Intel Sandy Bridge Shapes Up On GCC 4.7 Compiler
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 18 March 2012. Page 1 of 6. 5 Comments

Back in January I wrote about how open-source compilers are quickly maturing for Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs and offering early support for Intel Ivy Bridge and Intel Haswell processors. Both GCC and LLVM have been quick to take advantage of the new instruction set extensions and other capabilities of these latest -- and very impressive -- Intel processors. With the release of GCC 4.7 quickly approaching, here is an updated set of GNU Compiler Collection Fortran/C/C++ benchmarks from the Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition test-bed.

The Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy-E system with its six physical cores plus Hyper Threading was overclocked to 4.5GHz. The test-bed had 16GB of RAM, a 240GB Serial ATA 3.0 SSD, and was running the latest Ubuntu 12.04 development snapshot with the Linux 3.2 kernel. From this very fast system with the $1000 (USD) CPU, GCC 4.4.6, GCC 4.5.3, GCC 4.6.3, and GCC 4.7.0 RC1 were benchmarked.

The four tested GCC releases were compiled with the "--enable-checking=release --enable-languages=c,c++,fortran --enable-lto" configure flags. When the test profiles were re-built under each compiler release "-O3 -march=native" were set via the CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS. This testing is using the new reporting capabilities for showing the relevant compiler information on each test.

For those interested in GCC 4.7 benchmarks from other platforms, they are also coming soon, including a fresh look at AMD's Bulldozer and Fusion products. Another GCC Sandy Bridge article is coming out in a few days looking at other compiler tuning options.

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