[Beowulf] newbie

Lux, James P james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Thu Apr 30 11:30:30 EDT 2009




On 4/30/09 7:25 AM, "John Hearns" <hearnsj at googlemail.com> wrote:

> 2009/4/29 Tomislav Maric <tomislav.maric at gmx.com>:
>>> @Prentice Bisbal || Greg Lindahl || John Hearns || anyone
>> 
>> Why Intel compiler? OpenFOAM is compiled with gcc. My mentor instructed
>> me to compile it with the same gcc - we communicate via e-mail because
>> he's spread all over the world, so I'm keeping the differences in our
>> builds as small as possible.
>> 
> 
> A commercial compiler - Intel / Pathscale /Portland will always give
> you better performance from an application.
> The guys who work on those compilers care about optimization.

The folks who contribute to, e.g., GCC, also care about optimization, but...

> 
> And think about this - if an optimizing compiler can give you 20
> percent faster code you effectively can
> save buying 20% more hardware, and are saving on 20% power and space.

Which means that the better compiler has economic value, which means that
someone can afford to pay for that compiler (and save money overall), which
means that a compiler vendor can afford to pay someone to care about
optimization full time.  You may love compiler design and optimization, but
you still have to eat, and short of patronage, having someone pay you do
what you love as a job is a pretty good deal all around. (and, I wager, the
situation for the majority of readers of this list)

Nobody ever said that the utopian "from each according to their ability, to
each according to their need" couldn't be accomplished by for-profit vendors
doing stuff out of enlightened self-interest.

Jim


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