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Does anyone know the quickest way to zero out a large buffer (1MB+).

The following code takes about 4 milliseconds to zero out 1MB on a 450MHz GeeFour.

id buffer=[NSMutableData dataWithLength:262144*4]; int *p; // «— this should be int * d; right ? oops typo!! p=[buffer bytes];

for (i=0;i<262144;i+=16) { p[i+0]=0;p[i+1]=0;p[i+2]=0;p[i+3]=0;p[i+4]=0;p[i+5]=0;p[i+6]=0;p[i+7]=0;p[i+8]=0; p[i+9]=0;p[i+10]=0;p[i+11]=0;p[i+12]=0;p[i+13]=0;p[i+14]=0;p[i+15]=0; }

this is a little faster, about 2.5 milliseconds

id buffer=[NSMutableData dataWithLength:262144*4]; double *d; d=[buffer bytes];

for (i=0;i<131072;i+=16) { d[i+0]=0;d[i+1]=0;d[i+2]=0;d[i+3]=0;d[i+4]=0;d[i+5]=0;d[i+6]=0;d[i+7]=0;d[i+8]=0; d[i+9]=0;d[i+10]=0;d[i+11]=0;d[i+12]=0;d[i+13]=0;d[i+14]=0;d[i+15]=0; }

Seems like there should be some sys call that can do this for you much faster. Anyone know of one?

BTW, I know that NSMutableData provides you with a buffer filled with zeros, but this buffer is goin to be reused a bunch.

just found resetBytesInRange!!

this method call takes 1.5 milliseconds, so I guess using doubles wasn’t that bad. I guess that makes sense since my memory is 128 bits wide and a double is 64 bits wide. I wonder if I get the same results if I use a data type that is 128 bits wide. But I don’t care now, I’m sure 1.5 is as fast as it’s going to get.

For comparison, you could try using string.h’s memset, which should be about as fast as possible.

memset is right at 1.5 also, but since method calls take on the order of microseconds I don’t think it makes a difference which one to use.

Yes, memset is the way to go on Mac OS X. I have been told memset (like all mem* functions) has both been optimized for various architectures, and the compiler can optimize the code around the callsite. (I’ll leave the details to a Darwin expert) I’ll bet you’ll find NSMutableData is actually calling memset on your behalf, which is why performance is the same ;-) – MikeTrent