[kwlug-disc] [Phoronix] Ubuntu 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, 64-bit Kernel Benchmarks

Lori Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Thu Dec 31 12:04:30 EST 2009



On Thu, 2009-12-31 at 10:22 -0500, Chris Irwin wrote:

> 
> There was a lot of discussion in their forum thread associated with
> this article. There are all sorts of variables that people wanted
> expressed in the article.
> 
> 1. He was using Ubuntu, so it was i386 vs modern AMD64. So how much of
> this was affected by having things like SSE, etc. There was a request
> to try using an i686-targetted system (such as Arch). There was also a
> request to use gentoo and actually build the system with the same
> capabilities for 32- and 64-bits, but I doubt anybody wants to spend
> two weeks doing that ;)
> 

As is typical with standardized benchmarks, there is a pound of salt to
be digested as well. The only benchmarks that make sense are ones of
your typical usage pattern.

One probably does not have to go as far afield as Arch or Gentoo to get
i686 results along with AMD64 and i386.  Debian ships kernels in each of
these flavours (i486 too).  With Debian, much of the test environment
should just be a copy-and-paste from ubuntu.


> Also, not to nitpick (though I do so love playing the part), but your
> short summary read like "64-bit isn't worth it except in these
> specific instances". I read the article as coming more across as
> "There are no regressions, but you may get improved performance in
> specific instances". Subtle difference, but it would affect whether
> somebody decided to install a 32- or 64-bit system.

I agree with your more precise summary. My own view is that if you have
a 64-bit CPU, you should run a 64-bit OS.  Since AMD has been making
64-bit CPUs for 6+ years and Intel for 4 years, there are fewer and
fewer situations that require 32-bit systems.  Performance gains
suggested in this article just reinforce this view (even with the
i386/i686 caveats).  Now that virtualization environments support 64-bit
guests and many netbook-class CPUs are 64-bit, I am not sure how one
makes the argument for 32-bit OS on new hardware (ex-basic netbooks).

> Although it did make me somewhat curious. I use ecryptfs for my home
> directory, and am curious about 32-vs-64 comparisons for that (in
> light of the SSL test in the article).
> 
For the desktop user, I think this is the most relevant test where the
32/64-bit question comes up.  I use ecryptfs for my home as well - with
64-bit karmic on a 2.2Ghz Intel T7500 mobile Conroe.  If you have
similar hardware and 32-bit OS, we could compare disk I/O numbers on
home.

> 
> -- 
> Chris Irwin
> <chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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