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Memory Manager Investigations

André Mussche on Google+ investigated the performance of several Memory Managers for Delphi, in single-threaded & multi-threaded situations, with detailed results and charts on performance and memory usage.

Great work and interesting findings!

His conclusions (which I share)

For single threaded or low memory profile applications, the default Delphi memory manager (FastMM) is the fastest you can get. If you don’t realloc a lot (strings?), TCmalloc [from Google perftools] is fast too.

For multi threaded apps, it’s not easy to decided what to use. ScaleMM2 is the fastest but not stable. TCmalloc is a good one, but uses a lot of memory. MSVCRT [Microsoft allocator in msvcrt.dll] looks scalable in simple multi-threaded tests, but in extended test like FastCodeMMChallenge it is disappointing: slower and uses a lot of memory!
JeMalloc (used by the latest FireFox) is disappointing in multi-threaded areas, but uses the same low memory as FastMM: maybe FF can be made faster by using FastMM? 🙂

Additionally, Hoard was tested, though it performed “off the charts” (in a literal and bad way).

You can check André’s charts for yourself:

All in all, for single-threaded applications, or when you have few threads or limited thread-based memory management, FastMM is still king of the Hill, and not just of the Delphi Hill, both in terms of performance, memory usage and robustness.
Pierre le Riche can be proud of his baby 😉

As for multi-threaded applications, ScaleMM, once stabilized, could well become the next undisputed King of the Hill, and not just of the Delphi Hill again.

I don’t know if Embarcadero are aware of the technical lead this offers to Delphi, this is something worth some marketing buzz and MM authors support surely?