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Inner Loops: A Sourcebook for Fast 32-bit Software Development Paperback – January 2, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0201479607 ISBN-10: 0201479605
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Includes coverage of Pentium II - referred to in the chapters on Pentium Pro and MMX.

No speed limits have been posted on the PC performance track, yet much software runs in the slow lane, functioning at 10 to 50 percent of its potential speed. The cause of these slowdowns? Bottlenecking on time-critical inner loops.

Inner Loops: A Sourcebook for Fast 32-bit Software Development gives the green light to optimal PC performance with practical advice and a strategic sampling of important algorithms. Focused directly on the 32-bit future of PC computing, Inner Loops explores the new rules and opportunities of a wide-open memory space, parallel instruction execution, and clock speeds in the hundreds of megahertz. You'll be taken through:

  • a thorough review of 32-bit code optimization for the 486, Pentium, and Pentium Pro
  • making the transition from 16-bit to 32-bit assembly language
  • principles of C and assembly language optimization
  • tips for fast 32-bit software design
  • real-world examples of top-speed inner loops for several important PC algorithms
  • what MMX, the Intel multimedia extensions, mean for speed

Author Rick Booth backs up his theory of speed with practical examples and source code, including such topics as:

  • Fast memory moves
  • Random numbers
  • Hashing
  • Huffman compression
  • Sorting
  • Matrix math
  • JPEG's inner loop
Many chapters contain high-performance demos, which are also found on the CD. These include one of the fastest sort engines possible, a top-speed Huffman compression system, and JPEG's decompression inner loop tuned for top performance.

Consultant and developer Rick Booth is a 17-year veteran of the video game and digital video industries.

0201479605B04062001

About the Author

Consultant and developer Rick Booth is a 17-year veteran of the video game and digital video industries.

0201479605AB04062001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (January 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201479605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201479607
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,078,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James C. Smith on October 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book I know of when it comes to learning how to optimize code for maximum performance on an Intel Pentium, Pentium MMX, Pentium Pro, or Pentium II processor. It is also great for learning about how the processors work. Rick gives a very easy to understand explanation of several advanced concepts such as branch prediction, stalls, address generation interlocks, L1 and L2 caches, and instruction pairing. Every little idiosyncrasy and quirk of the Pentium that may slow down your code is explained so that that you can avoid them all. In many cases, Rick gives you a lot more information than any of official Intel documentation. He also corrects several of Intel's timing charts that do not accurately reflect the real world performance of the Pentium processor. Most of this information is understandable and useful even if you program in C or C++. In other words, you don't have to be writing in assembly language to be concerned about branch prediction, cache lines and the other topics covered in the book. This book is a must have for anyone writing performance code on an Pentium processor and recommended to anyone curious about how the Pentium processor works from a software perspective.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you are an experienced C/C++ programmer who thinks that pointer arithmetic is better than array notation for "performance" reasons, then you better get this book cause the world has passed you by. (See page 155 of Rick's excellent book.)
If you are at all interested in real performance issues and you find yourself making coding decisions like pointer arithmetic or control flow type (while (i--), or while (--i)), then you need to read this book cause its filled with interesting examples of what different things compile to, how long they *should* take, and how long they *really* take.
The only negative I have is that it's a bit old now, and doesn't cover the Pentium II/III. But, much of the Pentium Pro / Pentium information can be extrapolated.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ktingle on March 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are so many computer books that have second editions which add little to the original text. This book deserves a second edition by covering;
MMX (when this book was written only the MMX spec from Intel was available, so the author does his best)
SSE & 3DNow! & SSE2 Instructions (SIMD FPU rogramming)
PII, PIII, & Athlon coverage
Encoding / Decoding of Audio and Video Streams
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Trahan on June 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book is starting to be outdated but I did not find a better book on the subject. Teaches a few assembly tricks to help you get a bit of performance. At least it covers Pentium (only Pentium I and Pentium Pro though). When is the second edition coming out? Unless you are already an advanced assembly programmer, you will learn something in this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1997
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be an invaluable aid in fine tuning my code. Not just for the detailed information about the true performance of the various Intel processors, but also the excellant algorithms for some very common problems.

This book needs to be owned by anyone doing serious assembly programming
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brent A. Thale (bat@texas.net) on January 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Inner Loops" is an excellent book for advanced programmers trying to get the most out of the 486, Pentium, and Pentium Pro. The book primarily targets the plain Pentium, though, and I'd like to see an update covering Pentium II and III. Many of the author's favorite tricks are specifically designed for the Pentium, and actually run slower on the Pentium Pro-core chips, but he does address this issue. There is a nice Pentium Pro section, but the author doesn't clearly explain why certain PPro instruction sequences can seem to execute in zero or negative time, so it seems like plain Pentium was the primary testing platform. Also, the example programs are all DOS-based, which seems curious for a new book, but it didn't get in the way of understanding the examples.
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