Subject: Re: HELP!
To: None <>
From: Tobias Ernst <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 06/21/2001 20:17:18

 l> OK, so what OS should I run on this thing and where can I 
 l> get it so that I can get some more performance out of this box?

To get good performance you'd best use the Compaq/DEC cc/cxx compiler
suite. This one is available for Tru64 Unix and Linux, both of which
should run on your machine. An interesting question would be if running
Tru64 or Linux binaries compiled with cxx under NetBSD in the emulation
would still be faster than running them natively with gcc as compiler.

The difference gets especially obviously when you have floating point
code and the code is arranged in a way so that the compiler can make
use of the Alpha's vectorizing floating point unit. In this scenario
using Compaq C can give up to a factor of 5 if not 10 as compared to
gcc. For average floating point code the factor is about 2, whereas for
integer arithmetic (the kind of work most users do most of the time) it
is less obvious.

As almost everything that NetBSD consits of is just integer code,
especially the kernel, it should not be THAT worse as compared to a
Tru64 Unix, maybe some 20% or so. Part of this is even equalized by the
fact that Tru64 needs by far more RAM than NetBSD does, and it seems
you are equipped with not very much of it :-). I'd upgrade to at least
64 MB when you want to use Tru64 (with simple X, by all means DON'T use
CDE with only 64 MB - using just X and fvwm or something should be OK).

After all - when you want to do numerics you should consider using
Compaq C on Linux or better still on Tru64, but for all other means,
you should simply select the OS you like most. Or maybe the one that
best supports your hardware.

Compaq C for Linux is available for free. Tru64 including Compaq C is
available as a hobbyist license for noncommercial use for about 100 US$

Viele Gr=FC=DFe,