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Jonathan Erickson

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Parallel Studio's Dirty Little Secret

August 20, 2010

From what I can tell, the consensus is that Intel's Parallel Studio is a fine piece of work for Windows C\C++ programmers who write and develop programs using Microsoft Visual Studio.

Another way to look at Parallel Studio is that it is a soup-to-nuts solution when developing parallel software for multicore platforms.By "soup-to-nuts" I mean that its components consist of Parallel Composer (a compiler and libraries like TBB), Parallel Inspector (for debugging and managing memory), Parallel Amplifier (when you need to optimize), and Advisor (which prepares serial parts of your program for parallelism by simulating its parallel behavior).

But here's the rub...what if you are still entrenched in the serial world or dual-core (rather quad-core) platforms? Is there any reason to dip your toes in parallel waters? The answer is "you bet there is." Parallel Studio's consists of some powerful tools that you can use to improve the performance and reliability of your serial, non-parallel programs right now, without having to wait for quad-core platforms.

For instance, you can use Parallel Amplifier to find hotspots in serial C++ code and then focus your optimization efforts according. The details of how to do so are described in this paper entitled Locate a Hotspot and Optimize It. Or you can use Parallel Inspector to find memory errors in C++ code as described here.

So in fact I guess, Parallel Studio's dirty little secret is not so dirty after all since it helps you clean up serial code too.

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