AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler Suite Version 2.0.0 Flag Descriptions

Compilers: AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler Suite


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Commands and Options Used to Submit Benchmark Runs

Using numactl to bind processes and memory to cores

For multi-copy runs or single copy runs on systems with multiple sockets, it is advantageous to bind a process to a particular core. Otherwise, the OS may arbitrarily move your process from one core to another. This can affect performance. To help, SPEC allows the use of a "submit" command where users can specify a utility to use to bind processes. We have found the utility 'numactl' to be the best choice.

numactl runs processes with a specific NUMA scheduling or memory placement policy. The policy is set for a command and inherited by all of its children. The numactl flag "--physcpubind" specifies which core(s) to bind the process. "-l" instructs numactl to keep a process's memory on the local node while "-m" specifies which node(s) to place a process's memory. For full details on using numactl, please refer to your Linux documentation, 'man numactl'

Note that some older versions of numactl incorrectly interpret application arguments as its own. For example, with the command "numactl --physcpubind=0 -l a.out -m a", numactl will interpret a.out's "-m" option as its own "-m" option. To work around this problem, we put the command to be run in a shell script and then run the shell script using numactl. For example: "echo 'a.out -m a' > ; numactl --physcpubind=0 bash"

Shell, Environment, and Other Software Settings

Transparent Huge Pages (THP)

THP is an abstraction layer that automates most aspects of creating, managing, and using huge pages. THP is designed to hide much of the complexity in using huge pages from system administrators and developers, as normal huge pages must be assigned at boot time, can be difficult to manage manually, and often require significant changes to code in order to be used effectively. Most recent Linux OS releases have THP enabled by default.

Linux Huge Page settings

If you need finer control you can manually set huge pages using the following steps:

Note that further information about huge pages may be found in the Linux kernel documentation file hugetlbpage.txt.

ulimit -s <n>

Sets the stack size to n kbytes, or unlimited to allow the stack size to grow without limit.

ulimit -l <n>

Sets the maximum size of memory that may be locked into physical memory.

powersave -f (on SuSE)

Makes the powersave daemon set the CPUs to the highest supported frequency.

/etc/init.d/cpuspeed stop (on Red Hat)

Disables the cpu frequency scaling program in order to set the CPUs to the highest supported frequency.


An environment variable that indicates the location in the filesystem of bundled libraries to use when running the benchmark binaries.


This option can be used to select the type of process address space randomization that is used in the system, for architectures that support this feature.


An environment variable set to tune the jemalloc allocation strategy during the execution of the binaries. This environment variable setting is not needed when building the binaries on the system under test.