PTS: PHP 7.1 vs. PHP 7.0 vs. HHVM Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 2 December 2016 at 12:37 PM EST. 3 Comments
With today's PHP 7.1 release, performance isn't highlighted as much as language improvements to this first major update to PHP7, but I decided to run some PHP 7.1, PHP 7.0, PHP 5.6, PHP 5.5, and HHVM benchmarks of our open-source Phoronix Test Suite code-base.

These self-tests of the Phoronix Test Suite aren't the conventional PHP workload of just a CMS, blog, or other web application that can be cached, etc, but effectively of a PHP CLI application. So keep this in mind when looking at the results and that your mileage may vary depending upon use-case.
PHP 7.1 Benchmarking

PHP 5.5.38, PHP 5.6.28, PHP 7.0.13, and PHP 7.1.0 were built from source with just the --enable-zip --enable-xml arguments appended to the configuration in an otherwise stock build. HHVM 3.15 was obtained from the official HHVM archive for Ubuntu 16.04.
PHP 7.1 Benchmarking

The overall elapsed time for the self-test of the Phoronix Test Suite shows that if anything PHP 7.1 is only slightly faster than PHP 7.0.13, at least in this particular CLI workload. But at least PHP 7.0/7.1 continue being a night-and-day difference compared to PHP 5... HHVM 3.15 meanwhile for this workload remained moderately slower than PHP 7.
PHP 7.1 Benchmarking

The render test is one of the most time-sensitive and consuming code paths of the Phoronix Test Suite as it's also used by Phoromatic servers and for rendering all the graphs and visuals you see, such as viewing these results. With PHP 7.1 the SVG rendering performance was basically unchanged compared to PHP 7.0 while HHVM was trailing it, but at least not nearly as slow as PHP 5.
PHP 7.1 Benchmarking

It will be interesting to see how "PHP 8" ends up comparing down the road given the significant improvement from PHP 5 to PHP 7. With PHP 8 there might be a new JIT engine and other changes, but that's still a ways down the line.
PHP 7.1 Benchmarking

Where HHVM was coming out ahead of PHP 7.0/PHP 7.1 was slightly lower memory use.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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