Re: gcc inlining heuristics was Re: [PATCH -v7][RFC]: mutex: implement adaptive spinning

From: Nick Piggin
Date: Wed Jan 21 2009 - 05:17:42 EST

On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 10:54:18AM +0100, Andi Kleen wrote:
> > The point is that the compiler is then free to do it. If things
> > slow down after the compiler gets *more* information, then that
> > is a problem with the compiler heuristics rather than the
> > information we give it.
> The point was the -Os disables it typically then.
> (not always, compiler heuristics are far from perfect)

That'd be just another gcc failing. If it can make the code
faster without a size increase, then it should (of course
if it has to start spilling registers etc. then that's a
different matter, but we're not talking about only 32-bit
x86 here).

> > > Then x86s tend to have very very fast L1 caches and
> > > if something is not in L1 on reads then the cost of fetching
> > > something for a read dwarfs the few cycles you can typically
> > > get out of this.
> >
> > Well most architectures have L1 caches of several cycles. And
> > L2 miss typically means going to L2 which in some cases the
> > compiler is expected to attempt to cover as much as possible
> > (eg in-order architectures).
> L2 cache is so much slower that scheduling a few instructions
> more doesn't help much.

I think on a lot of CPUs that is actually not the case. Including
on Nehalem and Montecito CPUs where it is what, like under 15

Even in cases where you have a high latency LLC or go to memory,
you want to be able to start as many loads as possible before
stalling. Especially for in-order architectures, but even OOOE
can stall if it can't resolve store addresses early enough or
speculate them.

> > stall, so you still want to get loads out early if possible.
> >
> > Even a lot of OOOE CPUs I think won't have the best alias
> > anaysis, so all else being equal, it wouldn't hurt them to
> > move loads earlier.
> Hmm, but if the load is nearby it won't matter if a
> store is in the middle, because the CPU will just execute
> over it.

If the address is not known or the store buffer fills up etc
then it may not be able to. It could even be hundreds of
instructions here too much for an OOOE processor window. We
have a lot of huge functions (although granted they'll often
contain barriers for other reasons like locks or function
calls anyway).

> The real big win is if you do some computation inbetween,
> but at least for typical list manipulation there isn't
> really any.

Well, I have a feeling that the MLP side of it could be more
significant than ILP. But no data.

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