PHP 5.3 Through PHP 7.1-dev Tests Along With HHVM On Ubuntu 16.04
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 1 June 2016 at 12:21 PM EDT. 2 Comments
With preparing for the upcoming release of Phoronix Test Suite 6.4-Hasvik I've been running through my validation tests on all supported versions of PHP going back to PHP 5.3 as well as HHVM. As part of that testing, I've been running my self-hosted tests of the major PHP release series once again up through PHP 7.1-dev. Here are those results if you are curious about some fresh PHP CLI benchmarks.

The results in this article are of PHP 5.3 through PHP 7.0.7 and PHP 7.1-dev (as of this morning in php-src Git) plus Facebook's HHVM PHP implementation via the Ubuntu 16.04 package repository. I also tested PHP 7.0.4 as currently packaged in Ubuntu 16.04 compared to my freshly built 5.3.29 / 5.4.45 / 5.5.36 / 5.6.22 / 7.0.7 / 7.1.0-dev that are basically stock builds with ensuring ZIP / XML / JSON / PCNTL support is enabled. (Basically, part of what I do for each quarterly Phoronix Test Suite release to ensure compatibility and a good out-of-the-box experience going back still to PHP 5.3.)

It is important to reiterate that these are just some benchmarks of PHP from the command-line with the Phoronix Test Suite. There's no web server involved in these tests nor any caching mechanisms, etc. These are clean, out-of-the-box tests of PHP/HHVM from the command-line with one trial run followed by the actual recording of the results, which PTS did by averaging the results of three consecutive runs. So don't take these results as how WordPress will perform or your other PHP applications, but these are just PHP CLI benchmarks for those curious.

This is the main metric of the amount of time needed for running many of the Phoronix Test Suite's hot and common code paths of rendering benchmark graphs, listing available test suites, parsing result XML files, merging results, and other common tasks when running the phoronix-test-suite CLI application. The results aren't very different from the results I carried out a few months back with PHP 7.0 continuing to do so much better than PHP 5.x. With these PHP 7.1-dev tests, there doesn't seem to be any performance improvements to talk about in the scope of PTS. While keeping in mind these are CLI tests, the HHVM performance remained slower than PHP 7.0, which may be a different story if you are more after common web apps performance.

While PHP 7.1 isn't performing much different from PHP 7.0, PHP 7.1 is preparing many new features for its debut later this year.

The render test is one of the most important PTS-internal tests as it's timing how long it takes to parse and render thousands of benchmark results. This performance is critical for those hosting their own Phoromatic centralized management server as well as for the speed of The latest PHP7 releases continue to do great.

Where HHVM was beating out PHP 7.0/7.1-dev from these strictly-CLI benchmarks was in the peak memory usage with the HipHop Virtual Machine having noticeably lower memory use in this environment than any of the tested PHP releases. Well, that's the numbers to share today if you have been curious about PHP 7.1-dev or PHP CLI vs. HHVM performance overall.
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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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