Nvidia Says Software Not Affected By Intel Chip Flaw

Intel Meltdown patch benchmarks

There has been a lot of talk in recent days about what kind of performance impact that security patches for Meltdown and Spectre would have on overall system performance, with some reports suggesting that some systems could face up to a 30 percent hit.

On Tuesday, Nvidia issued a security bulletin regarding updates it made to its driver software to address the Meltdown CPU vulnerability that's had tech companies running scared for the last week.

Intel has promised to issue updates for 90 per cent of processor products introduced in the past five years by the end of this week to fix the security problems.

NVIDIA's own security bulletin also says: "We believe our GPU hardware is immune to the reported security issue".

NVIDIA is providing an initial security update to mitigate aspects of Google Project Zero's January 3, 2018 publication of novel information disclosure attacks that combine CPU speculative execution with known side channels. A display driver is software that acts an interface between Nvidia chips and a screen. While Nvidia said its GPUs are not flawed, it was updating its drivers because they interact with potentially vulnerable CPUs.

In his CES keynote address Brian Krzanich sought to address the issue saying, "some workloads may experience a larger impact than others, " but did not elaborate on workloads would be affected.

Apple has also released new fixes for its platforms. However, some experts advise that software updates alone will not completely resolve problem; thus, it is important to make sure that the latest computer bios/firmware updates are installed as well.

"We previously said that we expected our performance impact should not be significant for average computer users, and the data we are sharing today support that expectation on these platforms", he writes in the company blog. This means the typical home and business PC user should not see significant slowdowns in common tasks such as reading email, writing a document or accessing digital photos.

"To be clear, we do not want to see the performance of our products impacted in any way, and we know our customers feel the same way".

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