150 GFLOP/s measured?

Article: PhysX87: Software Deficiency
By: Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org), July 19, 2010 6:36 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Ian Ollmann (iano@apple.com) on 7/19/10 wrote:
>I personally find the OoO engine to be a bit of a hinderance to performance. Its
>great for the massively overwhelming amount of code out there written with a C/C++
>compiler with not too much thought to performance. (read: 99.99%+ of code) There,
>you might get 10% of peak instead of 3% of peak. However, when you are trying to
>get the last drop out of the architecture and are willing to go to assembly, something
>with a simpler execution engine, typically an in order machine with non-destructive
>ISA, is far easier to take to close to peak performance.

Umm. That may be true, because it's clearly easier to tune
something that is simpler and more deterministic. However,
you are making a silly argument for two reasons:

- the kind of code you talk about is such a small fraction
of the code any real CPU runs that it's not really worth
even bringing up as an argument.

- even for the kind of code you talk about, that elusive
"peak performance" is likely higher with OoO!

So your argument that you can get 'closer to peak' is kind
of pointless, if 'closer to peak' is still slower on
an in-order part.

In fact, your argument is the exact same argument that
people used to use against caches. The caches make it much
harder to get "peak" performance, because suddenly the
actual performance depends a lot on things like data
structure layouts etc.

So without caches, you can tune your algorithm at the
assembly level, and you can pat yourself on the back and
tell yourself "this cannot be done faster". With caches,
that suddenly becomes much harder, because the fastest
code sequence often depends on which parts were still in
cache when the function was called etc etc.

So cacheless CPU's can be tuned much better. But who the
f*ck cares whether you can get to 80% of peak, or 100% of
peak, when the "100% peak of non-cached" value is way way
less than "80% peak of something with a cache".

The exact same is true of OoO. Your "it's harder to
tune" argument is as invalid today as it was 30 years ago,
despite being totally true.

The thing is, when you have non-uniform timing, OoO helps.
And there are basically zero loads that don't have
that. You have differently sized caches, you have memory
subsystems that are not the same speed etc etc.

That theoretical "peak" thing only exists on a single
machine with a very particular setup. If you change any
of the details, your optimized routine may no longer be
optimal, because now the optimal scheduling is different.

And that's where OoO helps. It helps with things like
different L1 cache latencies in different implementations.
It helps with having different L1 (or L2) sizes. It helps
with slightly different branch predictors etc.

Without OoO, you can never have something robust.
You end up having to tune your code for one particular
machine, and five years from now when that machine no
longer exists, you're basically screwed.

In other words, your argument is pure and utter garbage.
It's "true" only in a trivial and totally idiotic way.
Because if the code is so important that it is worth tuning
for at an assembly level, it's so important that it will
run on machines for longer than one generation or on many
different versions of a similar machine.

At which point you'll want OoO. Really. Because in-order
will screw you up.

