AWS ARM64 vs. X86_64 – Bitcoin Performance Comparison

I’m running some experiments with bitcoin core software on AWS. I’m intrigued by 2 questions:

  • Which performs better, ARM64 vs X86_64?
  • What is performance loss of 32bit ARM vs 64bit ARM?

The Experiment

  • I fired up a t3.medium instance with ubuntu desktop 20.04(x86_64) image
  • I fired a second instance of t4g.medium type with ubuntu desktop 20.04 (arm64) image
  • To run 32bit ARM program, I followed the chroot approach documented in my previous post and set up an armhf Ubuntu 20.04 (focal) chroot environment
  • Then I download all 3 versions of bitcoin core software from its download site : 32bit ARM, 64bit ARM and 64bit Intel.
  • Run bitcoin-qt from scratch (delete ~/.bitcoin directory if any) and count the time duration for the verifying first 200,000 blocks.
    • Each configuration runs 2 times. We then take the average.
    • Other system variables are monitored to ensure similar running environment. Specifically networking or disk don’t seem to be a factor.

The Results

See results listed below. It seems for bitcoin related workload 64bit ARM version performs 20% faster than 32bit ARM version and 64bit Intel instance.

category64bit ARM 32bit ARM64bit Intel
Instance typet4g.mediumt4g.mediumt3.medium
CPU Graviton2Graviton2Intel Xeon Platinum 8000 series
# CPU cores222
RAM (GB)444
run duration #18’44” (524″)10’24” (624″)11’16″(676″)
run duration #27’30” (450″)9’58″(598″)9’04″(544″)
run duration average487″611″610″
relative performance to 64bit ARM100%80%80%
Pricing (us-west-2/Orgon) ($/hr)0.03360.03360.0416

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