Up For Debate - Will You be Upgrading to the First Meltdown and Spectre-Proof CPUs?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Jan 13, 2018 4:00 PM

The ramifications of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are many and far-reaching. Crucially though, these are flaws at a hardware level that can be fixed with future processors. The downside, of course, is that this will come at great additional expense; you’ll have to splash the cash on a new CPU and motherboard combo. For peace of mind though, some people will accept any price.

There’s also the interesting caveat that the waves of Meltdown and Spectre fixes will inevitably have an impact on your current PC’s performance. It could be almost imperceptibly small, or it could tank performance, we just don’t know enough yet. If you don’t want your PC to be compromised, both in terms of security and performance, then an upgrade will have to be on the cards. Unfortunately, neither Intel nor AMD have confirmed such plans yet, and major architectural redesigns can take a while to make it down the production pipeline.

However, straying into somewhat tinfoil hat territory here though, but the CPU manufacturers would absolutely love it if people are on board with a hardware upgrade to solve these problems. It’s the sort of thing that could make tech companies billions. They’re potentially taking a steaming great pile of shit and alchemized it into priceless diamonds.

What would work against this is the opposite approach - doing nothing. For the average end user, the risks of being compromised are currently fairly minimal. There’s a small chance a hacker may come your way, but it’s all about working the odds. The trouble is, the longer you leave yourself exposed, the greater the chance of eventually being hacked.

Naturally, the middle ground is to download any and every Meltdown and Spectre patch and just suck up the performance hit. Microsoft’s initial patches vary from unnoticeable to significant slowdown depending on how old your CPU is and which version of Windows you’re running. If you’ve got a modern, powerful processor, odds are you’re not going to notice much difference.

So we’ve come to a bit of a juncture - do you plan to offload your current CPU as soon as a Spectre-proof Intel or AMD CPU is available? Or are okay with taking the performance hit? Vote in the poll and let us know why below!

Will You be Upgrading to the First Meltdown and Spectre-Proof CPUs?

Our favourite comments:

No, I will only upgrade my CPU when my current one doesn't have enough power anymore to satisfy me. But right now, even after the patches, my CPU still easily handles everything I throw at it.

Myrmiron

Lol... nice try :D

KOBE23

Don't care, wont update like i haven't before, don't give a god damn sh*t about "spectre/meltdown". Ain't no one taking my performance. My PC is already 6 years old and so any performance I get is welcome. I'll take the "risk of getting hacked". My opinion on this (YES MY OPINION) is that all of these security vulnerability's are all dangerous for servers but for your average Joe that no body cares about its harmless, unless you are stupid and click on every single thing you see on the internet and get a potential virus. So this update is unnecessary.

tmario98

why should I upgrade my CPU when this bug has been around since 2010 lol. If anyone's gonna get my details, they would have them by now

yukfoo1

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21:00 Jan-15-2018

Am i being sceptical or does this mean i will have to buy like a 400 USD cpu to be safe ? You know people say antvirus companies produce viruses to be able to sell their product.

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09:27 Jan-16-2018

i believe that too

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12:25 Jan-15-2018

Have you heard this, my lil' Pentium?
Now they are in need of protection!

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00:54 Jan-15-2018

Not until i have a budget for it, and if I do it's because I need more cpu power and not because of this meltdown and spectre issue.

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23:36 Jan-14-2018

I won´t upgrade my CPU until it dies or have the money to build a new PC

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17:01 Jan-14-2018

why should I upgrade my CPU when this bug has been around since 2010 lol. If anyone's gonna get my details, they would have them by now

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12:33 Jan-15-2018

The point there is the vulnerability wasn't known by hackers in 2010, now it is.

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12:49 Jan-15-2018

noone can say for certain though ;)

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00:36 Jan-16-2018

so true, even though im going to patch everything up i can which includes those bugs, i dont think its easy to exploit them in hardware level, which shouldnt be threat for us, regular users.

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15:58 Jan-14-2018

CPU is just a few months old, so no upgrade yet. I will just use patches. I don't expect much performance loss since I don't have to worry about meltdown.

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14:32 Jan-14-2018

Won't bother patching nor upgrading to a new CPU. Don't have any "SENSITIVE" data worth protecting anyway. Why bother suffering performance drop? Besides my current CPU is handling the likes of NieR, Shadow of War and The Division without any problems.

