What kinds of low level knowledge matter?

Posted by Peter Smith on Programmers See other posts from Programmers or by Peter Smith
Published on 2012-03-31T00:30:25Z Indexed on 2012/03/31 5:39 UTC
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I realize that this question is similar to Low level programming - what's in it for me, but the answers didn't really address my question well. Part from just an understanding, how exactly does your low level knowledge translate into faster and better programs?

There's the obvious lack of garbage collection, but what else is an advantage? Do you really outperform your optimizing compiler? Do you pack your data structures in as tight as possible and be concerned about alignment? There's extra freedom naturally, but does that really translate into a faster program?

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