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Cromulent

Intel C/C++ Compilers

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Does anyone use the Intel compilers at all? What is your take on them? I'm really just interested in hearing opinions specifically about the debugger and if any Mac users are using it with Xcode 3 (although I'm happy to hear opinions from Linux/Windows guys). The last review I can find relates to version 7 of the compiler so I'm finding it a bit hard to find any specific information. Basically is it worth the $449? Does it still significantly outperform GCC for C compilation (I'm not interested in the C++ side of things)?

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Basically is it worth the $449?


I'm not familiar with the Intel compilers, but I doubt that you need to spend any money to achieve what you want. If you were doing the type of work that requires an Intel compiler, you would probably know the answer to these questions and you would know whether you needed to spend money on a compiler to continue your work.

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Original post by Shakedown
Quote:

Basically is it worth the $449?


I'm not familiar with the Intel compilers, but I doubt that you need to spend any money to achieve what you want. If you were doing the type of work that requires an Intel compiler, you would probably know the answer to these questions and you would know whether you needed to spend money on a compiler to continue your work.


I'm mearly asking out of interest not necessarily because I need them. Although the debugger is the main point not necessarily the compiler :).

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Its the best out there I've heard. Its faster then GCC, mainly because they have the money and really invest in it.

Mostly GCC is fine for your needs, it does the job and is free :)

Intel compilers are mainly used by companies that need their apps to be as fast as possible, or it has to be for a specific Intel processor, or they just like it ^^.

I cant imagine a hobby programmer would need it, and mostly professional non-team programmers neither.

But you can test it out, can't you? The trail...


I'm wondering, how well will it run on AMD compared to GCC?

EDIT: It seems executables run slower on AMD chips compared to Intel chips.

Here is a tool that makes it a little faster on AMD (~15% according to the article): Intel check executable patch

[Edited by - Decrius on May 6, 2008 4:24:28 PM]

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Well the release notes claims it's C99 compliant which I thought only the Sun compiler was according to wikipedia? If you want to use some of the C99 stuff that the Microsoft compiler and gcc compilers are missing this should let you check it out. This info would've been handy like a couple of weeks ago when I was going going through my Prata C book that mentions and has code samples of most of the new C99 stuff!

C Standard Conformance
The Intel® C++ Compiler conforms to the ANSI/ISO standard ISO/IEC 9899:1999 for C language.

I've personally used the trial version with Visual Studio a while back and it seamlessly plugs in so you just click an option to convert your code to the intel compiler and it will do loop unrolls with your code if it can and optimize it for the latest Intel cpu's without having to resort to hand assembly. You can also run it from the command line but why would you if you can use the excellent VS debugger instead.
The linux version if free for personal use so I'd use that if you are on a budget but then again it's command line only so you don't get the cool IDE integration.
I think it's worth it because have you ever tried to do loop unrolling by hand?

[Edited by - daviangel on May 7, 2008 5:39:34 PM]

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1) 30-day trial is available, and/or it is free for non-commerical use.

2) It integrates so easily into Visual Studio, it's not even funny. I integrated a huge project in a day or so with minimal problems.

3) Performance on SIMD stuff (in case you use SSE intrinsics) kicks ass with Intel C++ Compiler 10, over VS2005. I had a 78% performance improvement in some cpu-intensive C++ code. I can only comment on my dev setup, which was an Intel Core 2 with SSSE3, dunno about AMD, and dunno about pure C code (Note that our project used lots of SSE intrinsics, and note that the improvements were with "auto-vectorization" off. That "auto-vectorization" option didn't seem to help much, in any case (even though it did vectorize a lot of code!).)

4) The debugger works through VS, which is cool, but it's a bit slower than native debugging in VS.

5) I would say it outperforms gcc... Intel has really done an incredible job optimizing for their own architecture... here are some results. If performance is critical for you (your company), I would say $450 is chump change.

6) We started talking about the Intel C++ Compiler very recently over in this thread on this page.

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Thanks for the responses everyone.

Reading that article linked earlier on it certainly does seem that ICC is the fastest C compiler for x86 and x86-64 available. Interesting stuff, especially the fact that it is C99 compliant. I know GCC has some problems with a few of the esoteric elements of the new standard.


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