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I am thinking to buy a new MB Pro in March. However, the bugs discovered has made me a little bit concerned.

I am a software engineer and I am most definitely a "Power User". Apparently, some users, particularly users performing more "heavy duty" tasks, may experience a performance drop of up to 30%. I don't know how accurate this report is - I've not read much into it.

My questions are:

  1. Are new (2017+) CPU's affected by this flaw, too? If so, when will CPU's start to come out that are not affected?
  2. Will new (affected, unsold, still in shop) products have their CPU's replaced?

As I understand it, Meltdown can be patched with software, but Spectre can only be fixed with a hardware redesign...

My concern is that I will purchase my MB pro in March, just to find a short time later that Apple has had all products on the market recalled and their CPUs replaced.

  • Also to add the other answer - the 30% performance drop is probably exaggerated or worst case. The performance drop I have seen with my "real life" workload on my computer is not really noticeable in daily life without doing precise measurements. I would estimate somewhere <5%. – jksoegaard Jan 5 '18 at 12:35
  • Since all CPUs currently sold are affected in varying degrees, the patches Intel contributes are of questionable quality, and nobody knows when, how much of them and how good Apple implements them: if security and performance are equal concerns, then only a complete stop in purchases is advisable until a new generation of CPUs is analysed to be free of this nightmare. Biting bullets and believing the PRBS only fuel corporate irresponsibility. – LаngLаngС Jan 24 '18 at 17:54
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To answer your questions:

Are new (2017+) CPU's affected by this flaw, too? If so, when will CPU's start to come out that are not affected?

Yes. It affects virtually every CPU going back to 1995

It affects potentially all out-of-order execution Intel processors since 1995, except Itanium and pre-2013 Atoms.

As for when new CPUs will be released, that's impossible for anyone here to even speculate as it will require a hardware redesign. Apple won't even be able to speculate as it's dependent on availability from the chip manufacturers.

Will new (affected, unsold, still in shop) products have their CPU's replaced?

Nobody but Apple (actually all computer manufacturers for that matter) will be able to answer this. Given that new, unaffected CPUs don't currently exist, it's reasonably expected that new machines purchased will still contain the flawed CPUs.

My concern is that I will purchase my MB pro in March, just to find a short time later that Apple has had all products on the market recalled and their CPUs replaced.

It's a valid concern. Nobody here can predict what actions Apple will take if any. The best advice I can give is to take a wait and see approach given that March is two months away and there is bound to be further developments with respect to this issue. If you need a new Mac for "work" (i.e. to generate revenue that pays the bills), bite the bullet and purchase it. If this is something you can put off as it's not critical, I would take a wait and see approach.

Apparently, some users, particularly users performing more "heavy duty" tasks, may experience a performance drop of up to 30%

According to an Intel Press release, they don't anticipate seeing any significant drop in performance for real-world deployments. Chances are, you will not notice any drop in performance.

Intel has also released patches for these flaws and is working with OEM partners (like Apple) to push them out to customers.

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    Also, Intel CPUs aren’t the only ones affected. AMD and ARM CPUs have the same flaws. i-devices (eg, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs) use ARM CPUs that have the same flaws. All the affected CPU manufacturers are working on firmware updates to fix the problems, while OS manufacturers are covering the software side fixes. – leanne Jan 5 '18 at 13:57
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    It would be nice if we could edit Allen's answer to turn it into a conical answer on this topic for the Meta site. Hopefully, doing this will allow us to point all similar questions to this answer. I'll do some research and take a shot at turning this into a conical answer but others should feel free to assist, too. – fsb Jan 5 '18 at 14:21

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