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Re: changing "configure" to default to "gcc -g -O2 -fwrapv ..."

From: Richard Guenther
Subject: Re: changing "configure" to default to "gcc -g -O2 -fwrapv ..."
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 15:45:11 +0100

On 12/31/06, Daniel Berlin <address@hidden> wrote:
On 12/31/06, Paul Eggert <address@hidden> wrote:
> "Steven Bosscher" <address@hidden> writes:
> > On 12/31/06, Paul Eggert <address@hidden> wrote:
> >> Also, as I understand it this change shouldn't affect gcc's
> >> SPEC benchmark scores, since they're typically done with -O3
> >> or better.
> >
> > It's not all about benchmark scores.
> But so far, benchmark scores are the only scores given by the people
> who oppose having -O2 imply -fwrapv.  If the benchmarks use -O3 they
> wouldn't be affected by such a change -- and if so, we have zero hard
> evidence of any real harm being caused by having -O2 imply -fwrapv.
> > I think most users compile at -O2
> Yes, which is why there's so much argument about what -O2 should do....
> > You say you doubt it affects performance.  Based on what?  Facts
> > please, not guesses and hand-waiving...
> The burden of proof ought to be on the guys proposing -O2
> optimizations that break longstanding code, not on the skeptics.

The burden ought to be (and IMHO is) on those who propose we change
optimizer behavior in order to support something non-standard.

Why do you believe otherwise?
> That being said, I just compiled GNU coreutils CVS on a Debian stable
> x86 (2.4 GHz Pentium 4) using GCC 4.1.1.  With -O0, "sha512sum" on the
> coreutils tar.gz file took 0.94 user CPU seconds (measured by "time
> src/sha512sum coreutils-6.7-dirty.tar.gz").  With -O2 -fwrapv, 0.87
> seconds.  With plain -O2, 0.86 seconds.
> I also tried gzip 1.3.10, compressing its own tar file with a -9
> compression option.  With -O0, 0.30 user CPU seconds.  With -O2
> -fwrapv, 0.24 seconds.  With -O2, 0.24 seconds.
> In all these cases I've averaged several results.  The difference
> between -O2 and -O2 -fwrapv is pretty much in the noise here.
> Admittedly it's only two small tests, and it's with 4.1.1.  But that's
> two more tests than the -fwrapv naysayers have done, on
> bread-and-butter applications like coreutils or gzip or Emacs (or GCC
> itself, for that matter).

These are not performance needing applications.
I'll happily grant you that  adding -fwrapv will make no difference at
all on any application that does not demand performance in integer or
floating point calculations.

I added -fwrapv to the Dec30 run of SPEC at


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