[Beowulf] Benchmark reality check please

Jim Lux james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Dec 22 20:06:07 PST 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: <steve_heaton at ozemail.com.au>
To: <beowulf at beowulf.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 6:40 PM
Subject: [Beowulf] Benchmark reality check please

> G'day all
> I'm not looking to start another fight over benchmarking... really I'm
not! ;)
> > My proposed benchmark suite looks like this:
> That RGB fellow's BenchMaster suite would seem to give the CPU/RAM side of
things a good workout. I'll give that a burl. Until recently LMBench seemed
the go but BenchMaster seems to be a step up (more flexible)? (Someone
*other* than RGB's opinion would be nice =P ) Maybe the Netpipe suit for all
sorts of juicy network numbers?
> I'm not looking to kick heads on compilers. Ye olde "g" compilers will be
the start point. Maybe a review of the Intel flavours (if they're still free
for non-profit/personal/educational type usage) later on. If I've got to pay
for more than download bandwidth then it's out. I'm eating tomato sauce
sandwiches after the hardware purchases as it is! :)
> I was thinking about the various MPI options and how to put them through
the wringer too. I suspect the wall clock time on the Nbody runs will be the
easiest number.
> What will I do with the results? As I mentioned, this is a baseline ie.
What do the numbers look like now? ...then it's off to the sandpit...
Tweaking, tweaking and more tweaking. Running the same benchmark suite as I
go. Was the tweak a net gain? You, know... the sort of thing that **real**
benchmarks are used for! =)

I've always been intrigued by the HINT benchmark stuff.  It produces a graph
of (essentially) speed vs problem size, and shows up things like where the
cache starts missing, etc.  I haven't seen much recent development on HINT.
The only reference I could find recently was a mirror of the old HINT
website.  Basically, the problem is a numerical integration of something,
where the step size is continually made finer and finer (i.e. more and more

I just googled and found: http://hint.byu.edu/ ... there's a PVM version at

See also: http://hint.byu.edu/pub/HINT/source/doc/porting-guide.html

> Thoughts, comments appreciated as always.
> Cheers
> Stevo
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