Windows 10 KB4482887 Update Causes Performance Issues
Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2019 - 04:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, retpoline
Microsoft has just acknowledged a graphics and mouse input performance issue with their March 1st, 2019 update for Windows 10. The “Known Issues” section of the update’s documentation, KB4482887, claims that users “may notice graphics and mouse performance degradation with desktop gaming when playing certain games, such as Destiny 2”.
Microsoft is working on a patch for the patch. For now, affected users must remove KB4482887.
While the update, which brings Windows 10 up to build 17763.348, contains several fixes, one that stands out is the addition of Retpoline for high-performance Spectre 2 mitigation. (Check out Tim's post on it.) It was a bit of a surprise when this update was released for the Windows 10 October 2018 update (rather than waiting a month until the April 2019 update). Further, even though it is added with the update, it is disabled by default and must be activated with a registry key. If this was the offending issue, then I would expect a registry flag to simply disable it as opposed to telling users to remove the entire update.
Of course, the cynic in me would find it hilarious if the offending branch/commit was the one responsible for “Updates time zone information for Chile” or “Addresses an issue that may prevent Internet Explorer from loading images that have a backslash (\) in their relative source path”. Something small and innocuous sounding.
Thankfully, I did not install the update, so I flipped Windows Update into “Paused” mode. (I am running Windows 10 Pro.) It’s probably a good idea to avoid this patch for a bit.