R Performance on P-4 RE: [Rd] P-4

Douglas Bates bates@stat.wisc.edu
25 Oct 2001 09:13:41 -0500

"Cunningham, Colin A" <colin.a.cunningham@intel.com> writes:

> Is this still an issue to this community?  If so, and results, I may pick
> this up.  Intel does have C++ and Fortran compilers.
> You might see a compiler among the list under the links
> http://cedar.intel.com/cgi-bin/ids.dll/topic.jsp?catCode=BON.
> Evaluation licenses are available at 
> http://developer.intel.com/software/products/compilers/
> If they are promising, perhaps binaries could at least be built using Intel
> compilers.  
> But first, are there any R tasks/workloads that we might comparably
> benchmark?

An easily evaluated benchmark of R performance on Unix/Linux systems
is obtained by running "make check" after building from the sources.
I know there is a similar check done for compilations under Windows
but I don't know how it is run.

"make check" runs every example in every help page in every package
that is shipped with R.  The base package contains the most important
and most commonly used functions.  If everything is successful the
last few lines of the file ./tests/Examples/base-Ex.Rout should read

 > cat("Time elapsed: ", proc.time() - get("ptime", env = .CheckExEnv),"\n")
 Time elapsed: 84.22 1.9 105.61 0.82 0.61
 > dev.off(); quit('no')
 null device
The times, in seconds, are the user time, the system time, and
the elapsed (wall clock) time for the parent process, and elapsed and
system times for child processes.  The user time for the parent
process is probably the most important.

The run shown above is for the r-devel sources on a Linux system with
a 1.2 GHz Athlon and 1 GB of PC-133 memory.  The compilers were gcc
and g77 from the 2.95.4 compiler suite.  This compiled version does
use atlas BLAS but that should not make much of a difference on this

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