I need to acquire a Wintel PC with as much affordable grunt as possible, and have homed in on platforms with Pentium3 and 4 processors runnning Windows 2000. I would be interested to hear of any experiences with the CVF6.5 compiler and executables it creates on such platforms (especially any problems!)
Thanks, Steve. The comparisons given by the links are very interesting.
Looking in the CVF User Guide at the keywords for the /tune compiler options for X86 systems, I note that there is no switch mentioning Pentium IV optimizations yet. Is this is in the pipeline for future CVF releases?
Consider that CVF 6.5 came out before the Pentium 4 was announced...
We are looking into what would be beneficial for the Pentium 4 - ignoring the hype from Intel. It's not clear to us yet that it's really worth the effort, but who knows... Use the Pentium III setting for P4 systems.
I'll say again that you'll get much more real-world (and affordable) performance with Athlon - and you won't have to buy expensive Rambus memory to use with it, either.
I'll definitely second Steve's opinion, with minor qualifications. We have just performed fairly complete cost/performance analysis for a bunch of headless computational boxes. The best performing system consisted of an Athlon 1GHz, PC133 memory, a recent ATA100 capable motherboard and the Maxtor DiamondMax 5400RPM drive. Complete system w/o monitor for less than $700. Buy several, or put a ton of memory in it, and still be WAY under the price of a P4 box. I'd be happy to give complete system specs and sources, if you need. Enjoy
The responses aupplied are appreciated, but we in the Antipodes cannot always act on them. My IT dept advisor tells me that the Athlon 1.2Gb processor is not available in Australia yet and there is a six month lag behind the USA timeframe. (However we do seem to have a more reliable power supply than in some parts of the US of A!)
Pentium 4 has a different length pipeline and does hardware data prefetch. It seems that these two differences would be enough to motivate specific support of the Pentium 4 separate from Pentium 3. Benchmarks have shown that simply recompiling with these optimization options gives significant performance benefits.
Both Pentium III and Athlon have data prefetch, which helps a lot. What makes Pentium 4 jump in the SPEC ratings is the SSE2 instructions set, but a lot of applications, even when compiled with Intel's latest compiler, don't show a benefit. Also, to get the best performance out of Pentium 4, you need expensive and hard to find RAMBUS memory.
Athlon 1.2G generally outperforms Pentium 4 1.5G, according to many published reports. And customer benchmarks of the Intel compiler show it is worse than CVF for most user applications, even on Pentium 4.