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SubjectRe: x86 memcpy performance
On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 8:15 AM, Maarten Lankhorst
<> wrote:
> This work intrigued me, in some cases kernel memcpy was a lot faster than sse memcpy,
> and I finally figured out why. I also extended the test to an optimized avx memcpy,
> but I think the kernel memcpy will always win in the aligned case.

"rep movs" is generally optimized in microcode on most modern Intel
CPU's for some easyish cases, and it will outperform just about

Atom is a notable exception, but if you expect performance on any
general loads from Atom, you need to get your head examined. Atom is a
disaster for anything but tuned loops.

The "easyish cases" depend on microarchitecture. They are improving,
so long-term "rep movs" is the best way regardless, but for most
current ones it's something like "source aligned to 8 bytes *and*
source and destination are equal "mod 64"".

And that's true in a lot of common situations. It's true for the page
copy, for example, and it's often true for big user "read()/write()"
calls (but "often" may not be "often enough" - high-performance
userland should strive to align read/write buffers to 64 bytes, for

Many other cases of "memcpy()" are the fairly small, constant-sized
ones, where the optimal strategy tends to be "move words by hand".


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