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TopicPosted ByDate
A bit off baseJohn Mann2010/07/07 06:04 AM
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      A bit off baseanon2010/07/08 01:15 AM
        A bit off baseGabriele Svelto2010/07/08 03:11 AM
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                      Physics engine historyfvdbergh2010/07/13 06:27 AM
    A bit off baseJohn Mann2010/07/08 10:11 AM
      A bit off baseDavid Kanter2010/07/08 10:31 AM
        150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/08 06:10 PM
          150 GFLOP/s measured?David Kanter2010/07/08 06:53 PM
            150 GFLOP/s measured?Aaron Spink2010/07/08 08:05 PM
              150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/08 08:31 PM
                150 GFLOP/s measured?Aaron Spink2010/07/08 09:43 PM
                  150 GFLOP/s measured?David Kanter2010/07/08 10:27 PM
                    150 GFLOP/s measured?Ian Ollmann2010/07/19 12:14 AM
                      150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/19 05:39 AM
                        150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 06:26 AM
                          Philosophy for achieving peakDavid Kanter2010/07/19 10:49 AM
                      150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 06:36 AM
                        150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 07:42 AM
                          150 GFLOP/s measured?Aaron Spink2010/07/19 07:56 AM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 08:30 AM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Groo2010/07/19 01:31 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 03:17 PM
                                  150 GFLOP/s measured?Groo2010/07/19 05:18 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Anon2010/07/19 05:18 PM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?Mark Roulo2010/07/19 10:47 AM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?slacker2010/07/19 11:55 AM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?Mark Roulo2010/07/19 12:00 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?anonymous422010/07/25 11:31 AM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 11:41 AM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 01:57 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 03:10 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/19 03:10 PM
                                  150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 03:25 PM
                                  150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 03:31 PM
                                    150 GFLOP/s measured?Richard Cownie2010/07/20 05:04 AM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?jrl2010/07/20 12:18 AM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?anonymous422010/07/25 11:00 AM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?David Kanter2010/07/25 11:52 AM
                          150 GFLOP/s measured?Anon2010/07/19 05:15 PM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 06:27 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Anon2010/07/19 08:54 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/19 10:45 PM
                        150 GFLOP/s measured?hobold2010/07/19 08:14 AM
                          150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/19 10:56 AM
                            150 GFLOP/s measured?a reader2010/07/21 07:16 PM
                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Linus Torvalds2010/07/21 08:05 PM
                                150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/22 01:09 AM
                                  150 GFLOP/s measured?a reader2010/07/22 06:53 PM
                                    150 GFLOP/s measured?gallier22010/07/23 04:58 AM
                                      150 GFLOP/s measured?a reader2010/07/25 07:35 AM
                                        150 GFLOP/s measured?David Kanter2010/07/25 10:49 AM
                                          150 GFLOP/s measured?a reader2010/07/26 06:03 PM
                                            150 GFLOP/s measured?Michael S2010/07/28 12:38 AM
                                              150 GFLOP/s measured?Gabriele Svelto2010/07/28 12:44 AM
                                    150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/23 03:55 PM
                                      150 GFLOP/s measured?slacker2010/07/23 11:48 PM
                                        150 GFLOP/s measured?anon2010/07/24 01:36 AM
                                    150 GFLOP/s measured?Vincent Diepeveen2010/07/27 04:37 PM
                                      150 GFLOP/s measured??2010/07/27 10:42 PM
                                        150 GFLOP/s measured?slacker2010/07/28 04:55 AM
                                      Intel's clock rate projectionsAM2010/07/28 01:03 AM
                                        nostalgia ain't what it used to besomeone2010/07/28 04:38 AM
                                          Intel's clock rate projectionsAM2010/07/28 09:12 PM
                        Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-ness?2010/07/20 06:19 AM
                          Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessMark Christiansen2010/07/20 01:26 PM
                          Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessslacker2010/07/20 05:04 PM
                            Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessMatt Sayler2010/07/20 05:10 PM
                              Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessslacker2010/07/20 08:37 PM
                                Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-ness?2010/07/20 10:51 PM
                                  Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessanon2010/07/21 01:16 AM
                                    Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-ness?2010/07/21 06:05 AM
                                      Software conventionsPaul A. Clayton2010/07/21 07:52 AM
                                        Software conventions?2010/07/22 04:43 AM
                                      SpeculationDavid Kanter2010/07/21 09:32 AM
                                        Pipelining affects the ISA?2010/07/22 09:58 PM
                                          Pipelining affects the ISA?2010/07/22 10:14 PM
                                          Pipelining affects the ISArwessel2010/07/22 11:03 PM
                                            Pipelining affects the ISA?2010/07/23 04:50 AM
                                            Pipelining affects the ISA?2010/07/23 05:10 AM
                                              Pipelining affects the ISAThiago Kurovski2010/07/23 01:59 PM
                                                Pipelining affects the ISAanon2010/07/24 06:35 AM
                                                  Pipelining affects the ISAThiago Kurovski2010/07/24 10:12 AM
                                          Pipelining affects the ISAGabriele Svelto2010/07/26 01:50 AM
                                            Pipelining affects the ISAIlleglWpns2010/07/26 04:14 AM
                                              Pipelining affects the ISAMichael S2010/07/26 02:33 PM
                                      Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessanon2010/07/21 04:53 PM
                                        Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-ness?2010/07/22 03:15 AM
                                          Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessanon2010/07/22 03:27 AM
                                      Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessslacker2010/07/21 06:45 PM
                                        Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessanon2010/07/22 12:57 AM
                                        Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-ness?2010/07/22 04:26 AM
                                          Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessDan Downs2010/07/22 07:14 AM
                                          Confusing and not very useful definitionDavid Kanter2010/07/22 11:41 AM
                                            Confusing and not very useful definition?2010/07/22 09:58 PM
                                              Confusing and not very useful definitionUngo2010/07/24 11:06 AM
                                                Confusing and not very useful definition?2010/07/25 09:23 PM
                            Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nesssomeone2010/07/20 07:02 PM
                              Separate the OoO-ness from speculative-nessThiago Kurovski2010/07/21 03:13 PM
            You are just quoting SINGLE precision flops? OMG what planet do you live? Vincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 09:26 AM
              The prior poster was talking about SP (NT)David Kanter2010/07/19 10:34 AM
                All FFT's need double precisionVincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 01:02 PM
                  All FFT's need double precisionDavid Kanter2010/07/19 01:09 PM
                    All FFT's need double precisionVincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 03:06 PM
                  All FFT's need double precision - notMichael S2010/07/20 12:16 AM
                    All FFT's need double precision - notUngo2010/07/20 11:04 PM
                      All FFT's need double precision - notMichael S2010/07/21 01:35 PM
                      All FFT's need double precision - notEduardoS2010/07/21 01:52 PM
                        All FFT's need double precision - notAnon2010/07/21 04:23 PM
                          All FFT's need double precision - notRicardo B2010/07/26 06:46 AM
                        I'm on a boat!anon2010/07/22 10:42 AM
                        All FFT's need double precision - notVincent Diepeveen2010/07/24 10:39 PM
                          All FFT's need double precision - notslacker2010/07/25 02:27 AM
                            All FFT's need double precision - notRicardo B2010/07/26 06:40 AM
                          All FFT's need double precision - notEduardoS2010/07/25 07:37 AM
                            All FFT's need double precision - notMichael S2010/07/25 09:43 AM
                    All FFT's need double precision - notVincent Diepeveen2010/07/24 10:19 PM
      A bit off baseEduardoS2010/07/08 03:08 PM
        A bit off baseGroo2010/07/08 05:11 PM
          A bit off basejohn mann2010/07/08 05:58 PM
            All right...let's cool it...David Kanter2010/07/08 06:54 PM
    A bit off baseVincent Diepeveen2010/07/19 02:36 PM
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