I am developing a frontend for Einstein Toolkit for yt and in the
process I generated some crude, preliminary benchmarks which I thought I
would share in case anybody is interested.
I performed three tests:
1. I just load the dataset and calculate (say) the maximum of some
quantity on each grid.
2. I load in the dataset and calculate the maximum of the magnitude of
a gradient on each grid. This requires the generation of ghost zones
at grid boundaries.
3. I load in the dataset and perform a volume rendering. I make a
"movie" with 4 frames where I rotate around the volume.
* I performed these tests with the attached scripts. I turned openmp
and MPI off (set OMP_NUM_THREADS=1).
* The domain sizes were: 64^3, 128^3, 256^3, and 512^3.
* All four datasets have only one refinement level. However the 512^3
dataset has multiple grids on that refinement level.
* The size of a dataset ranges from about 10MB for the 64^3 set to
10GB for the 512^3
* All data was performed on a single modern workstation. Details:
2.6GHz clock with AVX2 instructions and a 60MB L3 cache.
* Reading in the data is (for the datasets I tested) extremely fast.
The 512^3 dataset takes only about 20 seconds to read the whole
* Generating the first frame in a volume render is extremely slow. On
the order of 4 minutes for the 512^3 data set. After the first frame
is produced, new frames are fast, even with openmp off. With 1
openmp thread, it takes on the order of 10s of seconds for a new frame.
* Generating ghost zones is very fast for datasets with only one grid.
It is incredibly slow for datasets with multiple grids, dominating
the run time.
* I attach a plot comparing the three tests.
Naively, it seems to me that there must be several sources of overhead
when I perform volume rendering that are significantly more costly than
simply reading in the data (which seems to be fast). Clearly one of
these is the generation of the ghost zones, and another is the actual
ray tracing (although the ray tracing itself seems to be quite fast.).
However I'm not sure that these two operations alone explain the cost of
the volume rendering.
I'd love to know other people's experience with benchmarking. Do these
costs seem normal, up to an order of magnitude or so? Would you have any
insight into what contributes to the cost of generating the first frame
when volume rendering?
Thanks very much!