Re: These days what percentage of a CPU's work involves doing arithmetic computations versus other, non-arithmetic computations?

Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
Thu, 15 Jul 2021 22:02:58 +0200

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From: Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 22:02:58 +0200
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 21-07-004 21-07-006
Injection-Info:; posting-host=""; logging-data="28306"; mail-complaints-to=""
Keywords: arithmetic, architecture
Posted-Date: 15 Jul 2021 16:05:20 EDT
In-Reply-To: 21-07-006
Content-Language: de-DE

On 7/15/21 11:31 AM, gah4 wrote:
> On Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 12:42:37 PM UTC-7, Roger L Costello wrote:

>> I look at what I now do on a daily basis with computers and it is primarily
>> text processing. My guess is that "text processing" at the machine level
>> mostly means doing comparisons and moving things into and out of
>> memory/registers; that is, not much in the way of arithmetic computations. Is
>> that correct?
> Good text processing is reasonably numeric intensive. TeX uses dynamic
> programming to find the optimal line breaking points on a page.

Much arithmetic is required for rendering glyphs on screen, depending on
fonts, text attributes etc. That's true already for a browser, no need
to ask for an editor or sophisticated text processing system.

An editor does not much computation, it mostly fits together updated
text snippets. Together with an Undo function this results in a list of
changes that are fixed only when the text is saved to disk again.


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