Optimization of 64-bit programs

2008-Oct-19 | Tags: programing

Start64!People often have questions concerning 64-bit solutions performance and means of its increasing. Some questionable points are considered in this article and then some recommendations concerning program code optimization are given.

1. The result of porting to 64-bit systems

In a 64-bit environment old 32-bit application run owing to Wow64 subsystem. This subsystem emulates 32-bit environment by means of an additional layer between a 32-bit application and 64-bit Windows API. In some localities this layer is thin, in others it’s thicker. For an average program the productivity loss caused by this layer is about 2%. For some programs this value may be larger. 2% are certainly not much but still we have to take into account the fact that 32-bit applications function a bit slower under a 64-bit operation system than under a 32-bit one.

Compiling of a 64-bit code not only eliminates Wow64 but also increases performance. It’s related to architectural alterations in microprocessors, such as the increase in number of general-purpose registers. For an average program the expected performance growth caused by an ordinary compilation is 5-15%. But in this case everything depends upon the application and data types. For instance, Adobe Company claims that new 64-bit "Photoshop CS4" is 12% faster than its 32-bit version.

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