GCC 4.5 to increase speed of the Linux SMP2 cores?

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
The latest version of GCC is now available, but what will it bring to the table? One probably wouldn't associate the compiler with protein folding, or assume that one has any bearing on the other, but GCC 4.5 could deliver an immediate and significant speed boost for Folding@home cores, without changing a single line of their code.

The reason for this is a new level of all-round code optimisation performed by the compiler, which was until now lacking in GCC. At worst, the new optimisations result in code that is as fast as that produced by older versions of GCC, but in specific areas the improvements can be speed increases of up to 180% of the original speed. The optimisations also help to create smaller executable/binary files, which also make more efficient use of system memory.

While it is unlikely that the older cores will be recompiled by Stanford - owing to the need to re-verify that they are producing scientifically correct results - these new optimisations could have significant ramifications for the SMP2 (a3) core, in the form of bringing the performance of the Linux version more closely in line with that of the Windows one, which is compiled using Intel's compiler and is somewhat faster.

Source: LinuxFr.org (in French)