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Memory Virtualization and HPC Performance

Jeff Buell in our performance group just posted another excellent HPC performance piece on VROOM. This study examines the effects of memory virtualization on HPL and StarRandomAccess, two HPC benchmarks with very different memory access patterns. The results show that hardware-based memory virtualization does not always lead to the best overall performance, especially with HPC applications whose performance is dominated by TLB misses. By reverting to software-based memory virtualization in such cases, Jeff shows that the performance disparity between virtual and native is essentially  eliminated. Fascinating stuff. Read his article here.

I should also mention that SC ’10 in New Orleans was Jeff’s first SC conference. Read his trip report here.

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