Return to

What's the fastest processor for single threaded/single process of running sha256sum?

Kubuntu 20.04 with Linux kernel version 5.6.14

This is what I get with Intel Core i7-3930K, on Asus P9X79-E WS, with 64 GB of DDR3-1600, running CentOS 7.7.1908 running Linux 3.10.0-1062.el7.x86_64 kernel, running openssl 1.0.2k-fips.

Time to update your kernel?

Not sure if it is the kernel, openssl, the RAM, the motherboard, and/or the CPU.

This is part of what makes running this test so difficult in order to come up with some kind of a meaningful answer/conclusion.

The more variables there are, the complexity and the number of permutations of the test that will need to be run out.


One of the biggest reasons why I haven’t updated a lot of stuff on the system is because I also don’t want to break other stuff that’s already working (e.g. NFSoRDMA).

Support for that is rather “fragile”.

There are no kernel updates for rhel based distributions only patches. While could update to 7.8 this still would not pull a newer kernel. He would have to update to CentOS 8 which runs the 4.18 kernel.

1 Like

Yeah…which, I’m not sure if that would cause other problems for me. (Hardware compatibility issues with NFSoRDMA or software compatibility issues for the CAE programs that I use that hasn’t been certified to run on CentOS 8 yet.)

It’s one of those “you fix one problem, but break or create many other problems.”

Yayyyy Linux!!!


It’s not a unique problem to Linux but yeah I feel your pain.

For a true apples to apples comparison it needs to stay with your exact hardware setup.

@alpha754293 why don’t you just get a live USB of some newer version of fedora running the 5.x kernel, and then run the test?

1 Like

My bad, i’m relatively new to linux

No you’re fine. It’s one of those things you pick up.

Rhel freezes their kernel and backports patches.

Each major release is supported for 10 years which is why it’s used so much in the enterprise.

1 Like

Could it be that comparing my result to OP’s is “flawed”? My OpenSSL version is newer.

Your hardware, and software versions are different than his.

It would be interesting if you spun up a CentOS 7.8 live USB and ran the test again to see your performance delta.

I downloaded the centos-kde iso from here but on installation it asked me to install a kernel and I don’t know how to do that (lol noob)

lots of googling later i maybe found something but currently booted to windows not linux =/

1 Like

I don’t know, that’s why I gave the disclaimer. It is a pretty solid way to judge maximum single core performance between CPUs in general. And when averaging out a couple runs back to back it is also very consistent. But I have no experience with benchmarking hashing algorithms and most of my systems are packed up for moving currently. So I can’t even run stuff myself right now.

In case its relevant, here’s what my 2700x puts out

OpenSSL 1.1.1d FIPS  10 Sep 2019
built on: Thu Oct  3 00:00:00 2019 UTC
options:bn(64,64) md2(char) rc4(8x,int) des(int) aes(partial) idea(int) blowfish(ptr) 
compiler: gcc -fPIC -pthread -m64 -Wa,--noexecstack -Wall -O3 -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Werror=format-security -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -Wp,-D_GLIBCXX_ASSERTIONS -fexceptions -fstack-protector-strong -grecord-gcc-switches -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-hardened-cc1 -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-annobin-cc1 -m64 -mtune=generic -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -fstack-clash-protection -fcf-protection -Wa,--noexecstack -Wa,--generate-missing-build-notes=yes -specs=/usr/lib/rpm/redhat/redhat-hardened-ld -DOPENSSL_USE_NODELETE -DL_ENDIAN -DOPENSSL_PIC -DOPENSSL_CPUID_OBJ -DOPENSSL_IA32_SSE2 -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_MONT -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_MONT5 -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_GF2m -DSHA1_ASM -DSHA256_ASM -DSHA512_ASM -DKECCAK1600_ASM -DRC4_ASM -DMD5_ASM -DAESNI_ASM -DVPAES_ASM -DGHASH_ASM -DECP_NISTZ256_ASM -DX25519_ASM -DPOLY1305_ASM -DZLIB -DNDEBUG -DPURIFY -DDEVRANDOM="\"/dev/urandom\"" -DSYSTEM_CIPHERS_FILE="/etc/crypto-policies/back-ends/openssl.config"
The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed.
type             16 bytes     64 bytes    256 bytes   1024 bytes   8192 bytes  16384 bytes
sha256          248651.25k   634125.85k  1311330.13k  1773534.55k  1985853.13k  1996559.70k

IIRC, Zen is really good at hashing…

Yes and no, I do seem to recall zen is particularly good at openssl related tasks, maybe its the huge cache vs. intel, maybe its just instruction set optimisation. Either way, it was one of the benchmarks AMD cherry picked to illustrate zen performance back in the day IIRC.

