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SubjectBenchmark comparisons - a summary of the last year
Hi folks.

Does anybody remember my benchmark comparison messages? Well, I have
stopped sending them to the list because I could not compile all
releases on my home machine anymore. And patch-to-patch diffs were a
bit meaningless. But when I compiled one release I would then run the
benchmark software. And I updated the list of benchmark results that
can be perused at http://www.linpro.no/cgi-bin/bm (choose machine
Pimpinel).

I also found some time to upgrade the comparison software by adding an
option to generate a (rough) graph of the results.

This morning I added the results for 1.99.9 and then ran some
comparisons with all the results that I have. I think they are
interesting, so I am posting them to the list.

Here is the first graph:

Variable: Process Creation Test

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
403| * *|
| * * *** ***** |
| * * ***** ** ** * ********* * * |
| ** * * * * * |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| ************** |
114|** ***** |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

The numbers at the bottom correspond to the following patchlevels:

1. 1.2.10 #59 Tue Jun 13 09:46:17 MET DST 1995 i486
2. 1.3.3 #2 Mon Jun 19 21:16:39 MET DST 1995 i486
3. 1.3.4 #4 Mon Jun 26 22:25:32 MET DST 1995 i486
4. 1.3.5 #5 Thu Jun 29 20:59:28 MET DST 1995 i486
5. 1.3.6 #7 Fri Jun 30 20:40:51 MET DST 1995 i486
6. 1.3.7 #12 Thu Jul 6 18:28:12 MET DST 1995 i486
7. 1.3.7 #13 Fri Jul 7 11:04:49 MET DST 1995 i486
8. 1.3.8 #14 Fri Jul 7 20:06:44 MET DST 1995 i486
9. 1.3.9 #17 Tue Jul 11 20:15:53 MET DST 1995 i486
10. 1.3.10 #20 Thu Jul 13 20:58:09 MET DST 1995 i486
11. 1.3.11 #22 Tue Jul 18 22:26:10 MET DST 1995 i486
12. 1.3.12pre #23 Wed Jul 19 21:55:21 MET DST 1995 i486
13. 1.3.12 #24 Tue Jul 25 21:46:19 MET DST 1995 i486
14. 1.3.13 #25 Thu Jul 27 20:36:51 MET DST 1995 i486
15. 1.3.14 #27 Mon Jul 31 20:44:57 MET DST 1995 i486
16. 1.3.15 #28 Wed Aug 2 19:27:20 MET DST 1995 i486
17. 1.3.16 #29 Tue Aug 8 20:01:44 MET DST 1995 i486
18. 1.3.17 #30 Wed Aug 9 17:54:56 MET DST 1995 i486
19. 1.3.18 #35 Mon Aug 14 23:12:30 MET DST 1995 i486
20. 1.3.19 #36 Wed Aug 16 15:21:34 MET DST 1995 i486
21. 1.3.20 #40 Fri Aug 18 21:39:56 MET DST 1995 i486
22. 1.3.30 #42 Mon Oct 2 20:20:25 MET 1995 i486
23. 1.3.31 #44 Wed Oct 4 11:17:15 MET 1995 i486
24. 1.3.32 #45 Sat Oct 7 15:32:43 MET 1995 i486
25. 1.3.33 #49 Wed Oct 11 20:53:06 MET 1995 i486
26. 1.3.34 #50 Fri Oct 13 22:50:54 MET 1995 i486
27. 1.3.35 #51 Tue Oct 17 04:35:07 MET 1995 i486
28. 1.3.36 #56 Mon Oct 23 21:45:26 MET 1995 i486
29. 1.3.37 #59 Sun Oct 29 10:32:57 MET 1995 i486
30. 1.3.38 #67 Wed Nov 8 21:54:33 MET 1995 i486
31. 1.3.39 #68 Thu Nov 9 17:28:43 MET 1995 i486
32. 1.3.41 #69 Mon Nov 13 18:19:38 MET 1995 i486
33. 1.3.42 #70 Thu Nov 16 17:24:27 MET 1995 i486
34. 1.3.43 #71 Tue Nov 21 18:04:53 MET 1995 i486
35. 1.3.44 #73 Sat Nov 25 19:25:29 MET 1995 i486
36. 1.3.45 #75 Mon Nov 27 14:07:50 MET 1995 i486
37. 1.3.48 #76 Mon Dec 18 06:46:42 MET 1995 i486
38. 1.3.49 #77 Fri Dec 22 21:05:57 MET 1995 i486
39. 1.3.50 #78 Mon Dec 25 11:18:00 MET 1995 i486
40. 1.3.51 #79 Wed Dec 27 19:16:06 MET 1995 i486
41. 1.3.52 #80 Sat Dec 30 19:44:08 MET 1995 i486
42. 1.3.53 #81 Wed Jan 3 19:44:42 MET 1996 i486
43. 1.3.54 #82 Fri Jan 5 18:13:52 MET 1996 i486
44. 1.3.56 #83 Mon Jan 8 20:39:50 MET 1996 i486
45. 1.3.57 #84 Fri Jan 12 23:03:13 MET 1996 i486
46. 1.3.58 #85 Thu Jan 18 19:53:09 MET 1996 i486
47. 1.3.59 #86 Mon Jan 29 08:19:18 MET 1996 i486
48. 1.3.60 #89 Thu Feb 8 21:46:53 MET 1996 i486
49. 1.3.61 #91 Fri Feb 9 20:45:18 MET 1996 i486
50. 1.3.70 #92 Fri Mar 1 23:22:22 MET 1996 i486
51. 1.3.74 #93 Thu Mar 14 21:59:39 MET 1996 i486
52. 1.3.77 #94 Thu Mar 21 21:34:50 MET 1996 i486
53. 1.3.88 #96 Sat Apr 13 16:25:42 WET DST 1996 i486
54. 1.3.91 #97 Thu Apr 18 21:55:26 WET DST 1996 i486
55. 1.3.96 #98 Sat Apr 27 21:01:06 WET DST 1996 i486
56. 1.3.97 #99 Mon Apr 29 22:37:37 WET DST 1996 i486
57. 1.3.98 #100 Sun May 5 10:45:03 WET DST 1996 i486
58. 1.3.99 #102 Tue May 7 19:25:10 WET DST 1996 i486
59. 1.3.100 #103 Fri May 10 17:56:32 WET DST 1996 i486
60. 1.99.3 #104-pre-2.0 Mon May 13 21:17:09 WET DST 1996 i486
61. 1.99.5 #105-pre-2.0 Sat May 18 08:59:59 WET DST 1996 i486
62. 1.99.7 #106-pre-2.0 Wed May 22 07:09:29 WET DST 1996 i486
63. 1.99.9 #107-pre-2.0 Wed May 29 21:06:19 WET DST 1996 i486

