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SubjectRe: [Lhms-devel] [PATCH 0/7] Fragmentation Avoidance V19

* Andy Nelson <> wrote:

> I think it was Martin Bligh who wrote that his customer gets 25%
> speedups with big pages. That is peanuts compared to my factor 3.4
> (search comp.arch for John Mashey's and my name at the University of
> Edinburgh in Jan/Feb 2003 for a conversation that includes detailed
> data about this), but proves the point that it is far more than just
> me that wants big pages.

ok, this posting of you seems to be it:

| Timing for the tree traveral+gravity calculation were
| 16MBpages 1MBpages 64kpages
| 1 * * 2361.8s
| 8 86.4s 198.7s 298.1s
| 16 43.5s 99.2s 148.9s
| 32 22.1s 50.1s 75.0s
| 64 11.2s 25.3s 37.9s
| 96 7.5s 17.1s 25.4s
| (*) test not done.
| As near as I can tell the numbers show perfect
| linear speedup for the runs for each page size.
| Across different page sizes there is degradation
| as follows:
| 16m --> 64k decreases by a factor 3.39 in speed
| 16m --> 1m decreases by a factor 2.25 in speed
| 1m --> 64k decreases by a factor 1.49 in speed

| Sum over cpus of TLB miss times for each test:
| 16MBpages 1MBpages 64kpages
| 1 3489s
| 8 64.3s 1539s 3237s
| 16 64.5s 1540s 3241s
| 32 64.5s 1542s 3244s
| 64 64.9s 1545s 3246s
| 96 64.7s 1545s 3251s
| Thus the 16MB pages rarely produced page misses,
| while the 64kB pages used up 2.5x more time than
| the floating point operations that we wanted to
| have. I have at least some feeling that the 16MB pages
| rarely caused misses because with a 128 entry
| TLB (on the R12000 cpu) that gives about 1GB of
| addressible memory before paging is required at all,
| which I think is quite comparable to the size of
| the memory actually used.

to me it seems that this slowdown is due to some inefficiency in the
R12000's TLB-miss handling - possibly very (very!) long TLB-miss
latencies? On modern CPUs (x86/x64) the TLB-miss latency is rarely
visible. Would it be possible to run some benchmarks of hugetlbs vs. 4K
pages on x86/x64?

if my assumption is correct, then hugeTLBs are more of a workaround for
bad TLB-miss properties of the CPUs you are using, not something that
will inevitably happen in the future. Hence i think the 'factor 3x'
slowdown should not be realistic anymore - or are you still running
R12000 CPUs?

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