I'm thinking about getting a new laptop. I'd like to know if anyone knows when we can expect mainstream laptops to contain mitigation for spectre and meltdown vulnerabilities. From what I've read on the internet some of the software mitigation for the vulnerabilities takes a hefty toll on the computer performance and if I were to get a new computer it seems worth the wait if I can get one that has mitigation built into hardware and, at least in my theory, has better performance.


I'm working as a developer and the new computer is supposed to be for work. I use Microsoft Visual Studio and need computer to be as fast as possible when compiling etc. My current work computer is in the place in the upgrade cycle where it should be upgraded, (it is five years old and uses win7) but if I ask my manager for a new I'll probably have to use it for four years or so. My reason for asking is to determine if I should hold on to my computer for a couple of months longer.

  • I suggest to buy it right now when you need it. Intel is sane enough to not cripple the performance of their high end product lines
    – Mike76
    Oct 23 '18 at 16:38
  • How long does a build take for you? Oct 23 '18 at 23:58
  • Also - what technologies do you use? I ask because technologies you use impact your hardware needs. Oct 24 '18 at 0:02
  • Builds aren't that bad yet.It's just that I'm a bit impatient. I've started to notice hangs when starting VS studio. I do web development and things like downloading node modules are slow. I think problems might be disk access related. I work in an enterprise setting and I think that antivirus and various malware protection software that IT installs on our computers is also taking a toll on my performance. My current setup has a SSD disk and 16GBs of ram
    – mortb
    Oct 24 '18 at 6:08
  • The software mitigations aren't that bad, with the potential exception of some virtualization related tasks. I'm curious though if you really need a new computer though; have you run anything to see what's actually limiting your performance?
    – JMY1000
    Oct 24 '18 at 17:43

Intel has just released 9th gen core I which only has partial fixes. AMD also released their CPUs recently although AFAIK they were never susceptible to Meltdown. All in all - I'd say a year at least.

What do you do on your notebook that you care so much about performance? Could you please update your question?


After reading question update:

Whatever new you get now will be most likely a major step up. Your old notebook likely has an HDD - those 2.5" 5400 RPM HDDs are way slow. Also get loads of RAM - code completion eats it like candies, faster then any browser. CPU only comes later (unless you have some very specific needs which you failed to note).

Both Spectre and Meltdown countermeasures exhibit the greatest hit on the user/kernel border - which usually boils down to network or disk I/O. Unless you do a lot of that the performance hit should be <5% for you - that's almost neglible. Browsing the net while compiling could cause more of a slow down.

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