No More Apple Mysteries, Part Twoby Johan De Gelas on September 1, 2005 12:05 AM EST
- Posted in
Benchmark ConfigurationWe used the MySQL version (4.0.18) that came with the SUSE SLES9 CD's and Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.1, which was certified to work on our OS. Our YDL Linux reported: "Linux version 2.6.10-1.ydl.1g5-smp (gcc version 3.3.3 (Yellow Dog Linux 3.3.3-16.ydl.7))"
SUSE SLES 9 (SUSE Entreprise Edition), Linux kernel 2.6.5, 64 bit
Workstation tests: Windows XP SP2
Apple PowerMac G5
OS X 10.4.1 Tiger, 64 bit (partially)
Yellow Dog Linux 3.3.3-16.ydl.7
MySQL 4.0.18, 32 en 64 bit, MyISAM engine
Gcc 3.3.3 and 4.0
HardwareHere is the list of the different configurations:
Apple PowerMac Dual 2.7 GHz, Dual 2.5 GHz
4 GB (8x512 MB) Corsair XMS3200 running at CAS 3-3-3
Dual Intel Xeon DP Irwindale 3.6 GHz 2 MB L2-cache, 800 MHz FSB - Lindenhurst Chipset
Intel® Server Board SE7520AF2
4 GB (4x1024 MB) Micron Registered DDR-II PC2-3200R, 400 MHz CAS 3, ECC enabled
NIC: Dual Intel® PRO/1000 Server NIC (Intel® 82546GB controller)
Opteron Server: Dual Opteron 250 (2.4 GHz)
Iwill DK8ES Bios version 1.20
4 GB: 4x1GB MB Reg. Transcend (Hynix 503A) DDR400 - (3-3-3-6)
NIC: Broadcom BCM5721 (PCI-E)
Client Configuration: Dual Opteron 250
MSI K8T Master1-FAR
4x512 MB Infineon PC2700 Registered, ECC enabled
NIC: Broadcom 5705
1 Seagate Cheetah 36 GB (15000 RPM, SCSI Ultra320, 8MB cache)
Maxtor 120 GB DiamondMax Plus 9 (7200 RPM, ATA-100/133, 8MB cache)
Words of thanksA lot of people gave us assistance with this project, and we like to thank them, of course:
Frank Balzer, IBM DB2/SUSE Linux Expert
Jasmin Ul-Haque, Novell Corporate Communications
Matty Bakkeren, Intel Benelux
Trevor E. Lawless, Intel US
Larry.D. Gray, Intel US
Damon Muzny, AMD US
Nick Leman, MySQL expert
Ruben Demuynck, Vtune and OS X expert
David Van Dromme, Iwill Benelux Helpdesk
I also would like to thank Lode De Geyter, Manager of the PIH, for letting us use the infrastructure of the TUK to test the database servers.
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Gandalf90125 - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkFrom the article:
"...so it seems that IBM, although slightly late, could have provided everything that Apple needs."
I'd say not everything Apple needs as I suspect the switch to Intel was driven more by marketing than any technical aspect of the IBM vs. the Intel chips.
Illissius - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkA few notes:
- you mention trying a --fast-math option, which I've never heard of... presumably this was a typo for -ffast-math?
- when I tried using -mcpu (which you say you used for YDL) on GCC 3.4, it told me the option had been deprecated, and -mtune has to be used instead (dunno whether it told me this latter part itself or I read it somewhere else, but it's true). I'm not sure whether GCC4 has the same behaviour (I'd think so), whether it still has the intended effect despite the warning, or whether it matters at all.
- was there a reason for using -march on one, and -mcpu/-mtune on the other? (the difference is that -mcpu/-mtune optimize the code for that processor as much as possible while still keeping the code compatible with everything else in the architecture, while -march does the same without care for compatibility -- on x86 at least, not sure whether it's the same on PPC)
- you mention using the same compiler because, err, you wanted to use the same compiler... if this was done in the hopes of it generating code of similar speed for each architecture, though, then your own results show there isn't much point -- seems GCC, 3.3 at least, is much better at generating x86 code than PPC (which isn't surprising, given much more work probably went into it due to the larger userbase). Not saying it was a bad idea to use GCC on both platforms (it's a good one, if for no other reason than most code, on the Linux side at least and OSX itself (not sure about the apps) are compiled with it), just that if the above was the reason, it wasn't a very good one ;).
