Will Verduzco · Jan 11, 2012 at 06:00 pm

MythBusters XDA Edition: “Optimized” Compiler Toolchains

If you’ve compiled an Android kernel or two, you have undoubtedly noticed that there are more than a few cross-compiler toolchains at your disposal. Although Google offers its own toolchain as part of the Android Native Development Kit (NDK), several aftermarket options exist—many of which promise higher target device performance.

So what’s a new developer to do? Since kernel devs ultimately wish to eke out as much device performance as humanly possible, choosing the wrong toolchain could potentially have disastrous results. And without any firm guidance as to which toolchains work best, it’s easy to get lost in the available choices.

To alleviate this problem, XDA Recognized Developer Ezekeel decided to run extensive benchmarks with four popular toolchains. And much to the content of the obsessed, he has even tested the toolchains with and without the popular flags -fgcse-after-reload and -ftree-vectorize. In the words of the developer:

I have read of lot of praise for these optimized TC from different kernel developers that all claim that these do much better than the offcial Google TC, however to my knowledge up until now nobody actually took the effort of investigating the effect of the TC and most devs simply assume that a TC marketed as optimized by their creators is actually performing better.

So to investigate the performance of the different TC, I compiled a kernel (GLaDOS kernel for ICS) with the following four different TC:

1. Offical Google arm-linux-androideabi-4.4.3 (part of android-ndk-r7)
2. CodeSourcerey arm-2011.03-41-arm-none-linux-gnueabi
3. Linaro android-toolchain-eabi-linaro-4.6-2011.11-4-2011-11-15_12-22-49-linux-x86
4. Mjolnir arm-eabi-4.6-mjolnir-20111006

Also while I was at it, I investigated the effect of the compiler flags ‘-fgcse-after-reload’ and ‘-ftree-vectorize’ (see https://github.com/Ezekeel/GLaDOS-ne…f32ee#comments) by compiling a version with the CS TC which did not include these flags.

I performed the following two tests for the kernels:

Test I: Measured the bootup time including a rebuild of the Dalvik-cache after a wipe (2 times).
Test II: Performed a benchmark with AnTuTu Benchmark v2.4.3 including CPU/memory, 2D and 3D graphics (3 times).

Long story short, the allegedly optimized toolchains yielded no real world performance gains. At this point, you’re probably salivating at the mere thought of viewing the benchmarks. To get started, continue on to the original thread and join in on the discussion.


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
TAGS:

Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
Mathew Brack · May 22, 2015 at 02:30 pm · 4 comments

Introducing Voices of XDA: Have Your Ideas Heard

By far the greatest assets we have at XDA-Developers are you, the developers, the eager to learn and the bold. Everyday we see innovation and brilliant ideas across the site, from this we know that many of you have great insight in to your respective fields. That is why today, I am honored to announce a new project that will allow us to work with you directly to have your views and thoughts expressed clearer than ever. Introducing:    ...

XDA NEWS
Jimmy McGee · May 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm · 4 comments

YotaPhone 2 Pre-Order, Xperia Z1 Price Cut – XDA TV

Android Wear 5.1.1 OTA downloads are now available. That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week's news is the announcement of Sony cutting the price of the Xperia Z1 and be sure to check out the article talking about the YotaPhone 2 Indiegogo pre-order. That's not all that's covered in today's video! Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA TV. XDA...

XDA NEWS
TK · May 21, 2015 at 02:15 pm · 3 comments

Device Review: No.1 X1 Rugged Smartphone

We are almost at the end of Q2 for 2015, and we have seen most of the flagship phones for the year already. While flagship phones usually offer bleeding-edge specs and are the most sought after phones, there is a huge market for non-flagship phones. Some offer value, others offer unique differentiating features. Today, we are going to look at the X1 phone by a Chinese company named N0.1. The company promises a truly rugged IP68 Certified phone. The device has a Quad...

XDA NEWS
Share This