Linked by Tony Bourke on Thu 22nd Jan 2004 21:29 UTC
Benchmarks When running tests, installing operating systems, and compiling software for my Ultra 5, I came to the stunning realization that hey, this system is 64-bit, and all of the operating systems I installed on this Ultra 5 (can) run in 64-bit mode.
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by nitrile on Thu 22nd Jan 2004 22:19 UTC

Another factor of interest, and also one much more relevant to system performance is that Debian on sparc is actually compiled for SPARC v7, which is broadly equivalent for compiling an x86 distribution for a 386.

The most visibly represented inefficiencies are on floating point code, which is done under FPU emulation regardless of whether or not an actual FPU is present (as it effectively always is nowadays, even on the oldest generally available sparc systems second hand).

Typically it's not a major issue as integer arithemetic dominates the programs supplied with the packaging system, but those running debian on sparc v8 or above (SPARCStation 4-20, Ultras) can benefit from recominpiling OpenSSL, which will speed up anything that depends on it fourfold.