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IA64 When?

  I have a client (who will remain nameless) who is trying to do some
longer-term planning for when they might convert their system from
Pentium based servers to IA-64 servers (both Pentium and IA-64 are
running Linux). One of the issues we've identified is the state of GCC
support for the IA-64.

  As best as I can tell from my readings and research, GCC for the IA-64
generates code that performs significantly worse than Intel's compiler,
which I am taking as a benchmark of about how good today's IA-64
compilers can do.

  I've read the GCC web page (
describing the work to improve IA-64 performance. To me, the list of
projects seems large and extensive.

  So, here are some questions I'd like to get your help in answering:

1. Am I correct in my interpretation that GCC's IA-64 performance has a
long way to go?

2. What hard numbers exist regarding GCC's IA-64 performance, e.g. Spec
numbers done using GCC?

3. How are things progressing in terms of the projects for improving
IA-64 performance?

4. (The $64,000 question): Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to how
much better things are likely to be a year from now? Two years?

  Thanks in advance, Chris

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