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Subject: Re: Differences between 0x88 ,10x12 and Bitboards!?

Author: Vincent Diepeveen

Date: 10:57:02 11/19/02

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On November 19, 2002 at 13:30:57, Christophe Theron wrote:

>On November 19, 2002 at 13:15:09, Gerd Isenberg wrote:
>>On November 19, 2002 at 12:25:11, Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:
>>>On November 19, 2002 at 11:35:24, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>>>Bitboards have a bit of a performance advantage on 64 bit processors,
>>Hi Gian-Carlo,
>>I think that's evident. If the none bitboarders have to use implicite native
>>data-width of 64 bit integers, they have to transfer 32 additional zero bits
>>without any additional information for each integer access. Of course you will
>>pack some data, but all the local ints...
>>So the information density for bitboarders grows with 64bit-architectures
>>relative to none bitboarders. That also effects register usage, and that's IMHO
>>more important. On x86-32bit architectures you can only hold three bitboards in
>>registers, and thats even most a hard task. Actually, if you have a local
>>routine with three bitboards and a few ints on the stack, there are a lot
>>register/memory moves. Simply the data-width doubles the number of bitboard
>>registers, not considered the increase in general purpose registers, or with
>>hammer the number of mmx- and 128-bit xmm registers.
>>Whether a bitboard based program is stronger than a none bitboard program
>>depends obviuosly also on other things, but in principle :)
>You have just explained why the bitboarders are less handicapped on 64 bits
>You have not explained why they are supposed to have "a bit of performance
>advantage on 64 bits processors".
>    Christophe


But more important is that they are not in the same league at 32 bits
processors with knowledge. As soon as they need more knowledge they
run into problems. My move generation in itself eats 0.6% of the system
time. My evaluation nearly all of it.

Yet a crucial aspect of evaluating is scanning and that's something
where bitboards are handicapped with 1 or 2 exceptions (you can
quickly scan a rank or file for presence of a piece X). So at 64
bits CPUs a hybrid model is something which is possible but the
majority of the cases just having 1 bit available with bitboards
and needing an extra
array lookup to index all the different arrays for having the bit
set true, that's pretty slow.

Yet if you keep your program dumb and fast, you don't suffer from
that lack of course and will never be able to realize it.

In which case there is no advantage of course, because crafty is
at a McKinley like 1.5MLN nodes a second, whereas a program which
is equally weak tactical last so many plies and in qsearch (saving
out loads of system time which most stronger programs prefer to
spent there), to make it in non-bitboards, is easily going to
get the same number of nps with those blazing fast 6 instruction
bundles a clock.

In a simple experiment of mine where i just did recaptures based
upon a single simplistic attacktable in qsearch (only generated
that attacktable at root in qsearch not the innernodes in qsearch),
i got at a P5-100 already blazingly fast. 200k nps initially. When
i then tried to search deeper it got down to 100-150k nps, depending
whether i tried to do less in qsearch or more.

In all these cases bitboards is a major handicap at 32 bits processors
and at 64 bits processors the % you lose to bitboards versus non bitboards
is depending upon non-bitboards code in the search simply.

Best regards,

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