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Large pages, large blocks, and large problems

Large pages, large blocks, and large problems

Posted Sep 20, 2007 9:18 UTC (Thu) by vblum (guest, #1151)
In reply to: Large pages, large blocks, and large problems by i3839
Parent article: Large pages, large blocks, and large problems

Yes, masking fragmentation at a low level will make things look contiguous, but in reality someone somewhere has to do the work to bring the fragments together. Is the adverse impact on performance (wall-clock time for large operations) really negligible? (thanks to clever cache use?)


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Large pages, large blocks, and large problems

Posted Sep 20, 2007 12:55 UTC (Thu) by i3839 (guest, #31386) [Link]

Not really.

There is always a mapping made between the virtual addresses and the physical ones, so what's different is which physical pages are chosen. Choosing contiguous physical pages is harder and takes more time, but it doesn't give any advantages. Bringing the fragments together is done by mapping them to a contiguous virtual memory range.

Mapping to contiguous physical pages might be faster if the hardware supports (really) variable sized pages, but as far as I know none does.

Fragmentation doesn't slow things down, it only makes it harder to allocate chunks bigger than one pagesize.

The demand for bigger pagesizes comes from people who think it will reduce overhead for their workload, because everything that's done per page can be done less often. The main thing preventing this from working seamlessly is fragmentation.


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