Windows 8 real-time clock (RTC) implementation flawed

Real-time clock (RTC) implementation in Windows 8 is reportedly flawed because of which a system is not able to keep accurate time which impacts benchmarking as they implicitly trust RTC by default.

RTC on all modern systems keep track of accurate time when the system is turned off. Benchmarking tools rely on RTC to keep a track on when the tool was started and when it was stopped. According to HWBot, Windows 8’s RTC isn’t reliable. Microsoft made some low-level changes to the time-keeping routine in its Kernel such that Windows 8 would allow for low-cost devices and embedded systems, which many a times don’t have the conventional pc-compatible RTC.

Because of the flaw, as HWBot notes, after underclocking the base clock frequency of an Intel Haswell system by about 6%, the Windows 8 clock, after 5 minutes had clocked 18 seconds less than the actual time which shouldn’t be case. In case of overclocking by about 4% after two minutes, the Windows 8 clock was ahead by 3 seconds.

HWBot notes that because of this it’s “impossible to verify the veracity of a system performance” under Windows 8 following which new benchmarks will no longer be accepted and all current benchmarks will be invalidated.

There has been no official word from Microsoft about this ‘bug’ but, if we do consider the probably of Redmond fixing the issue chances are that the roll-out would be difficult considering the cross-platform nature of the operating system.