Monday, January 19, 2009


For some reason the MinGW project has been very slow to release a GCC 4 version. At first they said they were waiting for 4.1 but that arrived and still nothing. They eventually did release an experimental build but there hasn't been much action on this.

Checking the status recently, I searched for MinGW 4 and discovered the TDM versions of MinGW, including 4.3, and they seem to be active with it.

In a way this is a "fork" of the MinGW project - one of the benefits of open source. But it's not a fork in terms of going in a different direction, only in terms of releasing sooner. I really wonder why the main MinGW project does not want to release version 4, maybe they have a good reason, but if so they don't seem to be communicating it very well. Obviously they could still maintain version 3 if they feel that is a better choice for some things.

I built Suneido with the latest TDM version. GCC 4 has a lot of improvements to optimization, but sadly it's still slower than Visual C++ (about 10% slower than VC9, which in turn is about 10% slower than VC7)


Anonymous said...

Andrew, do you know whether the TDM builds are somehow optimized compared to the "official" builds?
Incidentally, I myself use the Equation builds ( and apart from the odd tools (e.g., Netbeans) that absolutely want the MinGW directory structure, my experience has been very positive.

andrew said...

I'm not aware of any special optimization in the TDM versions but I only just discovered them so I could be wrong.

Thanks for the link to the Equation builds - I hadn't found them.

AlexF said...


I routinely build Blender3D for Windows using the MinGW toolset, which is as thorough a test as you can find.

MinGW build (3.4.5) produces rock-solid builds, but when I've gone unofficial and tried 4.3.2 (yes, both TDM's and Equation's), the results are massive instability all across the board. Equation crashes whenever I being rendering, and TDM crashes on start!

Needless to say, GCC 4.3.2 for Linux shows none of these problems.

This might be indicative that the Windows port is just not given proper maintenance anymore. It might be a long time before we see an official, current release of GCC for Windows. If ever.

It's fair to note that I optimize my builds with -O3 and then some (loop unrolling, full-unit parsing, etc.)

I'd be interested in hearing about your results.

Dashesy said...

The old gcc can not be used to compile new qt anymore!

bug report: