In this article, we take a look at SPECpower – the framework and the benchmark used to measure the intersection of performance and power consumption.
It is often said that a programmer’s best friend is a good text editor, and that their best tool is their brain. Recently, I had an opportunity to examine and become familiar with a programmer’s second best tool: a good performance monitor.
For many applications, performance can be a critical advantage. Almost any scientific or engineering computing falls into this category, such as crash simulations, or weather modeling. However many desktop applications require good performance: computer games and video encoding are extremely taxing. In the embedded market, performance is likely to be even more important, unlike the general market; systems are not upgraded with faster hardware on a regular basis, and resources are scarce. Many applications, such as cell phones are constrained by thermal and power characteristics, so developers must squeeze out every last bit of performance.
Benchmarking RFC The practice of benchmarking computer systems and components aspires to be a science, yet all too frequently appears to be an art and a particularly unreliable one at that. The potential pitfalls of benchmarking are myriad: the urge to declare a ‘winner’, atypical workloads and poorly disclosed system settings frequently plague reviews. While […]
This is the second installment of a three part series on compiler technology and implementation.
For those who may not be familiar with it, COSBI (Comprehensive Open Source Benchmark Initiative) is Van Smith’s effort to wrest control of benchmarking design from the hands of corporate interests and into the hands of the user community (please refer to Van’s Hardware Journal for more information). While this is certainly a laudable goal, it is also fraught with potential problems. Thus, when Van’s Hardware Journal published some preliminary results of the Quick CPU Test, a question that has been nagging me for quite some time was brought to the fore… just how much of an effect do different compilers have on the performance of a program, particularly across platforms?
Bill examines the recommended Winstone reporting methodology, and gives it a poor performance rating.