This is the third installment of a multi-part series demonstrating multithreading techniques and performance characteristics in VB.Net. Catch up on the previous installments: Introduction to multithreading and The Application Skeleton.
In my previous post, I created the skeleton of a project that demonstrates multithreaded performance. In this post, we will be filling in the skeleton to dispatch the work to the correct function, and creating a performance baseline using a single thread.
During the testing for this post, it was determined that the Compute() function outlined in the previous post did not work as expected, so it has been revised slightly. Its concept is the same, but the computation has been tweaked a bit to eliminate overflow errors in the math. So now we have the following Compute() function:
- Private Function Compute(ByVal InputValue As Double) As Double
Dim DoubleOutputValue As Double
Dim DateTimeNow As DateTime
Dim rndNumberGenerator As System.RandomDateTimeNow = New DateTime(DateTime.Now.Ticks)
rndNumberGenerator = New System.Random(DateTimeNow.Hour + DateTimeNow.Minute + DateTimeNow.Millisecond)If DateTimeNow.Millisecond > 500 Then
DoubleOutputValue = System.Math.IEEERemainder(System.Math.Exp(rndNumberGenerator.Next * (InputValue + 5000) * System.Math.E), rndNumberGenerator.Next)
DoubleOutputValue = rndNumberGenerator.Next(InputValue) / System.Math.Max(Double.MaxValue - 1, System.Math.Log(System.Math.Pow(System.Math.PI, InputValue)))
End IfDateTimeNow = Nothing
rndNumberGenerator = NothingReturn DoubleOutputValue
End FunctionOur single thread run looks like:Public Sub SingleThreadComputation(ByVal Iterations As Integer)
Dim IntegerIterationCounter As IntegerFor IntegerIterationCounter = 1 To Iterations
End SubFinally, here are our performance characteristics for 1,000,000 iterations, in milliseconds per test:
|Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5||Average|
System A: AMD Sempron 3200 (1 logical x64 CPU), 1 GB RAM
System B: AMD Athlon 3200+ (1 logical x64 CPU), 1 GB RAM
System C: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 gHz (1 logical x86 CPU), 1 GB RAM
System D: Two Intel Xeon 3.0 gHz (2 dual core, HyperThreaded CPUs providing 8 logical x64 CPUs), 2 GB RAM
It is extremely important to understand the following information and disclaimers regarding these benchmark figures:
They are not to be taken as absolute numbers. They are taken on real-world systems with real-world OS installations, not clean benchmark systems. They are not to be used as any concrete measure of relative CPU performance; they simply illustrate the different relative performance characteristics of different multithreading techniques on different numbers of logical CPUs, in order to show how different processors can perform differently with different techniques.
The performance numbers on the single thread test show some truly fascinating results. System D (the dual Xeon machine) was actually our worst performer on the single threaded test. Although the Xeons seemed to suffer a bit on the single threaded performance, it is expected that they will maintain nearly identical performance when running 8 simultaneous threads non-atomically, while the single core CPUs should suffer penalty for running multithreaded.
Another mildly interesting item to note is the difference in the clock reports between the AMD systems (A and B) and the Intel systems (C and D). The AMD CPUs rounded milliseconds up to units of 0.025 milliseconds (I showed 3 significant digits in the table, but the program returned 4 significant digits). Since all of the test machines are running the same version of the .Net Framework, this is obviously a difference between the two chipmakers. It is not relevant to the results of this test, but it is an interesting data point to remember for future use, in case it ever comes up.
Stay tuned for the next post, which will show our first multithreaded test.
Justin James is an OutSystems MVP, architect, and developer with expertise in SaaS applications and enterprise applications.