David vs Goliath

Yeah, it’s been a looong time, but I’m back on track with the blog.

Today, I want to prove that being big is not always an advantage, and I want to do it comparing two Web frameworks.

On one side, with green shorts, a lot of features… and even more annotations is: Spriiiiing Booot, on the other side with black pants, a funny name and a very simple approach is: Saaaabina

Ladies and gentlemen, let the fight begin.

For this match, I did some tests to measure size, cpu usage, memory, etc. do not expect nothing too fancy here anyway. If you are courious about the tests, you can check the code in this Github repository.

The project to test both frameworks was the simplest one (yes, a Hello World project). And the tools I used to measure the performance were Bash shell scripts, JMeter and Java’s VisualVM.

System Information

First of all I will describe the laptop used to run the tests:

Architecture:          x86_64
CPU(s):                8
Thread(s) per core:    2
Core(s) per socket:    4
Socket(s):             1
Model name:            Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4712MQ CPU @ 2.30GHz
CPU MHz:               1434.445
CPU max MHz:           3300.0000
CPU min MHz:           800.0000
BogoMIPS:              4589.46
L1d cache:             32K
L1i cache:             32K
L2 cache:              256K
L3 cache:              6144K

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          7.7G       3.6G       4.1G       188M        36M       2.1G
-/+ buffers/cache:       1.5G       6.2G
Swap:         953M        27M       926M
Total:        8.7G       3.7G       5.0G

Code Size

The first comparison I made was about the code size. Here are the results:

Spring Boot

28  39 hello-boot/build.gradle
18  34 hello-boot/src/main/java/hello/Hello.java
46  73 total


13  19 hello-sabina/build.gradle
10  24 hello-sabina/src/main/java/hello/Hello.java
23  43 total

The first column is the number of lines, and the second one the number of words. And as we can see Sabina is nearly half the size of the Boot project.

Build Process

Let’s continue with the build time and binary bundle size. For this test I built both projects three times and then I picked the best results out of the three executions. These were the results:

Spring Boot

Command being timed: "/opt/gradle-2.4/bin/gradle -q --no-daemon -p hello-boot clean build"
User time (seconds): 17.16
System time (seconds): 0.39
Percent of CPU this job got: 333%

-rw-r--r-- 1 jam jam 11M Jul  9 00:53 hello-boot.zip


Command being timed: "/opt/gradle-2.4/bin/gradle -q --no-daemon -p hello-sabina clean build"
User time (seconds): 14.06
System time (seconds): 0.26
Percent of CPU this job got: 315%

-rw-r--r-- 1 jam jam 4.2M Jul  9 00:52 hello-sabina.zip

There is no big difference in the compile times, but the size of the Sabina’s binary bundle is less than half than the Boot one.


Finally, I executed 10,000 requests from 8 threads, to check the memory and CPU usage along with the requests per second per framework.

Results are screenshots of JMeter and VisualVM, however, if you want to see the exact numbers, you can clone the repository and run the test yourself.

Here are the results of my run:

Spring Boot

JMeter summary VisualVM graphs


JMeter summary VisualVM graphs

As you can see Sabina’s times are better, but the biggest difference is in the resources’ usage. My opinion on this is that all features Spring Boot has, impact its runtime performance.

So if you really need something fast and are not going to use all its features, is better if you evaluate other options.


Of course, these two frameworks doesn’t compete in the same league… and their feature set is (to say it softly) not of the same size.

However, it was fun to compare both (though it was not a very rigorous benchmark) and the numbers could be more precise.

I will repeat these tests with a more complete project. Ie: the blog used in MongoDB courses.

Until them, you can check real framework benchmark’s here. These two frameworks are there, but Sabina didn’t implement all tests (another TODO in my task tracker) and I am not sure that Spring’s version is the latest one.

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