PTS: PHP 7.1 vs. PHP 7.0 vs. HHVM Benchmarks
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 2 December 2016 at 12:37 PM EST. 4 Comments
COMPILER --
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 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.

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.

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 OpenBenchmarking.org 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.

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.

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

How are you liking PHP 7.1? Share your thoughts with us by commenting on this article in our forums.
About The Author
Author picture

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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