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SubjectRe: lmbench ctxsw regression with CFS
On Wed, Aug 01, 2007 at 07:31:26PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Thu, 2 Aug 2007, Nick Piggin wrote:
> >
> > lmbench 3 lat_ctx context switching time with 2 processes bound to a
> > single core increases by between 25%-35% on my Core2 system (didn't do
> > enough runs to get more significance, but it is around 30%). The problem
> > bisected to the main CFS commit.
> One thing to check out is whether the lmbench numbers are "correct".
> Especially on SMP systems, the lmbench numbers are actually *best* when
> the two processes run on the same CPU, even though that's not really at
> all the best scheduling - it's just that it artificially improves lmbench
> numbers because of the close cache affinity for the pipe data structures.

Yes, I bound them to a single core.

> So when running the lmbench scheduling benchmarks on SMP, it actually
> makes sense to run them *pinned* to one CPU, because then you see the true
> scheduler performance. Otherwise you easily get noise due to balancing
> issues, and a clearly better scheduler can in fact generate worse
> numbers for lmbench.
> Did you do that? It's at least worth testing. I'm not saying it's the case
> here, but it's one reason why lmbench3 has the option to either keep
> processes on the same CPU or force them to spread out (and both cases are
> very interesting for scheduler testing, and tell different things: the
> "pin them to the same CPU" shows the latency on one runqueue, while the
> "pin them to different CPU's" shows the latency of a remote wakeup).
> IOW, while we used the lmbench scheduling benchmark pretty extensively in
> early scheduler tuning, if you select the defaults ("let the system just
> schedule processes on any CPU") the end result really isn't necessarily a
> very meaningful value: getting the best lmbench numbers actually requires
> you to do things that tend to be actively *bad* in real life.
> Of course, a perfect scheduler would notice when two tasks are *so*
> closely related and only do synchronous wakups, that it would keep them on
> the same core, and get the best possible scores for lmbench, while not
> doing that for other real-life situations. So with a *really* smart
> scheduler, lmbench numbers would always be optimal, but I'm not sure
> aiming for that kind of perfection is even worth it!

Agreed with all your comments on multiprocessor balancing, but that
was eliminated in these tests. I remote wakeup latency is another thing
I want to test, but it isn't so interesting until the serial regression
is fixed.
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