Due to recent concerns with memory use and execution speed I was curious how Python would behave with different compilers. I took Python 2.6a2 r62288 from the Subversion repository and compiled it with the flags: –with-threads –enable-unicode=ucs4 –enable-ipv6. The machine is a HP dc7700p with 1GB memory with an Intel Core2 6300 @ 1.86GHz running Ubuntu 7.10. I installed GCC 3.3.6, 3.4.6, 4.1.3, 4.2.1 from the Gutsy repository, and Intel 10.1.015. The MS Visual Studio 2008 Python was the MSI snapshot of 2008-04-10 from the main Python site. I ran this through Wine 0.9.46 after installing the VC2008 runtime.
First various GCC versions: 3.3.6, 3.4.6, 4.1.3, 4.2.1:
It is good to see that the 3.4 series is faster than the 3.3 series and the 4.2 series is faster than the 4.1 series. I am a bit worried about the 4.1 series drop in performance compared to the 3 series though.
Next we have Python compiled with GCC 3.4.6, 4.2.1, Intel CC 10.1.015, MSC from Visual Studio 2008:
It is nice to see how the Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 compiler produces a binary that, when run through Wine, still performs quite well compared to GCC. I am not quite sure if Wine incurs a performance penalty or not. What’s quite impressive is the performance of the Intel CC compiled Python. If we take the fastest GCC, which is 4.2.1 at the moment, take the average of the 10 rounds of execution, which is 6,574 seconds, and compare that to the average of ICC, which is 5,412 seconds, we see that ICC is about 21% faster. If we take the slowest, GCC 4.1.3 with an average of 7,002 seconds, we even get a result that ICC is about 29% faster.
So it seems for people who want to get the full performance out of Python compiling with ICC might be quite beneficial. I want to check out how ICC progressed from version 8 to version 10 performance-wise.
The raw data can be found at http://www.in-nomine.org/~asmodai/python-pybench.txt.