This article doesn't make any sense. The author is doing generic phone benchmarks. But the Spectre fix is a webkit fix only, not an OS-wide fix. If they're seeing performance regressions across the whole OS because of fixing Spectre, something's seriously wrong with their benchmark methodology.
Edit: The author upgraded from iOS 11.1.2 to iOS 11.2.2. This isn't just a test of the Spectre fix. The most likely explanation here is upgrading to iOS 11.2 caused their iPhone 6 to start throttling due to battery wear (11.2 added throttling to iPhone 7, and it's plausible that it changed the conditions for throttling on iPhone 6). It's also possible that this is instead caused by the Meltdown patch, but these numbers are still way out of line with what was expected for Meltdown on iOS, whereas they're very much in line with what we've been seeing with battery throttling.
>> a significant decrease in performance on the iPhone 6 up to 50%
Something's up. I updated my 6S yesterday and have noticed zero in performance changes or battery loss. Still plenty of bugs though, I was reading an email and the 'flag/file/trash/reply/new' bar totally went away. At least the touchscreen hasn't gone unresponsive, causing me to have to hit sleep/wake to toggle it back on. Maybe they finally fixed that.
Ok, I'm sceptical about the results. The reason is that there doesn't seem to be a massive difference between the tests. Since this fix is about speculative exec, why would it affect crypto code which is very register based and branchless as much as sqlite which is full of branches and memory/storage based? Why would it affect AES which is hardware accelerated as much as integer processing which is not?
I'm not saying this is impossible - maybe there's something that I'm missing. But it just doesn't add up at the moment. I'd love a more detailed / repeatable test.
I've went through Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and now in an Acceptance stage after taking up to 31% performance hit on some of services managed by my team. Worst case has been Elasticsearch so far with our load pattern, taking that 31% hit.
Oh well, too bad, enjoying the ride.
I made similar benchmarks recently on my iPhone 6S, running iOS iOS 11.1.2 vs 11.2.1, before and after replacing the battery:
TLDR: It's 11.2.1 that is throttling the older iPhones, because of the battery wear.
Sample size of 1, but I Geekbench'd my iPhone X before and after upgrade.
11.2.1: Single-Core 4137, Multi-Core 9315
11.2.2: Single-Core 4039, Multi-Core 9876
Anecdotally as well, I haven't seen a noticeable difference in performance. So your mileage may vary substantially based on what device you have.
I just ran GeekBench 4 on my iPhone X on iOS 11.2.2 vs 11.2.1.
Single core: 4239 vs 4241
Multi-core: 10081 to 10203
So no difference.
I'm curious what the delta is between perf hit on an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 8. I'm guessing that, given the deadline apple had to get this out, most of the attention & optimization went to current devices versus near-EOL devices like iPhone 6.
Is the Samsung S8 CPU also affected? I saw that some ARMs are not affected.
EDIT: It appears not the be on the list of affected ARMs . The S8 Exynos 9 Octa 8895 is based on the Cortex-A53
EDIT2: The Snapdragon 820 and 835 do appear to be affected which are the CPU in the US version of the S8
This might sound dumb but.. with these Meltdown + Spectre bugs would an attacker be able to penetrate to gain full access only if a user downloads a native app or would it be possible through the browser/js?
Haven't seen much coverage on how this affects game consoles like the Xbox and Playstation (which use AMD CPUs). Does anyone know if they've talked about patching it and how this would affect game performance (which is a pretty big deal for gamers who expect a consistent experience)?
I will repeat these benchmarks on my iPhone 6 when I get home tonight...but in the meantime, the benchmark numbers in this article look almost exactly like the ones I had as a result of battery throttling. I bet the actual patch-related performance hit is pretty minor.
I’ve more than a little skeptical of these results, I too am very disappointed in major CPU vendors (especially their PR and management teams), but these results seem more than a little smelly.
I am what I’d consider a heavy iOS user on multiple devices and I don’t believe I’ve honestly noticed any difference at all. If these results were correct, I believe I’d notice at least a 10-15% decrease in performance - but no. What I haven’t looked at is battery life so I cannot comment on that.
I wonder how much extra revenue this will bring to AWS/GCP etc selling more instances to cover the performance loss on servers?
tested with GeekBench 4 on iPhone 8 Plus if anyone interested: - iOS 11.2.1: Single-Core 4257, Multi-Core: 10187 - iOS 11.2.2: Single-Core 4259, Multi-Core: 10287
Looks like no performance impact at all.
My iPhone X has been on 11.2.5 since the day it came out, and I haven't perceived any slowdowns.
Have not done any benchmarking, and I'm not saying performance is the same as before, but anecdotally I haven't seen a difference. Just one guy's opinion.
I just updated my 6+ and ran Geekbench before and after. No major difference in scores and the single and multi-core benchmarks are consistent with the comparison numbers for other 6+ phones. Battery is in good health.
this leads me to a couple questions, hopefully you smart folk can answer:
1. I thought Spectre was "Intel-only", and Meltdown was the general case, which is less severe but effectively nearly everywhere? If so, how is an iPhone susceptible to Spectre?
2. Beyond that, I thought meltdown/spectre was an x86 problem. So why all this trouble on phones, with ARM?
3. I've read the first, simplest variant of meltdown, and it is so beautifully simple. Is this "speculative execution + cache timing" thing an entirely novel exploit, or have we seen incarnations of this before?
Can we get a before/after with a new battery vs a battery with 1k, then 10k, cycles on it?
I benchmarked my 8 Plus yesterday, updated from 11.2.1 to 11.2.2.
No differences noticeable under same circumstances, maybe even slightly faster (Compute benchmark, Geekbench 4).
Something isn't right with his benchmarks.
My iPhone 6 benchmarks:
Geekbench test taken on Dec 18, 2017 with iOS 11.2
Single Core: 1566
Geekbench test taken on Jan 10, 2018 with iOS 11.2.2
Single Core: 1551
Single Core: 0.96%
Can't wait to see before/after benchmarks for Android. Something tells me it's going to be even worse than iOS.
This is...highly questionable. 11.2.2 only updates WebKit, which shouldn't affect GeekBench.
I keep getting bad gateway from some awful CDN, is there an alternative link?
Aaand it's down. Anybody have a mirror?
Why does Cloudflare tell me I'm able to browse a snapshot while the site is offline, but there is no snapshot?
An the apple police bring down another anti-applr website. Also, the slow down is related more to the battery = slow down than the new meltdown scare. Amazing, they reduced 50% of the CPU power so you don't have "battery" issues haha
Is this a "bug" we can recover from (in future hardware or software) or are we going to collectively take a lifetime -18 hit to our Moore's Law progress and lose the gains from this technique forever?
Wow. After ios 10.2.1 halved performance on my iphone 6 due to the battery issues, I next avoided 11.0 as I accepted responsiveness would be slower on the older iphone6 model.
Now if we want these security fixes that's another -40%... Yikes!
However, it looks like ios 11.2.2 and a new battery is still slightly faster than ios 10.3.3 and an old battery! (geekbench single/multi core score from article of 924/1616 vs my 844/1379)