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SubjectRe: Intel P6 vs P7 system call performance

Linus,

Are you serious about moving of the banging we currently do on 0x80?
If so, I have a P4 development board with leds to monitor all the lower io
ports and can decode for you.

On Mon, 16 Dec 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:

>
> On Mon, 16 Dec 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> >
> > (Modulo the missing syscall page I already mentioned and potential bugs
> > in the code itself, of course ;)
>
> Ok, I did the vsyscall page too, and tried to make it do the right thing
> (but I didn't bother to test it on a non-SEP machine).
>
> I'm pushing the changes out right now, but basically it boils down to the
> fact that with these changes, user space can instead of doing an
>
> int $0x80
>
> instruction for a system call just do a
>
> call 0xfffff000
>
> instead. The vsyscall page will be set up to use sysenter if the CPU
> supports it, and if it doesn't, it will just do the old "int $0x80"
> instead (and it could use the AMD syscall instruction if it wants to).
> User mode shouldn't know or care, the calling convention is the same as it
> ever was.
>
> On my P4 machine, a "getppid()" is 641 cycles with sysenter/sysexit, and
> something like 1761 cycles with the old "int 0x80/iret" approach. That's a
> noticeable improvement, but I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed in
> the P4 still, it shouldn't be even that much.
>
> As a comparison, an Athlon will do a full int/iret faster than a P4 does a
> sysenter/sysexit. Pathetic. But it's better than it used to be.
>
> Whatever. The code is extremely simple, and while I'm sure there are
> things I've missed I'd love to hear if this works for anybody else. I'm
> appending the (extremely stupid) test-program I used to test it.
>
> The way I did this, things like system call restarting etc _should_ all
> work fine even with "sysenter", simply by virtue of both sysenter and "int
> 0x80" being two-byte opcodes. But it might be interesting to verify that a
> recompiled glibc (or even just a preload) really works with this on a
> "whole system" testbed rather than just testing one system call (and not
> even caring about the return value) a million times.
>
> The good news is that the kernel part really looks pretty clean.
>
> Linus
>
> ---
> #include <time.h>
> #include <sys/time.h>
> #include <asm/unistd.h>
> #include <sys/stat.h>
> #include <stdio.h>
>
> #define rdtsc() ({ unsigned long a,d; asm volatile("rdtsc":"=a" (a), "=d" (d)); a; })
>
> int main()
> {
> int i, ret;
> unsigned long start, end;
>
> start = rdtsc();
> for (i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) {
> asm volatile("call 0xfffff000"
> :"=a" (ret)
> :"0" (__NR_getppid));
> }
> end = rdtsc();
> printf("%f cycles\n", (end - start) / 1000000.0);
>
> start = rdtsc();
> for (i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) {
> asm volatile("int $0x80"
> :"=a" (ret)
> :"0" (__NR_getppid));
> }
> end = rdtsc();
> printf("%f cycles\n", (end - start) / 1000000.0);
> }
>
>
> -
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>

Andre Hedrick
LAD Storage Consulting Group

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