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List Archive: gentoo-performance
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To: gentoo-performance@g.o
From: "M. Edward (Ed) Borasky" <znmeb@...>
Subject: Re: performance testing
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2007 21:21:31 -0700
Hash: SHA1

Peter A. H. Peterson wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> My name is Peter Peterson and I represent a group of a grad students
> at UCLA. We're in a computer systems performance analysis course and we
> were hoping to do a general performance comparison of gentoo vs. a
> popular binary i386-compatible distribution (probably ubuntu) in some
> "real-world" server tests to try and meaningfully calculate the
> performance gains that local compilation provides. (For example,
> apache2 requests processed per second on the same hardware.)
> I've subscribed to this list because we want the gentoo community to
> be involved in helping us design the tests so that we can hopefully
> all feel good about what and how we are testing the systems. 
> We have no particular outcome in mind; our group represents a wide
> range of computer users, from Mac, Linux, and Windows enthusiasts, and
> we have all used a wide variety of Linux distributions. We have simply
> noticed that much of the discussion of gentoo's performance advantage
> is anecdotal and we're genuinely hoping to provide some meaningful
> experimental data for discussion. Also, if anyone knows of any
> available benchmark data or papers on this subject, we'd love to hear
> about them. There was apparently a paper on slashdot a couple of years
> ago, but the host it was on appears to now be squatted. For that
> matter, if this is a well understood or closed issue (for example, if
> the statistics that people quote are actually from good experimental
> data) please let us know.
> Is anyone here interested in discussing this project? We are
> specifically interested in discussing methodology, testing suits,
> CFLAGS and other options. Our desire is not to "trick out" gentoo or
> ubuntu, but rather quantify the performance benefit that gentoo has
> over binary distributions with "normal" compile flags (whatever normal
> is).
> Thanks for your time,
> Peter Peterson (et al)

The one thing I know is that the Ruby interpreter gains quite a bit
(about 20 - 30 percent) from being compiled with the appropriate
"-march=" flag in GCC, and that most of the other compilation options
have much less payoff. I don't have the link handy, but it certainly
makes sense.

Today's chips are optimized to run lots of streams of 386 code, so a
"server" test might not show substantial differences. If you've got
enough threads to keep the processor(s) busy, you aren't going to see
much of an advantage from compiling to "native" code. Where you will see
a pronounced advantage is on single-threaded applications, like
scientific workstations run.

Quite frankly, I'd be surprised if a Gentoo server was significantly
faster than a CentOS 5 (RHEL 5 clone) server on a high-intensity server
workload. But I have tried a lot of distros for scientific workstations,
and Gentoo does seem to have an advantage there.

What's the title of the course? Is this a compiler course?
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gentoo-performance@g.o mailing list

Re: performance testing
-- Daniel Armyr
performance testing
-- Peter A. H. Peterson
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Updated Aug 26, 2010

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