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Latency numbers every programmer should know

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latency.markdown
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Latency numbers every programmer should know

L1 cache reference ......................... 0.5 ns
Branch mispredict ............................ 5 ns
L2 cache reference ........................... 7 ns
Mutex lock/unlock ........................... 25 ns
Main memory reference ...................... 100 ns             
Compress 1K bytes with Zippy ............. 3,000 ns  =   3 µs
Send 2K bytes over 1 Gbps network ....... 20,000 ns  =  20 µs
SSD random read ........................ 150,000 ns  = 150 µs
Read 1 MB sequentially from memory ..... 250,000 ns  = 250 µs
Round trip within same datacenter ...... 500,000 ns  = 0.5 ms
Read 1 MB sequentially from SSD* ..... 1,000,000 ns  =   1 ms
Disk seek ........................... 10,000,000 ns  =  10 ms
Read 1 MB sequentially from disk .... 20,000,000 ns  =  20 ms
Send packet CA->Netherlands->CA .... 150,000,000 ns  = 150 ms

Assuming ~1GB/sec SSD

Visual representation of latencies

Visual chart provided by ayshen

Data by Jeff Dean

Originally by Peter Norvig

latency_humanized.markdown
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Lets multiply all these durations by a billion:

Magnitudes:

Minute:

L1 cache reference                  0.5 s         One heart beat (0.5 s)
Branch mispredict                   5 s           Yawn
L2 cache reference                  7 s           Long yawn
Mutex lock/unlock                   25 s          Making a coffee

Hour:

Main memory reference               100 s         Brushing your teeth
Compress 1K bytes with Zippy        50 min        One episode of a TV show (including ad breaks)

Day:

Send 2K bytes over 1 Gbps network   5.5 hr        From lunch to end of work day

Week

SSD random read                     1.7 days      A normal weekend
Read 1 MB sequentially from memory  2.9 days      A long weekend
Round trip within same datacenter   5.8 days      A medium vacation
Read 1 MB sequentially from SSD    11.6 days      Waiting for almost 2 weeks for a delivery

Year

Disk seek                           16.5 weeks    A semester in university
Read 1 MB sequentially from disk    7.8 months    Almost producing a new human being
The above 2 together                1 year

Decade

Send packet CA->Netherlands->CA     4.8 years     Average time it takes to complete a bachelor's degree

25s is making one coffee. 7.8 months is a tad faster than producing a new human being. One disk-seek (16 weeks) and then reading 1MiB (7.8 months) is one year.

thx, will incorporate those!

16.5 weeks ~= four months ~= full semester at university ~= summer break ?

branch mis-predict: a yawn.

Such an accurate portrayal. "yawwwn aw damn it fell through to the else again."

4.8 years is very roughly two round trips to Mars. Or a one-way trip to Europa.

4.8 years is about how long a bachelor's degree takes on average (4.7 years in 2008 according to this page).

Should add date of creation to text itself (as of ...)

If enough people start reading this, the last one will have to wait several years

Great interactive chart! Suggest to add CPU cycles for a simple single instructions such as ADD, MOV, MULT (e.g. "multiplying two 16bit integers".

I'd like to see a duration for function-call overhead. Late 80s when I was in school, it was several micro-seconds, enough that people had concerns about having unnecessary function calls. I'm sure that doesn't apply any more, but I don't have real numbers.

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