Well, as you guys know I've been tinkering with sun-vs-linux postgres for
a while trying to come up with reasons for the HUGE performance
differences. We've all had our anecdotal thoughts (fork sucks, ipc sucks,
ufs sucks, etc) and I've had a breakthrough.

Knowing that GCC only produces good code on x86 (and powerpc with apple's
mods, but it is doubtful that is as good as ibm's power compiler) I
decided to try out Sunsoft CC.  I'd heard from more than one person/place
that gcc makes abysmal sparc code.  Given that the performance profiles
for both the linux and sun boxes showed the same functions taking up most
of the time I thought I'd see what a difference sunsoft could give me.

So - hardware -
Sun E450 4x400mhz ultrasparc IIi, 4GB ram, scsi soemthing disk. (not
raid) solaris 2.6

Linux - 2xP3 500mhz, 2GB, scsi disk of some flavor (not raid) linux 2.2.17
(old I know!)

So here's the results using my load tester (single connection per beater,
repeats the query 1000 times with different input each time (we'll get
~20k rows back), the query is a common query around here.

I discounted the first run of the test as caches populated.

Linux - 1x - 35 seconds, 20x - 180 seconds

Sun - gcc - 1x 60 seconds  20x 245 seconds
Sun - sunsoft defaults - 1x 52 seonds 20x [similar to gcc most likely]
Sun - sunsoft -fast  - 1x 28 seconds  20x 164 seconds

As you math guru's can probably deduce - that is a rather large
improvement.  And by rather large I mean hugely significant.  With results
like this, I think it warrants mentioning in the FAQ_Solaris, and probably
the performance guide.

Connecting will always be a bit slower. But I think most people realize
that connecting to a db is not cheap.

I think update/etc will cause more locking, but I think IO will become the
bottle neck much sooner than lock/unlock will. (This is mostly anecdotal
given how fast solaris can lock/unlock a semaphore and how much IO I know
I have)

Oh yes, with was with 7.3.4 and sunsoft cc Sun WorkShop 6 update 1 C
5.2 2000/09/11 (which is old, perhaps newer ones make even better code?)

I'm not sure of PG's policy of non-gcc things in configure, but perhaps if
we detect sunsoft we toss in the -fast flag and maybe make it the
preferred one on sun? [btw, it compiled with no changes but it did spew
out tons of warnings]



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