Code red, or in this case, code blue. Earlier this week it was revealed that Intel processor chips dating back to the late 90's have a "fundamental" design flaw, which is described as a "chip-level security bug". For most users, this design flaw could result from anything to a five to thirty percent performance drop, which will vary depending on the task and processor model.
While more recent Inter chips have features such as PCID Linux, MacOS, and Windows systems will all need updates. This is because the flaw lies in Intel's x86-64 hardware and not the software. Essentially, this means that there either users must wait for an operating system update for a fix, or buy a new processor without the flaw.
It is important to note that the fix apparently does little to impact game performance. This may change in the future, but the difference now appears to be negligible.
For those wanting a deep dissection of the vulnerability, you may have to wait a while. The Register has an excellent write-up of the issue, with the gist of being that a full explanation of the issue is under embargo under later this month, presumably until Microsoft's Patch Tuesday next week. In fact, patches for the Linux Kernel are available, but any comments in the source code are redacted, leaving it up to the users to figure out what has been happening.
Strangely, these issues have been known for a while, with Fast-ring Windows Insider Builds having access to these changes since last November. Interestingly, in late November Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel, dumped a lot of his stock, leaving himself with only the minimum amount needed (250,000) to ensure his place as CEO.
At the time, it was questioned as to why Krzanich would dump his stock - which has already fallen by three percent in the wake of this news - considering he was potentially losing up to $4 million.
Do you have an Intel CPU? What do you think of this vulnerability? Let us know in the comments!