Performance Characterization of Mobile-Class Nodes: Why Fewer Bits is Better
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Performance Characterization of Mobile-Class Nodes: Why Fewer Bits is Better. Michelle McDaniel and Kim Hazelwood University of Virginia.

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Performance Characterization of Mobile-Class Nodes: Why Fewer Bits is Better

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Performance characterization of mobile class nodes why fewer bits is better

Performance Characterization of Mobile-Class Nodes: Why Fewer Bits is Better

Michelle McDaniel and Kim Hazelwood

University of Virginia

Mobile-class nodes---small, low power netbooks with limited available memory---are becoming increasingly popular in the personal computing market. Though originally designed with a 32-bit processor, these netbooks are now being shipped with a 64-bit mobile-class processor. We explore a variety of performance differences between mobile-class processors and server-class processors. Using the SPEC CPU2006 integer benchmarks, we show that the mobile-class processors do not benefit from the move to 64 bits like server-class processors do. We show that the limited memory available on these mobile-class nodes, along with the in-order nature of the processors, produce the greatest disparity in performance.

Mobile-Class vs. Server-Class

  • Mobile Class:

  • In-order processor

  • Main focus: low power, high performance-per-watt

  • Less RAM

  • Smaller L2 cache

  • Server Class:

  • Out-of-order processor

  • Focus: performance with power as a secondary consideration

  • More RAM

  • Larger L2 cache

Results Summary

  • libquantum

  • Mobile-Class node: 38% decrease in IPC from 32-bit to 64-bit mode

  • Server-Class node: 58% decrease in IPC from 32-bit to 64-bit mode

  • hmmer

  • Mobile-Class node: 4% decrease from 32-bit to 64-bit mode

  • Server-Class node: 56% increase from 32-bit to 64-bit mode


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