Reply to post: Re: Remove high accuracy timers?

Thought you'd addressed those data-leaking Spectre holes on Linux? Guess again. The patches aren't perfect

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Remove high accuracy timers?

Years ago some AMD hardware had defective High Precision Event Timer hardware which had to be disabled to keep operating systems happy. This often became company policy which remained in place long after all the defective hardware was retired. Clearly plenty of people were unaware of any problems caused by disabling perfectly good HPETs.

There is a wide variety of timer hardware and well made software should ask the OS what is available, what each is capable of and use the most appropriate for the task. There are piles of web pages about the effect of re-enabling HPETs on various games. Occasionally someone noticed a clear improvement. Lots noticed about one extra frame per second and some did not spot any measurable change. To me this looks like many games are able to cope with whatever hardware they find with just the odd combination of hardware and software benefiting from a specific extra time source.

"less /proc/timer_list" shows that lots of timers are being used but it is not obvious what they are being used for and how much precision they really need. An off switch could cause noticeable problems but a reduced precision knob might be harmless and useful.

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