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What's the best processor for compiling large VS solutions? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have VS solutions with 100s of projects and I want to know what's the best type of processor or notebooks.  I know memory and disk IO are important and I will have the best money can buy in those areas, but there's a big difference in processors.  For example, my notebook has a i7-7820 @ 2.9 GHz and it can do certain tasks much faster than the server can which has a Xeon processor such as opening dialogue windows in SSMS, but the Xeon processor can run SQL queries much faster than the i7.

    And now there's a 3rd option out there where I understand that AMD has something (Ruyzen APU) that smokes Intel.  How can I get factual information about the best/fastest processor to build large VS solutions.  I spend hours daily waiting for VS to build...

    I've spent a lot of time googling this topic and get a lot of opinions an outdated comments but nothing based on hard data that's current for the specific task of building VS Solutions.

    Thank you

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 4:52 PM

All replies

  • Distributed build? Incredibuild?

    -- pa

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:05 PM
  • Not sure what you are referring to.  I modify code, then I compile and run it to test it, then I repeat this 100+ times a day.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:09 PM
  • I'm referring to a solution for scalable distributed build.

    https://incredibuild.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/IUM/pages/9535521/IncrediBuild+s+Benefits+and+Usage

    This may help if you can use several machines on a decent LAN.-- pa

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:53 PM
  • This will be a single developer notebook.  Looking for the best processor as described above.

    Thank  you.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:55 PM
  • Because of how Visual Studio builds, normally more cores are more important that clock frequency. Especially if the cooling for the system allows the processor to keep boosting as much as it can for as long as it can.

    In addition to this, don't skimp on RAM or storage. Having a really high end processor with 4GiB of RAM and a mechanical hard disk is not going to do well. Having at least 8GiB of RAM and an SSD is vital if you really want build performance.

    As a reference, my system is a desktop with:

    1) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900x (it is around 2 years old now)

    2) m.2 NVMe SSD with 500GB for the system drive.

    3) 64 GiB of physical RAM @3200MHz.

    The RAM is overkill, but in general I get really good build performance.

    The reason why I state that core count is more important is because of how Visual Studio builds.

    My processor has 8 cores, 16 threads of execution. This means that Visual Studio will build as many as it can at once. This means that in a solution with 100s of projects, it will do its best to build 16 at a time on my system. Things like project dependencies can get in the way though.

    What's more, individual compilers can be told to compile multiple source files at once. The Visual C++ compiler has the /MP option as an example. This is useful if build dependencies cause only one project to build, this way you can still take advantage of the multiple threads.


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 12:56 AM
  • Thank you Darran.  I hear the Ryzen is a great processor but its not available yet in the notebooks I'm looking at but might after the new year.  The fastest memory I can get right now is:

    64GB, 4x16GB, 2666MHz DDR4 Non-ECC

    The hard drive will be:

    1TB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive

    But it has room for 3 more so I'll shop for the fastest I ones I can find after I get the notebook.  This leaves me to the processor.  my two options are:

    Intel® Xeon E2286M, 8 Core Xeon, 16M Cache, 2.40GHz up to 5.00GHz Turbo, 45W, vPro
    and
    Intel® Core™ Processor i9-9880H, 8 Core, 16MB Cache, 2.30GHz up to 4.80GHz Turbo, 45W, vPro

    both comparable in cores and clock speed so the question is which will compile faster.  Do you have any more feedback on this?

    Thank you.

    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:23 AM
  • Unfortunately, this isn't a simple case of "this one". 

    There is one major thing which determines how fast a processor runs, and that is how hot it gets. If the Xeon is in a system that doesn't have very good cooling but the i9 has really good cooling, then the i9 will boost more.

    Unfortunately there is not enough information to state which would be better, especially in notebooks.


    This is a signature. Any samples given are not meant to have error checking or show best practices. They are meant to just illustrate a point. I may also give inefficient code or introduce some problems to discourage copy/paste coding. This is because the major point of my posts is to aid in the learning process.

    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 4:07 AM
  • Hi moondaddy,

    Sorry for delay in reply.

    The two CPUs that you mentioned are quite same in basic parameters. Since they both have 8 cores and 16 threads, it might be hard to determine which processor is faster for visual studio to compile, they will both have good performance for Visual Studio.

    In addition, since both of the processors are powerful, like Darran said above, the performance will be affected more related to the temperature of the processors. You could refer Darran’s suggestions.

    Hope this will help you and any feedback will be expected.

    Best Regards,

    Tianyu


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    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 5:54 AM