Geeks With Blogs
Mark Pearl


Okay, so the title may be a little misleading… but I am currently travelling and so have had very little time and access to resources to do much fsharping – this has meant that I am right now missing my favourite new language. I was interested to see this post on Stack Overflow this evening concerning the performance of the F# language.

The person posing the question asked 8 key points about the F# language, namely…

  1. How well does it do floating-point?
  2. Does it allow vector instructions
  3. How friendly is it towards optimizing compilers?
  4. How big a memory foot print does it have?
  5. Does it allow fine-grained control over memory locality?
  6. Does it have capacity for distributed memory processors, for example Cray?
  7. What features does it have that may be of interest to computational science where heavy number processing is involved?
  8. Are there actual scientific computing implementations that use it?

Now, I don’t have much time to look into a decent response and to be honest I don’t know half of the answers to what he is asking, but it was interesting to see what was put up as an answer so far and would be interesting to get other peoples feedback on these questions if they know of anything other than what has been covered in the answer section already.

Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 9:36 PM F# | Back to top

Comments on this post: Does F# kill C++?

# re: Does F# kill C++?
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I am reminded of the farmer who visited his local BMW dealer.
After listening patiently to the car salesman's pitch for a new 5 series, he asked: "Ok, but how many pigs can I fit in the back seat?"
Left by Peter Adams on May 06, 2010 7:35 AM

# re: Does F# kill C++?
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Interesting questions. Having worked in embedded systems, I remember how important numbers 4 and 5 were in that world.

Regarding 4, most of the bulk of F# comes from .NET rather than the language. If you look at the IL, it’s apparent that a native-code F# compiler could produce some very small-footprint programs. (Whether the business need to create such a compiler exists is a separate problem.)

Number 5 could be a problem, but I think it could be solved with a combination of compiler technology and libraries.
Left by TechNeilogy on May 06, 2010 5:25 PM

# re: Does F# kill C++?
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At least to some extent F# programs could run at par with C++ ones. Below is the link to Flying Frog blog where people performed comparison for ray tracing:

"We obtained a surprising performance result when comparing optimized parallel ray tracers written in F# and C++ recently. The following two programs render the same highly complex scenes containing over a million objects. Surprisingly, the 136-line managed F# program runs slightly faster at 17s than the 168-line unmanaged C++ which takes 18s."

Left by Petr on May 06, 2010 6:13 PM

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