- Continuing the above, I was a bit surprised at the, *ahem*, noticeable difference in speed between not even two different compilers, but two versions of the same. (I was expecting something like 1-5, maybe 10% difference, not 100). Maybe this could warrant yet another followup article, this time on compilers? :)
Pannenkoek - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkThe reason is that GCC 4.0 incorporated infrastrucure for vector optimization (tree-ssa), which can give, especially in synthetic benchmarks, huge increase in FP performance. GCC can now finally optimize for SSE, Altivec, etc., a reason why in the past optimizing specifically for newer Pentiums did not yield much improvement.
Althougn compiler benchmarks would be interesting, I doubt it is a task for Anandtech. Normal desktop users do not have to worry about whether or not their applications are optimized optimally, and any differences between, say GCC and ICC, are small or negligible for ordinary desktop programs. (Multimedia programs often have inline assembly for performance critical parts anyway).
GCC is free, supports about any platform and improves continually while it's already a first class compiler.
javaxman - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkWhile I generally love this article, I have to wonder...
why not write a simple benchmark for pthread(), if you think that's the bottleneck? Surely it'd be a simple thing to write a page of code which creates a bunch of threads in a loop, then issues a thread count and/or timestamp. It seems like a blindingly obvious test to run. Please run it.
I have to say that I *do* think pthread() is the likely bottleneck, possibly due to BSD4.9-derivative code, but why not test that if we think that's the problem? I understand wanting to see real-world MySQL performance, but if you're trying to find a system-level bottleneck, that's not the right type of testing to do...
Now that I metion it, Darwinx86 vs. BSD 4.9 ( on the same system ) vs. BSD 5.x ( on the same system ) vs. Linux ( on the same system ) would really be a more interesting test at this point... I'm really not caring about PPC these days unless it's an IBM blade system, to be honest... testing an Apple PPC almost seems silly, they'll be gone before too long... Apple's decision to move away from PPC has more to do with *future* chip development than *current* offerings, anyway... Intel and AMD are just putting more R&D into their x86 chips, IBM's not matching it, and Apple knows it...
but even if you are going to look at PPC systems, if you're trying to find a system-level bottleneck, write and run system-level tests... a pthread() test is what is needed here.
rhavenn - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkIf I remember correctly, OS X is forked off of the FreeBSD 4.9 codebase. The 4.x series of BSD always had a crappy threading system and didn't handled threaded apps well at all. I doubt Apple really touched those internals all that much.
FreeBSD 5.x has a much better time of it. I'm wondering if the switch back to a Intel platform will make it easier for Apple to integrate the BSD 5.x codebase into their OS? or even if they plan on using the BSD 6.x codebase for a future release? The threading models have vastly improved.
Just a thought :)
JohanAnandtech - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkhttp://www.apple.com/education/hed/compsci/tiger.h...">http://www.apple.com/education/hed/compsci/tiger.h... :
The upgraded kernel in Tiger, based on mach and FreeBSD, provides optimized resource locking for better scalability across multiple processors, support for 64-bit memory pointers through the System library and standards-based access control lists"
Where did you see FreeBSD 4.9?
mbe - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkReaders also pointed out that LMBench uses "fork", which is the way to create a process and not threads in all Unix variants, including Mac OS X and Linux. I fully agree, but does this mean that the benchmark tells us nothing about the way that the OS handles threading? The relation between a low number in this particular Lmbench benchmark and a slow creating of threads may or may not be the answer, but it does give us some indication of a performance issue. Allow me to explain...
This misses the point, your claim in the last article was that MacOS X used userspace threads. Mentioning that LMbench uses processes still rules out userspace threads having any part to play. This is since processes can't in any meaningful way (short of violating some pretty basic principles) be implemented around userspace threads. The point is that a process is a virtual memory space attached to a main system thread, not a userspace thread which are not normally even considered threads on this level.
This is necessary since the virtual memory attached to the thread has to be managed when doing context switches, and by its very definition userspace code cannot directly touch the memory mappings.
JohanAnandtech - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkYes, it could be. The interesting questions are:
- Is the only culprit for the 8 time lower performance. Microkernels are reported to be 66 to 5% slower depending on who benchmarked it. But not 8 times slower.
- What makes it still interesting for the apple devs to use it?
I hope Apple will be a bit more keen to defend their product, because their might be interesting technical reasons to keep the Mach kernel.
sdf - Friday, September 2, 2005 - linkIs Mac OS X really a microkernel? I understood it to be designed to function as a microkernel, but compiled and shipped as a macrokernel for performance reasons.
JohanAnandtech - Sunday, September 4, 2005 - linkI am sorry if I wasn't clear. As I state in the article clearly: Mac OS X is ** NOT ** a microkernel, but based on a microkernel as the Mach kernel is burried inside the FreeBSD monolithic kernel.
Most of the tasks are done by a FreeBSD alike kernel, but threading is done by the Mach kernel.