Performance of Linux vs. Windows for Math Intensive Program

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Performance of Linux vs. Windows for Math Intensive Program

Postby Shadders » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:47 am

Not sure if anyone has come across this area before. I wish to program in C++/C to run math intensive calculations. As such, i have previously programmed with Windows Visual Studio, but i am unsure of the overheads that the operating system will place upon the program, i.e. how optimised the code will be.

Does anyone have any idea if a Linux implementation would run faster than a Windows implementation (Windows 2000/XP), if both were programmed with a graphical front end for the program ?, or both were programmed with a command line interface ?. Has there been any features or reviews in this area - first time i bought the magazine this month, so new to Linux area etc.

If anyone knows of a specific version of Linux that has optimised kernel ?? for scientific usage, then i would be most grateful for any guidance. Thanks.

Regards,

Richard...
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RE: Performance of Linux vs. Windows for Math Intensive Prog

Postby nordle » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:24 pm

The linux kernel has many version releases and within that there are many variations based on custom patches. Unforuntately I don't know anything about what youre asking really, only that there are probaby several patches available, or even a scienctific biased dsitro, might be worth checking distrowatch

Because of the nature of the linux kernel, modular and open source, people can patch it and use it almost anywhere for anything.

No help, sorry, but maybe someone else knows more specifically :)


EDIT:
You can search on distrowatch for linux distro types ie scientific, may turn up a result as well as the "High Performance" section within search. Turned up this amongst others.
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RE: Performance of Linux vs. Windows for Math Intensive Prog

Postby GMorgan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:14 am

The advantage Linux has is you can strip down the OS to a bare minimum if your only interested in modelling (I assume thats the intensive maths) then it is posible to setup a distro with a bare minimum of memory wasting features.

If there is no pre-packaged scientific distro then it is posible to create one from the bottom up though that would take a bit of learning. Gentoo is probably the easiest of the customise to the finest detail distributions (thanks to portage) though theres no reason you couldn't achieve your aims with Debian (which is easier but not quite as customisable). Slackware is the most customisable but is also by far the most work.

So in the end I'd say that yes Linux should be superior for this than Windows but it all depends on taking the time to set it up (assuming there isn't something prebuilt).

Distrowatch is certainly a good place to look for this.

In terms of kernel optimisation this is the kernel website and there may be something that suits your needs there.
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RE: Performance of Linux vs. Windows for Math Intensive Prog

Postby jjmac » Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:07 am

By a strange coincidence, this question looks very similar to a post on the 'ck' mailing list for June 2006. There were 3 related posts ...

http://bhhdoa.org.au/pipermail/ck/2006-June/index.html
http://bhhdoa.org.au/pipermail/ck/2006-June/006111.html
http://bhhdoa.org.au/pipermail/ck/2006-June/006116.html
http://bhhdoa.org.au/pipermail/ck/2006-June/006121.html

The answers provided were within the context of configure option for the "ck" patch rather than "which distro". But the drift seems to be that the solution more depends on how the kernel is configured rather than a particular distro choice.

>>
Does anyone have any idea if a Linux implementation would run faster than a Windows implementation (Windows 2000/XP),
>>

Generally, a distro that dosen't try to override config changes and auto start up services all the time would be better. Or rather, more directly configurable. You would likely want to configure out a lot of the "pre-emptive" options from the kernel, or strike a balance in terms of desktop usability. A lot would more depend on your processor and ram rather than distro choice.

Any Linux distro would be very suitable though. And probably more tunable than a Windows choice as well :)


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RE: Performance of Linux vs. Windows for Math Intensive Prog

Postby Shadders » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:59 am

Many thanks for all the replies - this has helped a great deal.

Regards,

Richard....
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RE: Performance of Linux vs. Windows for Math Intensive Prog

Postby TonyLB » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:31 pm

Also, have a look at http://www.optimanumerics.com/

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Postby bischof » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:50 am

Look for maths libraries that can do the maths fast (eg: OptimaNumerics, as TonyLB has pointed out). They have the greatest influence in getting good performance. Kernels usually don't affect that much.
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Postby jjmac » Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:54 pm

True, specialised purpose libraries of course, kernel tuning will effect the desktop usability of the system though. That is, how 'nicely' a very computational process will interact with other desktop processes. If that is desired as well.


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