unbiased benchmark

Chris Rebert clp2 at rebertia.com
Thu Mar 12 21:25:00 CET 2009

On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 1:07 PM, Sam Ettessoc <saminsf at gmail.com> wrote:
> I would like to share a benchmark I did. The computer used was a
> 2160MHz Intel Core Duo w/ 2000MB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM running MAC OS
> 10.5.6 and a lots of software running (a typical developer
> workstation).
> Python benchmark:
> HAMBURGUESA:benchmark sam$ echo 1+1 > bench.py
> HAMBURGUESA:benchmark sam$ time python bench.py
> real    0m0.064s
> user    0m0.049s
> sys     0m0.013s
> Ruby benchmark:
> HAMBURGUESA:benchmark sam$ echo 1+1 > bench.rb
> HAMBURGUESA:benchmark sam$ time ruby bench.rb
> real    0m0.006s
> user    0m0.003s
> sys     0m0.003s
> Can you believe it? Ruby is 10 times faster than Python.

I submit that you are effectively just comparing start-up times:

$ time ruby < /dev/null

real	0m0.006s
user	0m0.003s
sys	0m0.003s

$ time python < /dev/null

real	0m0.020s
user	0m0.011s
sys	0m0.009s

Since Python includes a full interactive interpreter REPL, whereas
Ruby doesn't, you're comparing apples to oranges. A more fair
comparison would be to compare python and irb:

$ time irb </dev/null

real	0m0.024s
user	0m0.017s
sys	0m0.006s

And indeed, CPython is faster in a /slightly/ fairer comparison.

Tests done using (since you neglected to include more detailed
information about your setup):
Mac OS X 10.5.6 on 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 1.5GB of free RAM
Python 2.6
ruby 1.8.6 (2008-08-11 patchlevel 287) [i686-darwin]
irb 0.9.5(05/04/13) #I have no idea why this date is wrong


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