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The Performance Impact To AMD Zen 2 Compiler Tuning On GCC 9 + Znver2

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Graphics/Benchmarks

One of the areas that I always have "fun" benchmarking for new CPU launches is looking at the compiler performance. Following the recent Ryzen 3000 series launch I carried out some initial benchmarks looking at the current Zen 2 performance using the newest GCC 9 stable series with its "znver2" optimizations. Here is a look at how the Znver2 optimizations work out when running some benchmarks on the optimized binaries with a Ryzen 9 3900X running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

AMD developers introduced the initial Znver2 support into the GNU Compiler Collection last November and thus is part of the GCC 9 stable release that debuted in May. This was their initial cut support for the updated Zen microarchitecture but sadly hasn't seen any enhancements since that initial commit. The Znver2 target does bring some alterations to the cost tables and enables the CLWB / RDPID / WBNOINVD instructions. But as we found out during the Ryzen 3000 briefings, there are more instructions new to Zen 2 besides those like RDPRU, so unfortunately this support while appreciated isn't yet fully complete and likely missing various optimizations considering there haven't been any updates since November. Sadly any improvements made now to their GCC Znver2 support won't see users until the GCC 10 release in Q2'2020 and thus not making it into the likes of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and other distributions.

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