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Does a larger gc-cons-threshold mean a faster Emacs?

From: Kevin A. Burton
Subject: Does a larger gc-cons-threshold mean a faster Emacs?
Date: 26 Jul 2002 18:17:30 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/21.2

Hash: SHA1


I sent an email about my GC problems a while back but only RMS replied.  I am
still going to spend some time to debug what is going on but:

    gc-cons-threshold's value is 4194304

    *Number of bytes of consing between garbage collections.
    Garbage collection can happen automatically once this many bytes have been
    allocated since the last garbage collection.  All data types count.

    Garbage collection happens automatically only when `eval' is called.

    By binding this temporarily to a large number, you can effectively
    prevent garbage collection during a part of the program.

This would lead me to believe that setting this to a large value would:

1. Take up a lot of memory
2. Increase the perceived Emacs speed

Right now I have it set to :

(setq gc-cons-threshold (* 8192 8192))

Which seems to yield decent speed (though Emacs uses 50M)

If I set it to anything higher... I get CONSTANT gc and lock my CPU at 100%
(emacs is dead)

This does not seem like the right behavior.  Why would it constantly GC?

Also... would it be acceptable to run an idle timer to run GC for me (in the


- -- 
Kevin A. Burton ( address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden )
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At the outset, we must comment on the ironic incongruity of permitting the
Recording Industry Association of America to testify at a hearing focused on
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