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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/9] x86/fpu: Hard-disable lazy fpu mode
On Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 7:03 AM, Paolo Bonzini <> wrote:
> On 05/10/2016 15:57, Rik van Riel wrote:
>> On Wed, 2016-10-05 at 09:14 +0200, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
>>> On 05/10/2016 02:34, wrote:
>>>> From: Andy Lutomirski <>
>>>> Since commit 58122bf1d856 ("x86/fpu: Default eagerfpu=on on all
>>>> CPUs") in Linux 4.6, eager FPU mode has been the default on all x86
>>>> systems, and no one has reported any regressions.
>>>> This patch removes the ability to enable lazy mode: use_eager_fpu()
>>>> becomes "return true" and all of the FPU mode selection machinery
>>>> is
>>>> removed.
>>> I haven't quite followed up on my promise to benchmark lazy vs. eager
>>> FPU, but I probably should do that now...
>>> I see two possible issues with this. First, AMD as far as I know does
>>> not have XSAVEOPT. Second, when using virtualization, depending on
>>> how you configure your cluster it's enough to have one pre-SandyBridge
>>> Intel machine to force no XSAVE on all machines.
>> The "OPT" part of XSAVEOPT does not work across the
>> host/guest boundary, anyway.
> Yes, but it works for bare metal (and in fact eager FPU was keyed on
> XSAVEOPT before 58122bf1d856, not XSAVE).
> I'm not talking about KVM here; I am just saying that the lazy FPU code
> might be used more than we'd like to, because of AMD machines and of
> cases where XSAVE is hidden altogether from guests. Of course it is
> quite unlikely that it be reported as a regression, since things just
> work. But as far as I know 58122bf1d856 went in without any substantial
> (or not-so-substantial) benchmarking.

I actually benchmarked the underlying instructions quite a bit on
Intel. (Not on AMD, but I doubt the results are very different.)
Writes to CR0.TS are *incredibly* slow, as are device-not-available
exceptions. Keep in mind that, while there's a (slow) CLTS
instruction, there is no corresponding STTS instruction, so we're left
with a fully serializing, slowly microcoded move to CR0. On SVM, I
think it's worse, because IIRC SVM doesn't have fancy execution
controls that let MOV to CR0 avoid exiting. We're talking a couple
hundred cycles best case for a TS set/clear pair, and thousands of
cycles if we actually take a fault.

In contrast, an unconditional XSAVE + XRSTOR was considerably faster.

This leads to the counterintuitive result that, if we switch from task
A to B and back and task A is heavily using the FPU, then it's faster
to unconditoinally save and restore the full state both ways than it
is to set and clear TS so we can avoid it.

I would guess that the lazy mode hasn't been a win under most
workloads for many years. It's worse on 64-bit CPUs, since almost all
userspace uses XMM regs for memcpy. At least on 32-bit CPUs, SIMD
instructions weren't always available and userspace was conservative.


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