Surely you have read in these last 24 hours many articles, in Spanish and in any other language, which ensures that iOS 11.2.2 update can make your iPhone slow down to 50%. Obviously such a headline makes you go directly to read the article and all alarms go off, even more with all the controversy about the supposed programmed obsolescence of Apple and its batteries.
But the reality is very different from what that headline tries to convey. It is already known that one of the maxims that some media take to the extreme is the known "Don't let the truth spoil a good headline", and unfortunately here it is fulfilled again. The truth is that the update to iOS 11.2.2 that corrects the security flaws "Meltdown" and "Specter" does not slow down your device by 50%, and we will show you why.
The origin of the news
The beginning of this news is found in an article that the developer Melvin Mughal publishes in his blog and in which he shows us how after the update to iOS 11.2.2 your iPhone 6 suffered a spectacular drop in scores obtained in tests with Geekbench, one of the most widespread tools for benchmarks.
The figures are really surprising, with a 40% drop in both multi-core and single-core. Due to the nature of the security flaws Meltdown and Specter, it was expected that the solution to them would cause a small decrease in performance, but 40% is clearly something very exaggerated. This article by Melvin quickly ran on the internet as gunpowder especially when Forbes, a source that anyone would consider reliable and that contrasts the content of his articles, also echoed Melvin's article. Hundreds of blogs from around the world, also many in Spain, ran to republish the news without considering that we were talking about a test performed by a person and that those results would have to be checked.
Contrasting the results
I do not have an iPhone 6 to be able to perform the tests directly, but we have the enormous advantage that Geekbench allows you to see the scores obtained by all users who upload the results to their platform, and in less than a minute you can perform a search that offers you the scores of different iPhone 6 with iOS 11.2.2 installed. You can do the test yourself from this link and check the results that I will tell you below.
These two images show the results of different iPhone 6 with iOS 11.2.2, which were passed the Geekbench tool on January 11, and look at the results they get, both Single-core and Multi-core. 1555/2687 one of them, and 1475/2680 the other. If you compare them with the results that Melvin published in his blog, the difference is more than evident. The scores are comparable to those Melvin obtained with iOS 11.1.2, before applying the security flaw patch, so it is clear that the update to iOS 11.2.2 is not the cause of that performance drop. If that patch caused that performance drop, all devices in that version would be similarly affected, and it can be verified that this is not the case.
Ugh The difference is due to low-power mode. The first result was run under normal-power mode, the second run under low-power mode. This is a complete non-story.
– John Poole (@jfpoole) January 15, 2018
What happened to Melvin's iPhone? It has had to be one of Geekbench's own developers, an application with which the tests have been carried out, to clarify a bit what has happened, and Marvin's good intentions should already be questioned, because it turns out that the tests were performed with the Battery Saver mode activated. With this mode activated the processor of our iPhone starts to work more slowly with the aim of saving battery, and therefore the performance tests get worse results. The fact that Melvin Mughal has not come out to rectify still suggests that his intentions were not to inform, but quite the opposite.
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