Execution Characteristics of Desktop Applications on Windows NT


Dennis Lee, Patrick Crowley, Jean-Loup Baer, Thomas Anderson, and Brian Bershad. Execution Characteristics of Desktop Applications on Windows NT. Proceedings of the 25th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), pages 27 - 38. June 1998.

This paper examines the performance of desktop applications running on the Microsoft Windows NT operating system on Intel x86 processors, and contrasts these applications to the programs in the integer SPEC95 benchmark suite. We present measurements of basic instruction set and program characteristics, and detailed simulation results of the way these programs use the memory system and processor branch architecture. We show that the desktop applications have similar characteristics to the integer SPEC95 benchmarks for many of these metrics. However, compared to the integer SPEC95 applications, desktop applications have larger instruction working sets, execute instructions in a greater number of unique functions, cross DLL boundaries frequently, and execute a greater number of indirect calls.