[Numpy-discussion] Compiling Python with icc

rex rex at nosyntax.com
Thu Jan 25 06:50:24 EST 2007

George Nurser <gnurser at googlemail.com> [2007-01-25 02:05]:

> Perhaps compiling python itself with icc might give a useful speedup.
> Apparently somebody managed this for python 2.3 in 2003:
> http://mail.python.org/pipermail/c++-sig/2003-October/005824.html

Hello George,

I saw that post yesterday, and just got around to trying it. It works.

./configure CC=icc --prefix=/usr/local

In addition to commenting out

#BASECFLAGS=     -OPT:Olimit=0

I added 

-xT -parallel 

to the 


line for my Core 2 Duo CPU. The usual Make, Make install worked, and
pybench now runs in 3.15 seconds vs 4.7 seconds with Python2.5 compiled
with gcc. That's a 49% speed increase. 


And, if psyco is used, pybench runs in 1.6 seconds for one iteration and
then crashes. Psyco + icc results in a ~300% speed increase. Pybench
needs to be updated for 1+ gigaflop systems.


"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone"
    --Bjorne Stroustrup (originator of C++ programming language)

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