GCC 4.8 To GCC 6.1 Benchmarks For A Complex Program
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 5 May 2016 at 12:24 PM EDT. 5 Comments
GNU --
Here are some more compiler performance metrics to share of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) for a complex program.

The latest GCC benchmarks I have to share are of Open Porous Media, the initiative providing software for modeling and simulations around porous media processes. Long story short, software for areas like enhanced oil recovery along with other scientific and industrial fields. With the particular OPM benchmark component being used today, a reservoir simulator for three-phase black-oil problems.

Open Porous Media is a big, actively developed project by many stakeholders. It's also one of the most complex benchmarks on OpenBenchmarking.org for the Phoronix Test Suite with a number of dependencies and a non-trivial build process.

Given the recent release of GCC 6.1, I ran some fresh OPM benchmarks for this article. Tests were done on Debian 8.4 of GCC 4.8.4 and GCC 4.9.2 then switching over to Debian Testing there was GCC 5.3.1 and a fresh build of GCC 6.1.0. Due to some issues with Debian stable's Boost library, the quick workaround was just switching to Debian testing with how often I am doing clean installs of OSes anyways. So aside from that progress from Debian stable to testing, the system setup was the same and should offer a nice glimpse at the evolution of GCC performance for complex, scientific workloads.

When running OPM's flow simulator on a single thread, GCC 6.1 ended up being noticeably faster than GCC 5.3.1 and the biggest jump forward we've seen in a compiler release going back to GCC 4.8.


The results varied a bit with multiple threads for this MPI-using program, but overall, the newer the GCC, the better the performance.


You can discover more of this OPM compiler test data from Debian via this OpenBenchmarking.org result file.

From more of my usual compiler benchmark test profiles I'll have some more GCC 6.1 compiler figures coming up shortly along with a look at different compiler flags.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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