In any case, if you’re wanting fast hashing performance maybe checking performance on a Zen2 part might be worth it. For single thread, even something like a 3300x. Apparently they clock like a champ.

For what it’s worth, here’s Icelake in a MacBook Air. i7 quad core at 1.2ghz - 3.8ghz boost.

[email protected] ~ % openssl speed sha256
Doing sha256 for 3s on 16 size blocks: 12829129 sha256's in 2.98s
Doing sha256 for 3s on 64 size blocks: 7069845 sha256's in 2.98s
Doing sha256 for 3s on 256 size blocks: 2993711 sha256's in 2.98s
Doing sha256 for 3s on 1024 size blocks: 920891 sha256's in 2.99s
Doing sha256 for 3s on 8192 size blocks: 121577 sha256's in 2.98s
LibreSSL 2.8.3
built on: date not available
options:bn(64,64) rc4(16x,int) des(idx,cisc,16,int) aes(partial) blowfish(idx) 
compiler: information not available
The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed.
type             16 bytes     64 bytes    256 bytes   1024 bytes   8192 bytes
sha256           68852.37k   151846.20k   257157.92k   315589.15k   333756.95k
[email protected] ~ %
1 Like

hashcat is one such implementation, but not sure how useful it’d be to you.

Are you sure you need sha256? Also, why limit yourself to single core?

(I’m thinking it might be faster to encrypt/decrypt using aes-gcm or some such thing, not sure, but it might be)

It appears to be more of a Linux problem in my experience than it is with Windows.

Like I can upgrade the entire Windows OS and my CAE applications would still be certified to run on it without any issues.

With Linux, that’s generally NOT the case due to specific incompatibilities, not only BETWEEN packages, but also between different versions of the same package (which just seems crazy to me).

In other words, suppose that a Linux application needed a specific version of a package or another application or software or something, you would think that the newer version would be able to do everything that the older versions can do, but that is certainly not the case, especially with some of the more “core” or basic libraries like libpng and/or libjpeg. It HAS to use that specific, older version for the application to work. And then you’re on HOPING that someone would have uploaded that specific version of the package individually so that you can download it and force it to install on your system.

I think that the list of packages now that I have, post OS install, is somewhere between like maybe 30-50 packages now. (I’ve dumped the names of all of the packages that I need into a OneNote notebook because it got to be too many for me to remember off the top of my head.)

With Windows, I don’t have this kind of a problem.

My application doesn’t run on MacOS.

Again, because not all of the latest and greatest supports NFSoRDMA.

And it’s also my cluster headnode, so that system is used to manage my cluster, which again, goes back to the whole point about application compatibility.

No worries.


Those are some really good numbers.

Yeah…that’s why I wasn’t quite so sure.

The latest benchmarks for the Intel Core blah blah series 10XYZ series processors – according to Anandtech, the single core Cinebench R20 score is maybe like 1 point better than the Ryzen 3950X, which is statistically insignificant cuz it’s well within the noise space/test-to-test variation.

That almost 2 GB/s hash rate for 8 kiB blocks – that’s super impressive!!!

Yeah…my Core i7 3930K performs more like that.

Thank you everybody for all of your contributions.

It would appear that Ryzen (and maybe EPYC? by extension) is just kicking Intel’s arse when it comes to hashing.

Sheesh…that’s a huge difference.

If there are other people who have and/or would like to run their test, that would be greatly appreciated.

The more data, the better.

Thank you, everybody!

Have you decided on a budget for a new system?

1 Like