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Thread: Would Phoronix do Gentoo Linux versus Ubuntu Linux benchmarks?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
    I forgot to mention, I saw a link to that webpage on the gentoo forums two months ago and read it in detail. While I found it to be hilarious, it is only a parody of things and not a perfect reflection of reality. If I recall correctly, the jokes on that webpage revolve around "-O4 -fultimate-optimization -fopt-a -fopt-b -fopt-c..." and many other pointless, redundant or non-existant optimizations such as those.
    Many of the quotes are there because they display Gentoo triumphalism founded on extremely shaky ground. Stuff like "binary packages are almost useless"; "no RPM-based distro can do that [offer different compile-time options]"; "when it comes to dependencies [on Debian], you probably are still going to have to get them all on your own" (though that last one seems likely to be trolling).

    Setting your system CFLAGS is less than 0.1% of the stuff you will do to get a working system and while it is important that your system CFLAGS are configured correctly, Gentoo attempts not to maximize performance of your system, but to maximize the customizability of your system. Experiencing higher performance is often a side effect of that, where the choice of CFLAGS being one of the customization options you have when using Gentoo.
    That is why I think it's meaningless to "benchmark Gentoo": my Gentoo is not your Gentoo is not Michael's Gentoo. In principle we could all agree on a configuration to test, but nobody would actually use it, so who cares how it benchmarks?

  2. #32
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    I had been wondering some time ago if it would worth installing (creating) a gentoo onto my machine. Since I do engineering calculations some speedup would be really nice. But eventually I came to the conclusion that even if my machine would be faster I would still loose more CPU cycles on compiling stuff.

    I mean if my machine is 10% faster but spends a day per every week compiling stuff then what's the point?
    I'm interested in what actual users think about this.

    Please bear in my that this is just my "feeling" about the topic mostly based on what I've read.

  3. #33
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    I usually update my desktop and other machines once a week. My desktop is unstable, the other three machines are stable.

    On my experience in seven days on the unstable you get about 20-40 packages to update. With Quadcore this is about 15min of compile time.

    On the stable maybe 1-10. On the smallest machine 1.7 GHz Celeron it really depends. It got a mysql update 2 days ago, took it about 30min to build.

    This is not set in stone, it depends on which package gets updated and when. I don't see that big of a problem with 15 to 30 minutes compiling a week.

  4. #34
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    //edit: anyway, you can still use the programs! The system compiles the binaries in the background and you can continue to work, once the binary is finished to build in the "sandbox" it will be moved to the real system and replaces the existing ones. Then you e.g. restart mysql and that's it...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by HokTar View Post
    I had been wondering some time ago if it would worth installing (creating) a gentoo onto my machine. Since I do engineering calculations some speedup would be really nice. But eventually I came to the conclusion that even if my machine would be faster I would still loose more CPU cycles on compiling stuff.

    I wouldn't bother. If you have the option to obtain the source of the packages you use, compile them. Different compilers will also affect performance, try different ones if you have access to them. But there's no need to compile the whole system from source. As an example, one of the most widely used quantum-mechanical calculation packages is provided both in binary and source format, so you can tweak the compilation to your needs. The supported Linux distributions are Suse and RedHat. This, of course, doesn't mean that it wouldn't run in others, although at this level you probably want to make sure you have what is more likely to work. At any rate, the people I know using this sort of thing don't even think about fucking around with Gentoo. They actually have work to do--them and their machines.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by disi View Post
    //edit: anyway, you can still use the programs! The system compiles the binaries in the background and you can continue to work, once the binary is finished to build in the "sandbox" it will be moved to the real system and replaces the existing ones. Then you e.g. restart mysql and that's it...
    And if your keyboard locks up when compiling something, check you're using evdev and not kbd as the xorg keyboard driver.
    Just wanted to mention that seeing as I finally found and fixed that issue a few days back!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
    In a fair comparison (all important software versions being the same), Gentoo likely would win in benchmarks. It does not derive its name from the fastest species of penguin in the world for nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
    [...]Gentoo attempts not to maximize performance of your system, but to maximize the customizability of your system.
    So which one is it? Make up your mind.

    As I said in a post above, don't go into Gentoo thinking it will get you better performance.

    Where did you obtain your information regarding what Gentoo users ridicule?
    I was talking about funroll-loops ridiculing the ricer mentality of misguided Gentoo users:
    This page is dedicated to the Linux Community's greatest ambassadors, Gentoo users. Like the annoying teenager next door with a 90hp import sporting a 6 foot tall bolt-on wing, Gentoo users are proof that society is best served by roving gangs of armed vigilantes, dishing out swift, cold justice with baseball bats to those fucking ricer bastards.
    Yes, this is the very mentality that leads to "Gentoo represents the upper limit of performance" fallacies.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar
    Did you even read the linked article? There were tests where using the "better" -march resulted in a 50% performance degradation.

    The funroll-loops quotation certainly fits, as you seem to be going into Gentoo with the very attitude they ridicule (Gentoo = CFLAGS = moar speed!)
    I am actually a regular on the forums and the general consensus is to use CFLAGS="-O2 -march=native -pipe" on amd64 platforms and possibly appending "-fomit-frame-pointer" on x86 platforms.
    So I guess you did read this article. If so, I'd suggest taking a long, hard look at the very first test (Ogg Encoding), where this "-march=native" suggestion made the code run 50% slower.

    There's much, much more to optimization than playing with CFLAGS. Gentoo won't magically run faster than a different distro because you used a specific flag, real-life performance is much more complicated than that.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    So I guess you did read this article. If so, I'd suggest taking a long, hard look at the very first test (Ogg Encoding), where this "-march=native" suggestion made the code run 50% slower.

    There's much, much more to optimization than playing with CFLAGS. Gentoo won't magically run faster than a different distro because you used a specific flag, real-life performance is much more complicated than that.
    I did read that article. The consensus at the Gentoo forums was that the benchmark results were flawed:

    http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-817950.html

    I think I referenced that in my first post in this thread.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by HokTar View Post
    I had been wondering some time ago if it would worth installing (creating) a gentoo onto my machine. Since I do engineering calculations some speedup would be really nice. But eventually I came to the conclusion that even if my machine would be faster I would still loose more CPU cycles on compiling stuff.

    I mean if my machine is 10% faster but spends a day per every week compiling stuff then what's the point?
    I'm interested in what actual users think about this.

    Please bear in my that this is just my "feeling" about the topic mostly based on what I've read.
    Your software (that I assume you compiled yourself) will likely not be any faster simply because you are running Gentoo. The only benefits Gentoo might have (which you can get with your current distribution) are an optimized kernel (optimizing it specifically for your application would be a good idea), which you can compile on your current system and fewer background services, which you can get by disabling stuff on your current system. You might see some improvement from stuff not needing to be compiled into background services that do need to be run in the background, but that improvement would mostly be restricted to start-up time and memory usage.

    If you run a desktop environment, you would probably be better off by not running it when you use your application, but if you insist on running it (in which case you would have to decide whether your application or your desktop environment must suffer from kernel optimizations), some of the bloat that it involves could probably be removed by using Gentoo, because it lets you strip out stuff you don't want/use, which can be helpful in the case of features that siphon CPU cycles from yoru system, like strigi and nepomuk.

    In short, your software will not become magically faster because of Gentoo. It will only benefit indirectly from things (i.e. customization) that Gentoo encourages, which you should have done all along.

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