[gclist] ref-counting performance cost

Michael Spertus mps@geodesic.com
Sat, 02 Sep 2000 11:29:47 -0500

The performance of reference counting takes a big dive in multi-threaded 
systems, which are nearly universal today. Pointer assignments require up 
to two atomic operations. For modern multithreaded systems, this should 
clobber performance.

Of course, failure to reclaim any data structure that has cycles is pretty 
serious, too.