Re: AMD X2 unsynced TSC fix?

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Willy Tarreau wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 27, 2006 at 11:28:00PM -0400, Lee Revell wrote:
>>On Fri, 2006-10-27 at 18:04 -0700, Andi Kleen wrote:
>>>I don't think it makes too much sense to hack on pure RDTSC when 
>>>gtod is fast enough -- RDTSC will be always icky and hard to use.
>>I agree FWIW, our application would be happy to just use gtod if it
>>wasn't so slow on these machines.
> Agreed, I had to turn about 20 dual-core servers to single core because
> the only way to get a monotonic gtod made it so slow that it was not
> worth using a dual-core. I initially considered buying one dual-core
> AMD for my own use, but after seeing this, I'm definitely sure I won't
> ever buy one as long as this problem is not fixed, as it causes too
> many problems.

For the record, in my previous job we were implementing
a very fast packet sniffer/timestamper using 2x3.2GHz P4 Xeons + linux 2.4.20 (with gtod)
Very rarely we would see inter packet times jump by (2^32)/CPU_Hz seconds,
when sniffing about 1.2 million packets per second on 2 e1000 links,
which suggested a wrap around of a 32 bit comparison somewhere.
This lead to the fix below which was never picked up
(I guessed because it was addressed elsewhere?).
Note we were only interested in millisecond resolution for the timestamps,
but the approximation is very good in general as you know the TSCs are very
close to each other when this condition happens.
Note power management was not used on our systems.


diff -Naru linux-2.4.20/arch/i386/kernel/time.c linux-2.4.20-corvil/arch/i386/kernel/time.c
--- linux-2.4.20/arch/i386/kernel/time.c    2002-11-28 23:53:09.000000000 +0000
+++ linux-2.4.20-pb/arch/i386/kernel/time.c 2005-07-07 10:32:34.000000000 +0100
@@ -94,6 +94,9 @@

        /* .. relative to previous jiffy (32 bits is enough) */
        eax -= last_tsc_low;    /* tsc_low delta */
+        if ((signed)eax < 0) { /* workaround for drifting TSCs */
+            eax = 0;
+            printk(KERN_INFO "tsc wrap around applied\n"); /* rare */
+        }

          * Time offset = (tsc_low delta) * fast_gettimeoffset_quotient
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