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12:48 Jan-14-2018

Don't care, wont update like i haven't before, don't give a god damn sh*t about "spectre/meltdown". Ain't no one taking my performance. My PC is already 6 years old and so any performance I get is welcome. I'll take the "risk of getting hacked". My opinion on this (YES MY OPINION) is that all of these security vulnerability's are all dangerous for servers but for your average Joe that no body cares about its harmless, unless you are stupid and click on every single thing you see on the internet and get a potential virus. So this update is unnecessary.

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12:58 Jan-14-2018

Preach brother, preach !

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18:59 Jan-14-2018

Exactly!

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12:14 Jan-14-2018

Can i get a "No, who has money for that?" option? :D

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06:20 Jan-15-2018

Not that I do not agree with you, but the real money issue is with the new RAM prices - if you are buying processor A (that would in most cases, require a new mobo), then you have to give almost the same amount of money as processor A for RAM

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11:43 Jan-14-2018

Yes, but not because of Specter and Meltdown, for that I patches will be enough. But because I want to upgrade from quad core to something better and I am just waiting to see how Ryzen+ will be doing. Based on what we know it should be good enough to get new R5 1600 equivalent and that is it.

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11:44 Jan-14-2018

Also performance hit doesn't concern me. Even in Assassin's Creed Origins I am fine with the patch. Though I am still waiting for BIOS update.

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10:00 Jan-14-2018

I've been considering a new system build for a while, but unless the patch cripples my current system, I think a new GPU will be the first thing I'll likely be buying as my GTX 970 is starting to get a little old.
My next system will likely be an AMD system.

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06:17 Jan-14-2018

Upgraded my GPU 2 months ago so I am not going to upgrade the CPU now and I need to upgrade my RAM first to 16GB. Anyways Meltdown and Spectre patches don't affect PC's much. More affect can be noticed on servers I guess or process that rely on heavy CPU usage.

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03:19 Jan-14-2018

tbh my OS is outdated and I'm not even close to leaning for the Meltdown/Spectre patches, I'm only gonna upgrade when I deem it needed.

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03:17 Jan-14-2018

Seeing as I've been pretty strapped for cash buying a brand new CPU right now seems pretty unrealistic. I'm going to a little bit until I can look at the downsides of this patch.

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02:42 Jan-14-2018

nah no upgrades and no patches

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01:39 Jan-14-2018

I just bought this CPU 9 months ago. I must put my faith in AMD's patches.

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01:04 Jan-14-2018

It'll have to do for a couple of years.

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23:32 Jan-13-2018

Nope.... I'm not the knee-jerk reaction type, my CPU will be fine until I'm ready for an entire new build..... which will consist of an AMD CPU.... of that much I'm certain.

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23:36 Jan-13-2018

going with me on a R5 2600 or waiting for 3xxx series ?

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23:59 Jan-13-2018

tbh i dunno.... it depends what's available when im ready to upgrade..... which i don't suppose will be for another couple years.

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23:15 Jan-13-2018

Now that I see it this way it all looks like a trick...picture how many people will jump to buy the first spectre and meltdown proof hardware no matter the votes here...it'll be a swarm like never before.

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23:15 Jan-13-2018

i been fine for the last 10yrs so noneed to get these so called meltdown/spectre "proof" cpu's

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600H 6-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 7 2700X Radeon RX 5600 XT Sapphire Pulse 6GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 AF GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 11 6GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i7-620M 2-Core 2.66GHz NVS 3100M 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-7500U 2-Core 2.7GHz GeForce 940MX 2GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 9 5900X 12-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX 580 Sapphire Nitro+ 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-10400F 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Inno3D Twin X2 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
Ryzen R5 1400 Radeon RX 560 2GB 8GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i7-11800H 8-Core 1.90GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition 16GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 950 MSI Gaming 2GB Edition 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Radeon HD 5570 1024MB 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ultra 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super Gigabyte Aorus 8GB 32GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super Gigabyte Aorus 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-480M 2.66GHz HD i5 M480 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
APU A6-5400K Dual-Core Radeon HD 7450 4GB
| Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 3 3300X 4-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon R7 250X Sapphire 1GB Edition 4GB
0% No [3 votes]