SPEC CPU2006 and CPU2017 Flag Description - Platform settings for New H3C systems

Operating System Tuning Parameters

cpupower frequency-set
cpupower utility is a collection of tools for power efficiency of processor. frequency-set sub-command controls settings for processor frequency. "-g [governor]" specifies a policy to select processor frequency. The performance governor statically sets frequency of the processor cores specified by "-c" option to the highest possible for maximum performance.
This kernel option sets adaptive tick mode (NOHZ_FULL) to specified processors. Since the number of interrupts is reduced to ones per second, latency-sensitive applications can take advantage of it.

Firmware / BIOS / Microcode Settings

Enhanced Halt State (C1E)
Enabling this option which is the default allows the processor to transmit to its minimum frequency when entering the power state C1. If the switch is disabled the CPU stays at its maximum frequency in C1. Because of the increase of power consumption users should only select this option after performing application benchmarking to verify improved performance in their environment. The default is "Enabled".
DCU Streamer Prefetcher
This BIOS switch allows 2 options: "Enabled" and "Disabled". The default is "Enabled".
This prefetcher is a L1 data cache prefetcher, which detects multiple loads from the same cache line done within a time limit, in order to then prefetch the next line from the L2 cache or the main memory into the L1 cache based on the assumption that the next cache line will also be needed.
Hardware Prefetch
Lightly threaded applications and some benchmarks can benefit from having the hardware prefetcher enabled. Default is Enable.
Adjacent Cache Prefetch
Lightly threaded applications and some benchmarks can benefit from having the adjacent cache line prefetch enabled. Default is Enable.
Hardware P-States
This BIOS switch allows 4 options: "Native Mode", "Disabled", "Out of Band Mode" and "Native Mode with No legacy Support". The default is "Native Mode".
With Hardware Power Management(HWPM) the processors provides a flexible interface between Hardware and Platform for performance management and improving energy efficiency.
In Native Mode the HWPM operates cooperatively with the OS via a software interface to provide constraints and hints.
When disabled, system does not use HWPM.
EIST PSD Function
Function of the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST).
EIST reduces the latency inherent with changing the voltage-frequency pair (P-state), thus allowing those transitions to occur more frequently. This allows for more granular, demand-based switching and can optimize the power-to-performance balance, based on the demands of the applications.
Power Supply Mode (Default = Balanced Performance)
This BIOS switch allows 4 options: "Balanced performance", "Performance", "Balanced Energy" and "Energy Efficient". The default is "Balanced Performance" optimized to maximum power savings with minimal impact on performance. "Performance" disables all power management options with any impact on performance. "Balanced Energy" is optimized for power efficiency and "Energy Efficient" for power savings. The BIOS switch is only selectable if the BIOS switch "Power Technology" is set to "Custom".
The two options "Balanced Performance" and "Balanced Energy" should always be the first choice as both options optimize the efficiency of the system. In cases where the performance is not sufficient or the power consumption is too high the two options "Performance" or "Energy Efficient" could be an alternative.
IMC Interleaving
This BIOS option controls the interleaving between the Integrated Memory Controllers (IMCs). There are two IMCs per socket in Skylake Server. If IMC Interleaving is set to 2-way, addresses will be interleaved between the two IMCs. If IMC Interleaving is set to 1-way, there will be no interleaving. If SNC is disabled, IMC Interleaving should be set to 2-way. If SNC is enabled, IMC Interleaving should be set to 1-way. This BIOS switch allows 3 options: "Auto" , "1-way Interleave" and "2-way Interleave". Default setting is "Auto".
Hyper-Threading [all]
This BIOS option enables or disables additional hardware thread which shares same physical core. Generally "Enabled" is recommended but disabling it makes sense for the application which requires the shortest possible response times. Default setting is "Enabled".
Link Frequency Select
This switch allows the configuration of the Intel Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI) link speed. Default is auto, which configures the optimal link speed automatically. It can be set "9.6 GT/s", "10.4 GT/s" or "Auto".
LLC dead line alloc
This BIOS switch allows 2 options: "Enabled" and "Disabled". The default is "Enabled". In the Skylake non-inclusive cache scheme, the mid-level cache (MLC) evictions are filled into the last-level cache (LLC). When lines are evicted from the MLC, the core can flag them as "dead" (i.e., not likely to be read again). The LLC has the option to drop dead lines and not fill them in the LLC. If the Dead Line LLC Alloc feature is disabled, dead lines will always be dropped and will never fill into the LLC. This can help save space in the LLC and prevent the LLC from evicting useful data. However, if the Dead Line LLC Alloc feature is enabled, the LLC can opportunistically fill dead lines into the LLC if there is free space available.
Package C State
