Subject: Re: AXPpci 33 ... not very fast?
To: Curt Sampson <>
From: Eric Sentner <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 04/25/1997 16:24:09
References: <>

Compiles in general are not a good measure of comparison because the
alpha is a RISC 64-bit machine and the 486 certainly isn't.. There is
extra overhead and optimization that the alpha must do in order to
compile the same software.. The alpha is slower at some things but
much faster at others.. I have a Multia myself, and I am very happy
with its performance... Doing an ssh-keygen on my 233Mhz Multia
took about 5 seconds compared to the 15 seconds it took on my sparc5
desktop machine at work, and the 3 minutes it took on my 486/50.. :)

-- Eric

On April 25, Curt Sampson wrote:

> > So, I've been playing around with this AXPpci 33 machine lately ... and
> > it seems to me that it's just not very fast at all.  It compiles a kernel
> > about as fast as my 486/66DX2 (a mostly useless benchmark, I know, but
> > still ... ).  It's just "feels" sluggish, and this machine has 48 MB memory.
> You should compare something other than kernel compiles, so you're
> comparing the same things. Try, for example, comparing the compile
> of perl or a largish piece of gnu software, or something like that.
> More backup cache may help a fair amount; the memory latency on
> the AXPpci33 isn't as bad as the multia, but is still two to three
> times worse than that on a typical Pentium system. But then again,
> it's hard to say how much you're seeing in the way of cache misses.
> If you want to contact me privately we can work out some arrangements
> to do some tests; I have a megabyte of 15 ns. cache RAM in my
> AXPpci33.
> The beast does have at least one advantage over a 486: it will do
> disk I/O at reasonable speeds on fast drives. I get around 4 MB/sec
> on my 5400 RPM drives on my AXPpci33; I never could get more than
> about 2 MB/sec on the same drives on a 486/100.
> If anybody is interested in working on a `benchmark project' to do
> some benchmarks and get rought ideas of the relative speeds of
> various NetBSD machines, I would be very happy to provide the web
> space to put that information up. If we can put together some sort
> of reasonably automated test suite, I could also run it on a bunch
> of different machines.
> cjs
> Curt Sampson	   Info at
> Internet Portal Services, Inc.	   Through infinite myst, software reverberates
> Vancouver, BC  (604) 257-9400	   In code possess'd of invisible folly.