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Subject: Why is assembly more effecient than C?

Author: John Coffey

Date: 14:50:46 09/26/98

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On September 26, 1998 at 17:45:12, James Robertson wrote:

>On September 26, 1998 at 17:41:04, John Coffey wrote:
>>On September 26, 1998 at 17:28:56, Bruce Moreland wrote:
>>>On September 26, 1998 at 17:21:58, James Robertson wrote:
>>>>What is a reasonable number of NPS for a program to search if it has an average
>>>>sized evaluation procedure? I.E. what does Crafty get? Chessmaster? Comet? My
>>>>program started out searching a very nice number of nodes per second, but as I
>>>>added stuff that number decreased dramatically from about 600,000 to 160,000. By
>>>>the time I finish the evaluation function (which is currently like 20 lines),
>>>>I'm afraid it will be down to like 5,000 NPS on my P233! At what point should I
>>>>get worried?
>>>When it starts to play badly.
>>>How did you achieve 600K nps on a normal machine?  Are you counting nodes the
>>>way most of the rest of us are?  The way most of us do it is that a node is a
>>>call to "search" or "quies", regardless of what happens after the call is made
>>>(a node that cuts off via the hash table is still counted).
>>I think that a person could easily write a program that would do 1M nodes per
>>second (i.e throw out hashing, null moves, move ordering etc.), but it would be
>>pretty dumb, because it would examining all sorts of branches of the tree that
>>it would not need to examine.
>>John Coffey
>Yes, that was when my program had nothing but alpha-beta. Also, most of the
>program is written in Assembly which increased my NPS over the C++ version by

Why is assembly so much more efficient than C?   I thought that C code was
suppose to be pretty well optimized.  I work in the video game field
and we gave up using assembly a couple of years ago in favor of C.  (Granted
we have faster video game machines these days.)  Anyhow, both a C program
and an Assembly program would be making about the same number of memory
accesses, and it would seem to me that is where the real bottle-neck is.
The only difference would be that an assembly program might have better
access to registers?

John Coffey

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