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SPEC CPU2000: Part 5 - Compilers. Addition 1

February 7, 2003



It didn't pass much time since the last article, but while we carried out our numerous tests, the companies managed to release new versions of their products. And of course, we are interested in what they differ as far as the generated code rate is concerned.

Today we will test performance of the compilers in the SPEC CPU2000:

  • Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler from Visual Studio .NET (version 13.00.9466)
  • Intel C/C++/Fortran Compiler 6.0 (subversions 139/139/140)

For comparison we are using Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 SP5 and Intel Compilers 5.0.1 versions. The optimization options of the compilers are all the same: for the Microsoft they are -Ox -G6 and for the Intel they are -Qipo -QxW -O3 (SSE2's version for the Pentium 4). The complete configuration files are given here.

This time the tests are carried out on the following stand:

  • Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
  • Epox 4T2A i850
  • 256 MBytes PC800 RDRAM
  • Windows 2000 Pro SP2

As you remember, the Microsoft Visual C++ ver.6 showed very low results, that is why it's quite interesting to look at quality of the new compiler. However, the ver.13.00.9466 doesn't have SIMD support or any new optimization options (note that the SPEC CPU2000 test uses only command line compilers). That is why we don't expect much difference.

A sharp change in the number of the Intel compilers version also attracts attention. The most important change there is a support of the OpenMP technology and an automatic optimization for SMP architectures. It seems that they are working on introducing the Hyper-Threading in desktop PCs :).

Let's start with the CINT2000 tests.

Well, Microsoft managed to improve quality of the generated code very much. The performance boost in the CINT2000 subtests is 25-160%. The maximum gain is achieved in the 252.eon which much depends on a CPU speed. The integer score has increased by 60%. However, it is still behind one of its competitors - the Intel's compiler :)

As far as the Intel's compilers are concerned, there is some gain in 7 subtests, but in the others the scores got lower. At the same time, the integer score is almost the same - the gain is only 1.26%.

In the CFP2000 test the situation is similar. Microsoft got much faster (by 7-96%). The new Intel's compiler is a bit ahead in two tests, and in the two others the results got lower.

The situation is again ambiguous - 4 subtests got worse and 10 got better. Note that there is a 16% gain in the 178.galgel subtest, where the Compaq Visual Fortran 6.6 outpaced the Intel before. The integer score has increased by 2.9%.

Conclusion

The last version of the C/C++ compiler from Microsoft has aced its predecessor, the compiler of the ver.6. I hope users of other Microsoft products will also benefit from it :)

On the other hand, Intel hasn't achieved so significant gain. On the whole, an orientation toward the OpenMP and Hyper-Threading results in considerable changes in the compilers. That is why users of usual processors mustn't feel worse :)

It seems that the new tests in the SPEC CPU2000 will probably be run with a new compiler from Intel.

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