While extensive benchmarks of the GCC 4.9 development compiler are currently ongoing, here's a preview of the performance that the GNU Compiler Collection is set to offer in 2014 with its next major update. For this article an Intel Pentium "Haswell" dual-core processor was tested on a GCC 4.9 development snapshot and compared to GCC 4.8.2 and GCC 4.7.3 in a wide variety of C/C++ workloads. New LLVM Clang 3.4 benchmarks are also happening.
From the Linux-powered Lini PC with a Intel Pentium G3220 Haswell dual-core processor, I ran some quick tests of GCC 4.9.0 20131201, GCC 4.8.2, and GCC 4.7.3 from the system using Xubuntu 13.10 with the Linux 3.11 kernel. All compilers were built in the same manner during the benchmarking process and each test profile was passed with the same compiler flags/switches after rebuilding them when making the compiler changes. The set CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS were "-O3 -march=native" for all test profiles during benchmarking, beyond any test profile specific settings.
As of last month GCC 4.9 is now in a bug-fixing mode and the official release will likely come mid-way through H1'2014. Besides what these compiler performance results may show, GCC 4.9 has many exciting features. There's new CPU support, C/C++ compiler improvements, improved C++14 handling, and various other new functionality for the supported languages.
All benchmarks were handled via the Phoronix Test Suite with the diverse test profiles hosted on OpenBenchmarking.org for those looking to engage in their own open-source compiler performance evaluations.