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    Subject[Fwd: PIII patches]

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: PIII patches
    To: Linus Torvalds <>,MOLNAR Ingo
    <>,,Dave Miller
    <>,"Stephen C. Tweedie" <>

    These are my current PIII patches. The first patch is the base PIII/FXSAVE
    support. It was done along the lines of what Linus suggested (and I agreed
    with) in that we don't fiddle around doing FXSAVE to FSAVE conversions. We
    use fnstenv and fldenv in order to get the various control bits that we need
    and then simply copy the 80bit fpu register values into the user_i387 struct.
    It also includes a few PIII/XMM optimized functions to speed kernel
    operations. These are compile time options, but once selected at compile time
    they do still carry a runtime burden. It is impossible to get around that
    runtime burden without doing two things. 1) change all instances of memcpy(),
    memset(), copy_*_user(), and any other XMM optimized functions that are run
    prior to the setup of the cr4 register on the CPU to not be the XMM version.
    2) require that the XMM optimized kernel only be run on PIII and higher CPUs.
    I didn't want to try and tackle the work involved in #1 (and the future work
    as people will violate that rule at some point and machines will spontaneously
    reboot or oops) and I don't personally like #2. Secondly, XMM optimized
    functions are a loss below a certain size of operation, so you have to incur
    some burden to check for data size anyway, so getting rid of the runtime
    burden listed above is a false optimization in my opinion. In this patch I
    did optimizations for the memset(), memcpy(), copy_to_user(), and
    copy_from_user() functions. Someone could still do the various TCP/IP
    checksum routines as XMM optimized functions. Someone (Stephen, you mentioned
    this) could add an idle thread page zeroing option on PIII CPUs since this is
    now non-cache polluting. There are other things that could be done as well.
    I'm interested to find out what people think of this and also if people could
    get some real world benchmarks of how this code performs.

    Caveats: This patch doesn't set the OSXMMEXCEPT bit in cr4 since we don't
    have the new exception handler yet. This needs written. Once this is
    written, the various tests that are current something like

    if ( (len > 95) &&
    (boot_cpu_data.x86_capability & X86_FEATURE_XMM) &&
    (boot_cpu_data.cr4_features & X86_CR4_OSFXSR) ) {

    can be compressed to test just the len and features for X86_CR4_OSXMMEXCEPT.

    The second patch I have attached is a patch against Ingo's raid code (not the
    stock kernel raid code). Between the PIII optimizations and the unrolling of
    the xor function, I've gotten over 20MByte/s sustained throughput improvements
    in Raid5 speeds on a system where disks aren't the bottleneck, the CPU and
    memory are.

    Caveats on the second patch: It needs the sparc sections updated to also have
    unrolled loops :) Ohhhh Daaaave ;-) I freely admit to not knowing anything
    about sparc asm stuff, nor caring to learn at this point in time. The
    MAX_XOR_BLOCKS could be increased on sparc if Dave so chose to do so. The
    current limit is set because of the max number of blocks we can handle on
    Intel in a single pass without spilling unspillable registers according to
    gcc. Second issue, I reordered a bunch of the p5_mmx routine in my patch.
    Now the p5_mmx routine is faster than the pII_mmx routine on my PIII. I'm not
    sure if that's because I made the pII_mmx routine slower or the p5_mmx routine
    faster or if they are about the same speed and the p5_mmx routine has the
    benefit of cached blocks. I'm also not sure how it actually does on a p5 :)
    If someone could enlighten me on whether this code is faster or slower for the
    p5_mmx routine on a p5_mmx CPU I would appreciate it. Of course, please note
    that the speed test done at bootup is for only two blocks. For the case of 3
    to 5 blocks, this stuff is going to be faster regardless.

    So, I welcome any comments. Linus, how do these look to you? Personally, I
    would like to quit maintaining them separately, so if there are issues you
    have with the first patch, let me know and I'll see if I can get it fixed.
    It's currently against 2.2.9 BTW. Has it been tested? I've been running with
    the first patch for over a month now (mostly, I've done code reordering and
    other tweaking in that time, but the base code has been done for a while) and
    the second patch just almost as long.

    As a note to others that might wish to try XMM optimizations. Please keep in
    mind that if things like the prefetch are working properly, then your results
    may not be what you expect. You can reorder the instructions in the kni_xor
    function to get a higher bootup benchmark from the raid5 code. But, if you
    do, you will actually be slowing down the routine. The fact that the code
    benchmarks slightly slower than the pII_mmx routine is a side effect of the
    fact that the cache avoiding instructions are working. The higher numbers you
    get by reordering the prefetch instructions are a side effect of causing the
    prefetch to fail and making the blocks get faulted into the L2 cache. In
    order to truly test code ordering, you need to go into userspace and do large
    enough tests that they get around cache entirely so you can see accurate
    results when your prefetch code is hitting or missing the target. For those
    that don't know, the prefetchnta instruction and other prefetch instructions
    on the PIII processors is *very* timing/location sensitive. Moving the
    instruction up one line or down one line in a loop can make the difference
    between getting it right or causing it to fail. All of the functions that I
    optimized included testing to find the exact point at which the prefetch
    instructions worked the best.

    OK, that's it for now. I didn't Cc: this to linux-kernel simply because of
    the size and I don't like to spam this much patch bloat through the list.
    I'll repost this note there with a pointer to the patch files so that others
    may grab them from my site.
    -------- End Original Message --------

    As per my last remark. The patches can be found at

    The first patch I talked about is named PIII.patch and the second one is the
    PIII-raid.patch. Enjoy.

    Note: Don't bother to let me know about broken links on those pages or
    anything else, as far as I'm concerned those are just a temporary delivery
    mechanism and they aren't intended to be around long.

    Doug Ledford <>
    Opinions expressed are my own, but
    they should be everybody's.

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