GCC 9 vs. Clang 8 C/C++ Compiler Performance On AMD Threadripper, Intel Core i9
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 14 May 2019. Page 1 of 6. 8 Comments

Since the release of the GCC 9 stable compiler suite earlier this month we have begun firing up a number of compiler benchmarks for this annual feature update to the GNU Compiler Collection. For your viewing pleasure today is looking at the performance of GCC 8 against GCC 9 compared to LLVM Clang 8 as the latest release of this friendly open-source compiler competition. This GCC 8 vs. GCC 9 vs. Clang 8 C/C++ compiler benchmarking was done on an Intel Core i9 7980XE and AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX high-end desktop/workstation systems.

Both the Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen Threadripper systems were running Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS with the Linux 4.18 kernel. GCC 8.3.0 and GCC 9.1.0 were freshly built in their release modes and for this compiler benchmarking article was just looking at the C/C++ performance for comparison to LLVM Clang, which was tested using its stable 8.0.1 release. This article isn't about looking at the Core i9 vs. Threadripper performance as much as it is looking at the GCC 8 vs. GCC 9 vs. Clang 8 performance on the current-generation Intel and AMD microarchitecture targets.

While benchmarking the three compilers on the two systems, the CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS were set to "-O3 -march=native" for looking at the optimized code generated performance on these systems. The systems state were maintained throughout testing except for changing out the compiler under test. All of these compiler benchmarks were facilitated in a fully-automated manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

Some complementary data points looking at the GCC 9 compiler tuning/optimization performance on these systems among other benchmarks will be coming up on Phoronix in the days ahead along with looking at the GCC 9 compiler performance on AArch64 and POWER9.

Following all of the individual compiler benchmark results is also the geometric mean of all these test results for a higher-level look at how these compilers compare on the Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen Threadripper boxes.

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