PHP 7.0 Is Showing Very Promising Performance Over PHP 5, Closing Gap With HHVM
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 5 September 2015. Page 3 of 3. 11 Comments

The Phoronix Test Suite has worked with HHVM going back to the days of the HipHop compiler when it was converting PHP code into C++ with HPHPc and is routinely tested against this Facebook open-source project.

For the important render test, HHVM was noticeably faster than even PHP 7.0 RC2. In fact, HHVM on Ubuntu 15.04 was 3x faster than PHP 5.6 stable.

The overall test time for HHVM 5.6.99 was also a little bit faster than PHP 7.0 RC2 on this Intel Xeon Linux system. While HHVM once represented a huge leap in performance over PHP, with PHP 7.0 that's no longer the case and it will be interesting to see what further performance improvements and features get added to the PHP 7.x series.

The one area where HHVM did much worse than PHP itself was with the peak memory usage.... 6.6GB compared to 560MB peak with PHP 7.0 RC2! Either HHVM is acting differently now for its memory_get_peak_usage() handling or it has some sort of regression. While I did notice this much higher memory reporting when testing HHVM recently, previous to that I hadn't seen such absurd memory use being reported by HHVM. Or it could be that HHVM developers expect it to just be used through a web server with caching enabled, but who knows. If I hear anything about it I'll be sure to update.

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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 or contacted via

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