With the release 1.9.1 SSE2 optimizations have been introduced. The optimizations are entirely based on the MMX optimizations and are meant to replace the MMX code for modern systems. The MMX code is only kept for backward compatibility.
The reason to favor SSE2 optimizations over MMX optimizations is mainly due to the dual use of floating point registers. As long as all processing is done solely in fixed point or integer registers, there is no problem, but if floating point needs to be processed an expensive switch between MMX and FPU registers must be performed. This switch is performed within the function EMMS (an intrinsic to the assembler mnemonic with the same name).
Hence the fact that a call to EMMS uses only a handfull of cycles, frequent calls can slow down simple processing like blending a lot. So typically processing of small bitmaps or small areas in bitmaps will benefit mostly from optimizations in which a call to EMMS costs less or is even entirely omitted.
Unfortunately for sake of backward compatibility it was not possible to switch entirely to SSE2, as there are still many old machines without SSE2, that still benefit from the MMX optimizations. Thus, the existing infrastructure was used, but the EMMS call replaced by a stub, in case SSE2 is available. This stub is only a simple call and return, which has the least possible impact.
With this stub however - doing nothing - it is not possible to mix SSE2 optimizations with MMX optimizations (while vice versa is possible). This means that all optimizations (especially for 3rd party products using GR32 code) must be available in both MMX and SSE2 flavour. Since both technologies are very similar an update should be fairly possible.
To get rid of unused MMX optimizations entirely the symbol OMIT_MMX needs to be defined. With this define the EMMS procedure is still present, but due to its inline definition it does not have the slightest impact on performance.
NOTE: As all x86 64-bit systems feature SSE2, OMIT_MMX is defined by default here. This does not only result in a better performance, but also in smaller executables
NOTE: Due to issues with the disassembler in Delphi 7, SSE2 is disabled by default. If enabled manually the application should work fine, but debugging the application may result in a crash of the debugger.
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