Subject: Performance on Transmeta Crusoe
To: None <>
From: Lasse Kliemann <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/15/2005 16:38:17
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I am using 2.99.11 on my notebook, a Desknote A530 with a Transmeta Crusoe=
processor. I know that this notebook isn't the fastest one in the world, bu=
the performance was always acceptable under Linux. However, with NetBSD it=
seems to be significantly slower in some aspects. The Crusoe is clocked aro=
600 MHz, and I run NetBSD on an 650 MHz Athlon just fine with excelent=20
performance. Hence, I believe it must be some special issue for the Crusoe.

In particular, Mozilla and Firefox (from Pkgsrc) are very, very slow. For o=
the user inteface responds with large delays. Opening a menu can take about=
seconds. I first see a black recangle (where the menu is to appear) and the=
after some more moments, the menu pops up, finally.

Second, also the loading of webpages only happens with large delays. Browsi=
with w3m-img, however, is absolutely fine.

I know that those browsers (Mozilla and Firefox) are large applications, an=
they do not run absolutely fluently under Linux either. But there is still =
significant difference. (I'v got two such notebooks and hence was able to=
compare the performance directly: one of them running NetBSD and the other=
Slackware Linux.)

What I did so far is mostly to experiment with compiler optimizations. I=20
compiled all applications from Pkgsrc with -march=3Di686, but that did not =
any noticable improvement. I did the same with NetBSD itself with the same=
outcome.  I then realized that the Cursoe is detected at startup as i586-cl=
ass. =20
I so tried to compile NetBSD with -march=3Di585, but the resulting kernel d=
id not=20
run (on none of my machines). I read a note somewhere about i585 being brok=
in gcc, and then decided to use i486 for NetBSD. There was no performance g=
noticable. Well, I haven't tried to compile all applications from Pkgsrc ag=
with i486, because I did not believe that is is gonna help. Or is there a=
reason why i386 (what I tried in the very beginning) is much slower than i4=
optimization? I can try it in my next bulk-build, however.

In the meantime I'd like to collect suggestions from you on the matter. I a=
unsure what further information about my system to include in this report, =
feel free to ask for any details that might help shed some light on this. M=
there is some kind of benchmark program that would help to do comparisons o=
r to=20
determine the bottleneck on my system?

Thanks a lot! I'd really love to continue using NetBSD on that notebook, an=
not to have to go back to Linux.

Lasse Kliemann
      private homepage:
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