This BIOS option allows 6 options: "C0/C1", "C2", "C6(non Retention)", "C6(Retention)", "No Limit" and "Auto". The default setting is "Auto". Package C-states is one of energy-saving options of the processor, which not only allow the individual cores of a processor, but the entire processor chip to be put into a type of sleep state. As a result, power consumption is even further reduced. But the "waking-up time" that is required to change from the lower package C-states to the active (C0) state is even longer in comparison with the CPU or core C-states. If the "C0" setting is made in the BIOS, the processor chip always remains active. It can improve the performance of latency sensitive workloads.
Patrol Scrub
This BIOS option enables or disables the so-called memory scrubbing, which cyclically accesses the main memory of the system in the background regardless of the operating system in order to detect and correct memory errors in a preventive way. The time of this memory test cannot be influenced and can under certain circumstances result in losses in performance. The disabling of the Patrol Scrub option increases the probability of discovering memory errors in case of active accesses by the operating system. Until these errors are correctable, the ECC technology of the memory modules ensures that the system continues to run in a stable way. However, too many correctable memory errors increase the risk of discovering non-correctable errors, which then result in a system standstill.
Stale AtoS
This BIOS switch allows 2 options: "Enabled" and "Disabled". The default is "Disabled".
The in-memory directory has three states: I, A, and S. I (invalid) state means the data is clean and does not exist in any other socket's cache. A (snoopAll) state means the data may exist in another socket in exclusive or modified state. S (Shared) state means the data is clean and may be shared across one or more socket's caches.
When doing a read to memory, if the directory line is in the A state we must snoop all the other sockets because another socket may have the line in modified state. If this is the case, the snoop will return the modified data. However, it may be the case that a line is read in A state and all the snoops come back a miss. This can happen if another socket read the line earlier and then silently dropped it from its cache without modifying it.
If Stale AtoS feature is enabled, in the situation where a line in A state returns only snoop misses, the line will transition to S state. That way, subsequent reads to the line will encounter it in S state and not have to snoop, saving latency and snoop bandwidth. Stale AtoS may be beneficial in a workload where there are many cross-socket reads.
Sub NUMA Cluster
Sub NUMA Cluster (SNC) breaks up the last-level cache (LLC) into two disjoint clusters based on address range, with each cluster bound to one memory controller. SNC improves average latency to the LLC/memory and is a replacement for the "Cluster On Die" (COD) feature found in previous processor families. For a multi-socketed system, all SNC clusters are mapped to unique NUMA domains. IMC Interleaving must be set to the correct value to correspond with SNC enable/disable. If SNC and IMC Interleave are both set to Auto, the result will be SNC disabled (only one cluster per socket) with 2-way IMC interleave. If SNC is set to Enable, IMC Interleave should be set to 1-way, which will result in two clusters per socket. The BIOS switch "Sub NUMA Clustering" allows 3 options: "Auto", "Enabled" and "Disabled". The default setting is "Disabled".
Intel VT for Directed I/O (VT-d)
This BIOS option enables or disables I/O virtualization functions of the CPU. If the server is not used for virtualization, this option should be set to "Disabled". Default setting is "Enabled".
This BIOS option enables or disables additional virtualization functions of the CPU. If the server is not used for virtualization, this option should be set to "Disabled". This can result in energy savings. Default setting is "Enabled".
Trusted Execution Technology
Enable Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT). The default setting is "Disabled".
XPT Prefetcher
This option configures the processor Xtended Prediciton Table (XPT) prefetch feature. The XPT prefetcher exists on top of other prefetchers that that can prefetch data in the core DCU, MLC, and LLC. The XPT prefetcher will issue a speculative DRAM read request in parallel to an LLC lookup. This prefetch bypasses the LLC, saving latency. In some cases, setting this option to disabled can improve performance. In some cases, setting this option to disabled can improve performance. Typically, setting this option to enable provides better performance. This option must be enabled when Sub-NUMA Clustering is enabled. Values for this BIOS option can be: Enabled: Allows a read request sent to the LLC to speculatively issue a copy of the read to the memory controller requesting the prefetch. Disabled: Does not allow the LLC to speculatively issue copies of reads. Disabling this will also disables Sub-NUMA Cluster (SNC).
DCA(Direct Cache Access) capable I/O devices such as network controllers can place data directly into the CPU cache, which improves response time. Enabling this option allows processors to increase I/O performance by placing data from I/O devices directly into the processor cache. This setting helps to reduce cache misses. The default setting is "Disabled".
Workload Configuration
Controls the aggressiveness of the energy performance BIAS settings. This bit field allows the Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) to choose a configuration that may improve performance on certain workloads. Can be UMA or NUMA. The default is "UMA".
Autonomous Core C-State
This BIOS switch allows 2 options: "Enabled" and "Disabled". The default is "Disabled". Enabled: HALT and C1 request get converted to C6 requests in hardware. Disabled: only C0 and C1 are used by the OS. C1 gets enabled automatically when an OS autohalts.