APC + PHP-FPM + nginx = 200% Performance Increase with Magento
Magento is notoriously slow out of the box. The built-in caching helps a lot but it still requires a bit of tweaking. When a client was rightfully complaining about their slow load times, we went to work to get the most out of Magento. In addition to moving them to a better server we utilized APC, PHP-FPM and the lightweight nginx web server. The results speak for themselves:
Apache Benchmark was used to derive these numbers, set at 20 page loads with 5 concurrent connections in order to simulate 5 customers looking at the site at once.