decade about graphics and performance programming that’s still relevant to Code Optimization is there too, and even my book Zen of Assembly. Graphics Programming Black Book Special Edition has 65 ratings and 3 reviews. — Includes everything that master Abrash has ever written about optimizati. Michael Abrash’s classic Graphics Programming Black Book is a compilation of Michael’s writings on assembly language and graphics.

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Graphics Programming Black Book | Dr Dobb’s

All the memory in the PCjr was display memory. Spend your time improving the performance of the code inside heavily-used loops and in the portions of your programs that directly affect response time. While either case can happen, the latter case—significant performance reduction, ranging as high as 8. Alas, the execution time of an instruction preceded by dozens of identical instructions reflects just one of many possible prefetch states and not a very likely state at thatand some of the other prefetch states may well produce distinctly different results.

Graphics Programming Black Book Special Edition

This book teaches you to think like a performance programmer like no other. Every invocation of getc involves pushing a parameter, executing a call to the C library function, getting the parameter in the C library code hook, looking up information about the desired stream, unbuffering the next byte from the stream, and returning to the calling code. Thanks for the kind words, everyone – this brings back a lot of memories for me too.

The is internally a full bit processor, equivalent to an Ignorance can also be responsible for considerable wasted effort.

Thanks for telling graphiccs about the problem. A line-drawing subroutine, which executes perhaps a dozen instructions for each display memory access, generally loses less performance to the display adapter cycle-eater than does a block-copy or scrolling subroutine that uses REP MOVS instructions.

At any rate, I had accumulated a small collection of rejection slips, and fancied myself something of an old hand in the field. This listing measures the time required to execute 1, loads of AL from the memory variable MemVar.

The result of this mismatch is simple: For all intents and purposes, one of the two instructions runs at no performance cost whatsoever while the overlap exists. Advanced Analytics with Spark: The loop in Listing 7.


BAT, the code in Listing 3. If an IRQ0 interrupt is pending, then timer 0 has turned over and generated a timer interrupt.

After all, the performs byte-sized memory accesses just as quickly as the I recall he was computing a dot product or something that was used over an 8 pixel span. Suddenly, the answer struck me—the code was rotating each bit into place separately, so that a multibit rotation was being performed every time through the loop, for a total of four separate time-consuming multibit rotations! Development of the flexible mind is an obvious step. The BIU can fetch instruction bytes at a maximum rate of one byte every 4 cycles— and that 4-cycle per instruction byte rate is the ultimate limit on overall instruction execution time, regardless of EU speed.

Knowledge is simply a necessary base on which to build. On the other hand, there is certainly no guarantee that code performance as measured by the Zen timer will be the same on compatible computers as on genuine IBM machines, or that either absolute or relative code performance will be similar even on different IBM models; in fact, quite the opposite is true.

An assembler is nothing more than a tool to let you design machine-language programs without having to think in hexadecimal codes. What this means is that when you want to speed up a portion of a C program, you should identify the entire critical portion and move all of that critical portion into an assembly language function. Those are lessons that are still relevant today.

For intensive access to display memory, the loss really can be as high as 8cycles and up to 50,or even more on s and Pentiums paired with slow VGAswhile for average graphics code the loss is closer to 4 cycles; in either case, the impact on performance is significant. VGA Write Mode 3 2. The biggest benefit to me of actually making money as a programmer was the ability to buy all the books and magazines I wanted. While short instructions minimize overall prefetch time, ironically they actually often suffer more from the prefetch queue bottleneck than do long instructions.

Do not be misled by the book title because the 22 first chapters, which represents about the third of the pages, discuss assembly optimization. Not that this variation between models makes the Zen timer one whit less useful—quite the contrary.

Thanks for writing it, Michael. This, you might remember, is the process of handling in chunks data sets too large to fit in memory so that they can be processed just about as abdash as if they did fit in memory.


Why does Intel document Execution Unit execution time rather than overall instruction execution time, which includes both instruction fetch time and Execution Unit EU execution time? Divide-by-N mode counts down by one from the initial count. The addresses accessed by the refresh DMA accesses are arranged so that taken together they properly refresh all the memory in the PC. With a merely adequate translation, you risk laboring mightily for little or no reward. Credit for this final approach goes to Michael Geary, and thanks gook to David Miller for passing the idea on to me.

Consequently, the time taken for display memory to complete an read or write access is often longer than the time taken for system memory to complete an access, even if the lucks into hitting a free display memory access just as it becomes available, again as shown in Figure 4.

Graphics Programming Black Book Special Edition by Michael Abrash

Execution times are given for Listing 1. People who actually buy software, on the other hand, care only about how well that software performs, not how it was developed nor how it is maintained. Since timer 0 is initially set to 0 by the Zen timer, and since the system clock ticks only when timer 0 counts off You must also learn to look at your programming problems from a variety of perspectives so that you can put those fast instructions to work in the most effective ways.

Both listings perform exactly the same number of memory accesses—2, accesses, each byte-sized, as all memory accesses must be. Code fragments you write yourself can be timed in just the same way. Zen of Assembly Language: Since SHR executes in 2 cycles but is 2 bytes long, the prefetch queue should be empty while Listing 4. This is the right way of doing things — like converting your crucial functions to assembly language after doing all your development in C.