Clang 3.4 Performance Very Strong Against GCC 4.9

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 30 December 2013 at 03:30 AM EST. Page 5 of 5. 12 Comments.

GCC is faster for the Parallel BZIP2 compression test, but PBZIP2 failed to build with the GCC 4.9 snapshot that was tested.

The FLAC audio encoding is faster when built under GCC 4.9 than with GCC 4.8 or Clang 3.4.

GCC is also faster than LLVM's Clang open-source C/C++ compiler on the Intel Core i7 4960X EE Linux system when running the Hierarchical Integration benchmarks.

Clang 3.4 offered faster performance of compiled C/C++ code in several areas but GCC 4.9 also brings some performance improvements of its own over the current stable release. Clang still certainly outperforms GCC when it comes to compile times, but aside from that the compiler performance competition is rather mixed depending upon the particular code-base, workload, and processor.

For being a much younger project than GCC, LLVM/Clang is certainly running nicely and now building with almost all C/C++ code-bases tossed its way, and with the 3.4 release it's one step closer to having performance parity (or superiority) to the GNU Compiler Collection on modern x86 CPUs.

You can easily run your own compiler benchmarks for your intended workloads and software/hardware configurations via the Phoronix Test Suite with the hundreds of test profiles offered via

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via