SiFive HiFive Unmatched Hands-On, Initial RISC-V Performance Benchmarks
For those wondering about the performance out of the HiFive Unmatched, below are some benchmarks against the Raspberry Pi 400.
The Raspberry Pi 400 was outperforming the HiFive Unmatched even when the latter was using NVMe storage and Ubuntu 21.10. However, as shown by these benchmarks, the RISC-V Linux software ecosystem is still very much maturing. It will be interesting to repeat these benchmarks over the months ahead to see how much of the Raspberry Pi's upperhand is from the hardware/SoC or of the still evolving RISC-V Linux support. Some of these benchmarks do have x86/x86_64 and ARM/AArch64 optimizations where it's still rather rare to see RISC-V specific optimizations by different open-source/Linux projects. At least with the HiFive Unmatched putting RISC-V in the hands of more developers, it will be very interesting to watch the software support/performance evolve into 2022.
Those wanting to see how their own current Linux performance on any architecture compares to these particular HiFive Unmatched benchmarks can simply install the Phoronix Test Suite and run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 2109248-TJ-SIFIVERIS17 to facilitate your own fully-automated, side-by-side benchmark comparison.
For those wanting to experiment with RISC-V hardware today, SiFive's HiFive Unmatched is currently the best developer platform to do so with there not being any other similar solution available at this time. The HiFive Unmatched is quite capable even as a RISC-V developer workstation with having 16GB of RAM and support for Radeon open-source graphics with a compatible dGPU, NVMe storage, and plenty of other connectivity options.
Those interested in learning more about the HiFive Unmatched or ordering one can find all the details at SiFive.com. Thanks to SiFive for supplying this review sample and stay tuned for more benchmarks of it as the Linux/open-source RISC-V software continues to evolve as seen from Ubuntu 21.04 to 21.10 while things are only heating up for this open-source processor ISA.
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