The Key to Scaling Applications for Multicore Webinar Questions and Answers

During "The Key to Scaling Applications for Multicore" webinar, May, 5, by Paul Petersen and Mark Davis we received the following questions and we thought we would share them with you:

 

Q. Does Intel® Parallel Studio provide any support for Microsoft Visual* Studio* 2003?

A. Microsoft* Visual Studio* 2005 and 2008 are supported. Please check system requirements at: http://software.intel.com/sites/products/documentation/studio/studio/en-us/2009/start/release_notes_studio.pdf

 

Q. What operating systems are supported?

A. Please check requirements at: http://software.intel.com/sites/products/documentation/studio/studio/en-us/2009/start/release_notes_studio.pdf

 

Q. Where does the profiling information come from? Is it an Intel tool?

A. Yes, you can use Intel® Parallel Amplifier to find hotspots in your program/application. The Intel® Parallel Amplifier, an Intel® Parallel Studio tool, provides information on the performance of your code. Use the Parallel Amplifier to analyze the following types of performance issues in your threaded applications:

- Identify the most time-consuming (hot) functions

- Locate sections of code that do not effectively utilize available processor time

- Determine the best sections of code to optimize for sequential performance and for threaded performance

- Locate synchronization objects that affect the program performance

- Find whether, where, and why your program spends time on input/output operations

- Identify and compare the performance impact of different synchronization methods, different numbers of threads, or different algorithms

 

Q. How do I get the material to the previous seminars and technical sessions I missed?

A. Go to www.intel.com/go/parallel under "Related Links" on the right and click "Free, on-demand parallelism webinars".

 

Q. Is there any Intel software tool for parallelism under Linux platform?

A. Yes. We do have an existing line of tools, including Intel® VTune analyzer, Intel® Thread Checker, and the Intel® Compilers, which run on Linux.

                                                  

Q. What is the difference between Intel® VTuneTM analyzer/Intel® Thread Checker and Intel® Parallel Studio? Or can they be used in a good combination somehow?

A. Yes. Moreover, Parallel Studio is built on the latest technology (PIN) for faster analysis. Also, Parallel Inspector includes memory checking in addition to "Thread Checking". Parallel Amplifier has Statistical Call Graph for profiling your applications with low overhead to detect where time is spent in your application. See Intel® Parallel Amplifier vs. Intel® VTuneTM Analyzer Comparison.

 

Q. Have you had any experience using Intel Parallel Studio with large programs (500,000 lines)? I have used VTune analyzer in the past and it was difficult to use because the size of the program I was working with was large.

A. The Intel® Parallel Studio offers a more streamlined and simplified usage model for hotspot analysis similar to VTune analyzer. The sampling methodology used is the same. This means that with big applications you have to watch for sampling overhead and the influence this has on your application sampling. You may want to consider focusing your sampling on application subsets and individual application components rather than the whole application and use a stepped approach or an approach with a smaller input data stream. All this depends a bit on the exact architecture of your application. See Intel® Parallel Amplifier vs. Intel® VTuneTM Analyzer Comparison.

 

Q. Is Intel® Threading Building Blocks (TBB) open source, and where may I get the source for OpenMP*?

A. Intel® Threading Building Blocks (TBB) source files can be downloaded here: http://www.threadingbuildingblocks.org/download.php. Intel's implementation of OpenMP* is not an open source project.

 

Q. If Intel® Parallel Advisor Lite finds the hotspot in the code, do we still have a need to use the Intel® Parallel Amplifier for finding hotspot?

A. Intel® Parallel Advisor Lite works on the serial portions of your application.  It leverages Intel® Parallel Amplifier's hot spot analysis to help identify likely areas in your serial application to experiment with parallelism - in particular, we recommend using Parallel Amplifier's "Top Down" view where one would work up the call tree to find a likely site.

If all you need are hot spots, then Parallel Advisor Lite has already found them for you by leveraging Parallel Amplifier.  However, once you have added parallelism, Parallel Amplifier can help you tune the parallelism using the Concurrency analysis to see where the threading is being used effectively, and the Locks and Waits analysis to determine if the program is wasting resources in synchronization sequences.

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