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Entry type: Product note Entry ID: 109757787, Entry date: 05/22/2018
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Performance Impact of Spectre- and Meltdown Patches regarding PC-based Simatic software products.

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According to Intel and Microsoft, the mitigations of the so-called "Spectre/Meltdown" vulnerabilities may have performance impacts. To estimate the impact of these changes on PC based Simatic software products, Siemens conducted performance measurements.

According to Intel and Microsoft, the mitigations of the so-called "Spectre/Meltdown" vulnerabilities may
have performance impacts:


To estimate the impact of the changes in Intel Microcodes and Microsoft Patches on PC based Simatic
software products, Siemens conducted performance measurements and came to the following results:

  • A variety of possible performance impacts could be observed, depending on the specific project
    and the system load. Particularly on applications with a high need for resources and in graphic
    applications, the loss of performance was measured to be around 10 to 20%. This includes e.g.
    the following tasks:
    • Long term calculations in engineering tasks,
    • Display times of process graphics during run time,
    • If images with many dynamically changing objects are queued, CPU load may increas
      even more.
  • Performance impact is more severe on fully patched older Windows versions (e.g. Windows 7)
    than on current Windows versions (e.g. Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016).
  • CPU type and used storage system (HDD or SSD) also have an impact on performance
    degradation.

Siemens recommends users to perform their own performance measurements to ensure there is no negative impact on their system due to the Spectre / Meltdown patches.

In case of any problems or concerns, Siemens customers can contact the Siemens Hotline and Siemens Service.