Thursday, August 5, 2010

Open-Source is a Wonderful Thing

In the relentless pursuit of perfection, I've decided to compile Chromium from source code and see how much of a performance increase, if any, would follow. The computer in question is my netbook, powered by i686 Arch Linux with an XFCE DE, but running on an Intel Atom N280 @ a measly 1.66GHz, so I'll take any performance boost I can get.

Using Arch's build system, and GCC 4.5's new 'atom' CFLAG, I began compiling the latest version and 5 hours later it was completed. I ran two benchmarks on both the pre-built i686 binary supplied by the chromium package in the Arch repositories, and my compiled version: Peacekeeper, and Sunspider. Results are as follows:

Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark (Units are 'points', more is better)
Sunspider Javascript Benchmark Results

Conclusion? From this point onwards I'm going to compile as much as I can manually, rather than using pre-built binaries, but I'm going to do it on the Phenom II x4 box. Compiling on an atom is somewhat reminiscent of the early '90s.

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