QEMU vs ExaGear Desktop on Raspberry Pi.
Performance comparison

Performance comparison of QEMU and ExaGear Desktop on Raspberry Pi using PARSEC benchmarks

QEMU vs ExaGear Desktop on Raspberry Pi. Performance comparison.

QEMU vs ExaGear Desktop on Raspberry Pi.
Performance comparison.

Today we’ll compare the performance results of running x86 applications on Raspberry Pi 2 via QEMU and ExaGear Desktop. Recently I’ve stumbled on an interesting benchmark set called PARSEC and couldn’t help running it under ExaGear and QEMU on Raspberry Pi 2 to compare the performance. What is great in PARSEC benchmarks set is that it isn’t synthetic like dhrystone or sysbench but includes the examples of real applications. Moreover these applications are very scalable and intensively use multithreading. So they measure not the performance of one core but the performance of CPU entirely and I can utilize all 4 cores of Raspberry Pi 2 CPU.

One of the side effects of my comparison is the reliability comparison of QEMU and ExaGear. It turned out that QEMU exits with error on many tests.

Configuration

Testing stand

Model

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Frequency

1000 MHz

Memory

1 GB RAM

Operating System

Raspbian Jessie from February 2016

Software

QEMU user mode v 2.4.0.1

ExaGear Desktop v 1.4.1

Benchmark

PARSEC version 3.0. It includes 10 benchmarks from different areas:

  • blackscholes – Financial computations. Option pricing with Black-Scholes model
  • bodytrack – Body tracking of a person
  • canneal – Simulated cache-aware annealing to optimize routing cost of a chip design
  • dedup – Next-generation compression with data deduplication
  • facesim – Simulates the motions of a human face
  • ferret – Content similarity search server
  • fluidanimate – Fluid dynamics for animation purposes with Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method
  • freqmine – Frequent itemset mining
  • raytrace – Graphics. Real-time raytracing
  • streamcluster – Online clustering of an input stream
  • swaptions – Pricing of a portfolio of swaptions
  • vips – Image processing
  • x264 – H.264 video encoding

The following table taken from the PARSEC website compares PARSEC with several other benchmark suites:

Parsec vs other benchs suites

Don’t ask me why this table contains 12 programs instead of 13 🙂

Reliability Results

PARSEC benchmark set includes 13 benchmarks. I ran them with the option -n4, which means that benchmarks run 4 threads to make their job (the same number as the number of cores of RPi2 to utilize full CPU). Unfortunately QEMU failed to execute 3 out of 13 benchmarks: bodytrack, dedup and streamcluster.

On ExaGear all benchmarks passed successfully.

Performance Results

On the picture below I presented the performance comparison of ExaGear Desktop vs QEMU. All benchmarks perform faster under ExaGear Desktop and the numbers on the picture stand for how many times ExaGear is faster than QEMU. In average ExaGear is more than 9 times faster.

ExaGear vs QEMU performance comparison on Raspberry Pi

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ExaGear is registered trademark of Eltechs, Inc. Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

  • Ruben Pedro

    Remarkable performance!!

  • David Taylor

    I look forward to running this to use Wine on both RPi3 & Pine 64+!