File: BENCHMARKS

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-- Intro

Some people have expressed opinions about how
fast libb64's encoding and decoding routines
are, as compared to some other BASE64 packages
out there.

This document shows the result of a short and sweet 
benchmark, which takes a large-ish file and 
encodes/decodes it a number of times.
The winner is the executable that does this task the quickest.

-- Platform

The tests were all run on a Fujitsu-Siemens laptop,
with a Pentium M processor running at 2GHz, with
1GB of RAM, running Ubuntu 10.4.

-- Packages

The following BASE64 packages were used in this benchmark:

- libb64-1.2 (libb64-base64)
  From libb64.sourceforge.net
  Size of executable: 18808 bytes
  Compiled with:
    CFLAGS += -O3
    BUFFERSIZE = 16777216

- base64-1.5 (fourmilab-base64)
  From http://www.fourmilab.ch/webtools/base64/
  Size of executable: 20261 bytes
  Compiled with Default package settings

- coreutils 7.4-2ubuntu2 (coreutils-base64)
  From http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/
  Size of executable: 38488 bytes
  Default binary distributed with Ubuntu 10.4

-- Input File

Using blender-2.49b-linux-glibc236-py25-i386.tar.bz2
from http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/
Size: 18285329 bytes
(approx. 18MB)

-- Method

Encode and Decode the Input file 50 times in a loop,
using a simple shell script, and get the running time.

-- Results

$ time ./benchmark-libb64.sh 
real	0m28.389s
user	0m14.077s
sys	0m12.309s

$ time ./benchmark-fourmilab.sh 
real	1m43.160s
user	1m23.769s
sys	0m8.737s

$ time ./benchmark-coreutils.sh 
real	0m36.288s
user	0m24.746s
sys	0m8.181s

28.389 for 18MB * 50
= 28.389 for 900

-- Conclusion

libb64 is the fastest encoder/decoder, and 
has the smallest executable size.

On average it will encode and decode at roughly 31.7MB/second.

The closest "competitor" is base64 from GNU coreutils, which
reaches only 24.8MB/second.

--
14/06/2010
chris.venter@gmail.com