As you can see, there has been a great improement between #21 and #22:
that's between 1.3.20 and 1.3.30 - I had been away from Lisbon for 1
1/2 months at that time, so that's a sort of a black hole... There are
a couple more "serious" holes - .61 to .70 and .77 to .88. I apologize
profusely :-)

Anyway, here are graphs for other benchmarks:

Variable: Pipe Throughput Test

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
19011| * * * |
| * *** ** * * |
|* * ** * *|
| ** * ** ** ** ** |
| ** * ** ** * ***** |
| * ** |
| * * * * * |
| ** * * * * |
| * * |
| * * |
| * |
| |
| |
| * * |
14885| * |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: Pipe-based Context Switching Test

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
10965| * * |
| * *** * ** * * * *|
| * ** * * * * ** * ** ** *** |
| * * ** * * * *** * * |
| ***** * * ** |
| * |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| * |
| |
|* ** |
3007| ***** ** |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: Execl Throughput Test

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
121| ** ** *|
| * * * * * |
| * ** ** |
| * * *** |
| * |
| |
| |
| * ** |
| * |
| |
| * |
| ** * ** ************** * |
| * *** **** ******* * |
| |
52|* |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: C Compiler Test

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
54| ** ****** |
| * ** * ***********|
| * * |
| |
| |
| |
| ** |
| * * * |
| ********** * * |
| * *** ** |
| * ** ** **** * |
| *** * |
| |
| |
42|* |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: Arithmetic Test (type = double)

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
5071| * * * |
| ** ******|
| * * |
| * * |
| ***** * * * * * * * |
| * * * ** * * * * |
| * * * |
| * ** |
| * * |
| ***** ** |
| * * |
| ** * ** * |
| * * * |
| |
5057|* |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: Dc: sqrt(2) to 99 decimal places

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
13048| * ** |
| ** *** *****|
| *** ******** |
| **** ******** * |
| * * *** |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| *** * |
|** * *** *** |
5357| * ******* |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: Dhrystone 2 without register variables

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
51002| * |
| |
| * |
| * * |
| * **** ** * ** ** *** * * ** ******************* *****|
| * * ** * * * * |
| * * |
| * |
| * |
| * |
| |
| * |
| |
| * |
46284|* |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: Recursion Test--Tower of Hanoi

