Continuing with the bad news for Intel, Linux-specialist site ran tests showing that the patches can significantly impact performance. Intel machines ran 16 percent slower on average with the new updates installed and hyper-threading enabled, compared to a 3 percent hit on AMD chips.

To make matters worse, Apple and Google have Intel users to completely disable hyper-threading on Intel chips if they really want to be safe. That can cause performance to drop by 40 to 50 percent, depending on the application. Again, AMD chips don't need to be patched for the new bugs, and there's no need to disable simultaneous multi-threading (SMT), which is AMD's equivalent to Intel's hyper-threading.

Hyper-threading mostly affects workstations and servers, performance-sensitive markets where Intel has a huge chunk of its CPU sales. Phoronix said that "the mitigation impact is enough to draw the Core i7-8700 K much closer to the Ryzen 7 2700X," performance-wise, depending on the system.