Performance Comparison Of NewBB 1 Vs NewBB 2

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Overall Conclusions & Closing Statement

In terms of PHP scripting and use of MySQL queries, my tests indicate that the NewBB 2 team have done a very good job in maintaining the overall module performance. Although PHP script execution times are noticably slower in NewBB 2, the use of MySQL queries is actually more effcient overall. All this and they've still managed to deliver a module much more feature rich than NewBB 1. The increase in PHP execution times still has a potential for causing issues with high traffic sites (100+ online users) and/or for sites where there is very limited avaiable processing power (shared hosting services). However, for the average user these differences should not present any noticable performance hits.

At the end of the day though, it all comes back to how quickly your site can deliver a page to the user that requested it. It is here that NewBB 2 falls quite a way behind NewBB 1. What is suprising in these results is that even with the higher combination of HTTP request count and content transfer, NewBB 2 with the default settings resulted in a faster loading time into the browser than NewBB 2 with optimised settings did. This would suggest that the way the HTML output is produced programmically is not yet opimised for speed. As a general rule of thumb the number of HTTP requests is what will do the real damage because even though the item being requested might be cached, the HTTP request is still processed. For instance it is not uncommon for an average 56k analog dial-up connection to have a latency of 300~400ms per HTTP request when connection to a far off and/or low bandwidth site. With this in mind it is easy to see how too many HTTP requests can easily stack up to become a real performance problem.

Looking at the data I collected in my tests it would seem to me that if both the overall amount HTTP requests and file size were reduced substaintially and some work done on optimising HTML generation speed, NewBB 2 would see some pretty impressive performance increases. However as it stands at present NewBB 1 clearly has the edge in terms of module performance and loading times into the browser.

Finally, in closing I'd like to say that both these modules have their own merits, and you should not choose any module based on one set of criteria alone. Be this performance & scalability, or design or feature set. Balance in you selection process is the key, and clearly defining what areas are of most importance to your site before you start you evaluation process is going to help a great deal.