabled. Benchmark the OS in order to get a sense of how the patches are affecting your performance. Enable or disable the Meltdown / Spectre patches individually in order to assess the performance difference of each. Observe the number of system calls that your OS is making in real time, as you use it normally. Q: How does the benchmark work? A: The benchmark will measure the peak rate of user to kernel transitions that the OS is capable of using all of your processor cores. This is not the same as measuring the CPU utilization or memory bandwidth. Here, we're actually measuring the efficiency of the user to kernel mode transitions. While the patches may affect other aspects of your system performance, and the performance degradation is workload dependent, this is a good way to to get a sense of what the performance impact may be.