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
728| ** * * * ** ****************** *** *** * * * **** |
| ** ** ** * * * * *|
| * ** * * |
|* * |
| * * * |
| * |
| * |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| * |
632| * |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: Shell scripts (2 concurrent)

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
57| * ****** * **|
| ******* * * |
| ** |
| * |
| ** |
| ** * |
| * * |
| ********* **** |
| |
| |
| *** * |
| * ** ************* |
| |
| |
41|* |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Variable: System Call Overhead Test

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
32191| * |
| * * |
| * * * * * ** *|
| * * * * * * * * ***** |
| * *** * * * * * * * ** * * * |
| ** * * * * * * * |
| * * * * * * |
|* * * |
| * * * |
| |
| |
| |
| * |
| |
26550| * |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

Graphs can be obtained for each single benchmarks in the Byte magazine
set.

Here are a few FAQs received at the time when I was regularly posting
the comparison results on the net:

Q: Where can I find the benchmark software?
A: I am using the unix benchmark set that was put together by Byte
magazine at the time it was not terminally microsoft-biased. You can
find the software at

ftp://tsx-11.mit.edu/pub/linux/sources/test-suites/benchmark.tar.Z

The file contains some docs that explain the significance of each test.
I made a couple of patches to the sources. I don't have them here with
me now, but I may post them or maybe upload them to tsx-11 if there
are enough requests.

Q: How do you compare the results?
A: I wrote a small program to compare results and dump the difference
to stdout. Then I wrote some cgi stuff to be able to generate
benchmark comparisons of a) many variables, two result sets, b) many
result sets, one variable, sorted, c) many result sets, one variable,
graph output. The software can access results for different
machines. Dag Asheim from Oslo was so kind to let me install my
software on his machine (our link is 14.400 baud :~-( ) so that you
can all perform your comparisons on my data on the WWW. Point your
form-capable browser to http://www.linpro.no/cgi-bin/bm. My home
machine is called Pimpinel. Mirtillo is a portable that I run two
benchmark sets on (I may run one more one of these days). Harappa is a
set of results that were sent me by David Niemi, who was working on a
newer version of the benchmark sw. (due to the fractal characteristics
of my life during the past few months, I lost contact with him...).

I can distribute my software, but there are no docs.

Q: Can I provide some results for my machine so that they can be
compared with the other results?
A: Sure. Run the byte mag benchmarks (apply my patches
first!). Collect the "log" files that you will find in the results
subdirecory after each run (remember to change the name of the log
file, or copy it elsewhere before running the next benchmark run, or
the file will be rewritten). Send them to me along with some
informations about the machine. I need:
- A name for the machine
- An e-mail address where the machine owner can be contacted
Further info can be added. I have defined the following headers:
- CPU
- Speed
- Memory
- Memory speed
- Hard disk controller
- Elf linking
- a.out linking
- GCC version
- Notes
Not all need to be filled up, and new headers may be added easily if
you want to provide more info.

Q: These results are meaningless/wrong/unreliable/etc.
A: I try to be as much uniform in running the benchmarks as
possible. My home machine has remained practically static for all
the time that the results refer to. I still have an a.out system
there. During the last ~8 months I did very little real work on that
machine.

I always run the benchmark set after a reboot. I log in as root, start
the run, logout and (generally) go to sleep. A benchmark run lasts a
few hours.

Some results vary widely and irregularly (see pipe throughput test
above). I can't help. These are the numbers that I get.

Q: The disk IO results are a bit strange.
A: I know. Some results are missing altogether for all releases up to
1.3.13: at that time I discovered a bug in the software that meant
that the past results were rubbish.

There was also a period where the IO results were varying between two
platform levels. This behavior ended at release 1.3.53, when the
performances grew to a higher level. Here is the graph for File Copy
(30 seconds):

+---------------------------------------------------------------+
3636| * * |
| * *** ** * *|
| * ** **** * ** |
| * |
| |
| * * *** |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| * |
| |
939| ************* ********* |
+---------------------------------------------------------------+
1 2 3 4 5 6
123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123

****************************************************************************

The main fact is that our beloved system has grown a lot during the
last year. Thanks to Linus, all the kernel gurus, and everybody else
who helped make this wonderful utopia real!

Carlo

--
* Se la Strada e la sua Virtu' non fossero state messe da parte,
* K * Carlo E. Prelz - fluido@marktest.pt che bisogno ci sarebbe
* di parlare tanto di amore e di rettitudine? (Chuang-Tzu)



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