InSpectre is another free program for Windows that checks for Spectre and Meltdown patches on the system and potential performance impacts.
The application offers three core advantages over comparable solutions such as Ashampoo's Spectre Meltdown CPU Checker: the program requires no Internet connection to make the verification checks, it reveals how much of a performance impact the patches may have on the system, and it gives admins options to disable the protections.
The tiny program is available on the Gibson Research website. It has a size of 122 Kilobytes and does not need to be installed. The page makes no mention of compatibility with Windows though. It ran without issues on a Windows 10 Pro system and a Windows 7 Professional system.
InSpectre checks on start whether the system is vulnerable to Meltdown or Spectre. It highlights that in the interface immediately and displays the performance impact of the patches on the same screen.
Scroll down for detailed information on each of the checks and general information on the vulnerabilities.
The program informs you whether the operating system or hardware require updating to protect the device against attacks that target Spectre or Meltdown vulnerabilities.
InSpectre returned the following information on a fully patched Windows 10 Pro system:
This 64-bit version of Windows is aware of the Meltdown but not the Spectre problem. Since Intel processors are vulnerable to both of these attacks, this system will be vulnerable to Spectre attacks until its operating system has been updated to handle and prevent this attack.
This system's hardware has not been updated with new features required to allow its operating system to protect against the Spectre vulnerabilities and/or to minimize the impact upon the system's performance (Protection from the Meltdown vulnerability does not require BIOS or processor updates).
InSpectre reveals the performance impact that the patches may have on the system besides that. It does not use benchmarks for that but grades the impact based on the processor and operating system.
Microsoft revealed recently that Windows 10 systems are less impacted than Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 systems in regards to performance, and that newer processor families would see less of an impact as well.
System administrators may use InSpectre to disable the protection on devices. The intent is to resolve performance issues on older systems. The changes are done in the Windows Registry and described in KB4073119.
InSpectre modifies the Registry keys to enable or disable the protections.
InSpectre is a well designed software for Windows. The program is portable, requires no Internet connection, and returns the patch status of the system immediately when you run it. The program shows the potential performance impact of these patches and gives administrators options to disable the protection on systems besides that.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.