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Re: i486 base architecture

Arjan van de Ven wrote:

On Tue, 2004-11-30 at 01:33 -0500, William M. Quarles wrote:

Arjan van de Ven wrote:

On Sun, 2004-11-28 at 19:46 -0500, William M. Quarles wrote:

I would, but are there any free ways of doing benchmarks? Not to mention I'm not really much of a programmer, so I don't know what oprofile/gprof are.

for what it's worth... cmov isn't faster on newer (pM/pIV/amd64 level) CPUs than the open coded conditional jump anymore.... so there no longer really is a reason to use cmov-only code.

More terminology that I am not aware of... cmov?

cmov is a conditional move instruction on x86. Basically a C code
construct like this

if (some_condition == 5)
   A = B;

normally gets translated into (pseudo asm)

  compare some_condition, 5
  jump_if_not_equal label;
  move B into A
  ... the rest of the program

the "jump_if_not_equal" instruction is a conditional instruction, which
means that the cpu cannot look ahead and decide what the next
instruction is, until the actual compare is finished. With the current
deeply pipelined cpus that is sort of a problem (the solution is that
the cpu makes a guess what it'll be based on past decisions for this
line of code, and if wrong, it backtracks).

Now with cmov, the code looks like

  compare some_condition, 5
  move_if_equal B into A
  ... the rest of the program

and in theory there is no question about which instructions will be
executed when, so the "cost" of having an empty pipeline until the
decision is known wouldn't be there. And that's mostly true for PPro/PII
level CPUS.

Thanks, that cleared thins up a lot.

As someone who was still using a Pentium II a year ago, and is now only using a Pentium III computer (which would still have this benefit since the only difference between those and the PIII is an additional yet in this case irrelevant instruction set), I'd really like to see that performance difference. Now were you saying that this cmov is part of i486 or i686? I'd like to try rebuilding everything to see if it makes a difference.

Would I have to worry about any trademark problems?

Is there a script that Red Hat uses to automate the build process? Does it use SRPMS or do the sources and specs have to be "preinstalled?"

However, newer ones (both AMD and Intel) operate in such a way that the
advantage of this no longer is an advantage, they need to know the
result anyway in effect (and also make a guess about the "if" result)

Is the advantage still there, or is it just no longer a significant advantage? Or is it a cost? Unless it's a cost, I don't see what's wrong with putting in the advantage, unless it's a lot more work on your part. Is it more work?

I know that I'm a novice about development, you don't have to further proove it to me.

I absolutely don't mean it in that way.

I guess that I should have put a smiley face next to that one. :-)


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