This is an issue I've been having for a long time. I want to run PHP applications on my windows computer and it has a terribly high load time, around 10-25 seconds. I have tried many things:
UPDATE: I have even tried APC - it improved a bit but still 6-8 sec/page
I uploaded my files to a linux server(shared hosting), on which it runs in around 300-500 ms. On the XAMPP installation I tried to run other (i.e. not Symfony2) applications as well(e.g. phpmyadmin), which too were slower than on the shared hosting, but not extremely slow, with 2-3 sec load time. Until I change to Linux as the main OS, how could I improve performance? I have a laptop with i7 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 5400RPM HDD, Win7 x64.
Thank you for your help!
UPDATE2: For some mysterious reason my Symfony routing didn't work with fcgid (it gave me a 404 error for everything) so I went back for using PHP as a module. Now, it has become the worst ever (worse than it used to be as a module): app mode 20-25 sec, and in dev mode, over 30s every time, so I get a timeout error, and it's the same with or without APC enabled.
Here you can see this error. This is reproduceable: each time it reaches a different point of execution within 30s:
I had a similar problem with symfony 1 for a time on XP and Server 2003. The solution was to install a PHP accelerator (eAccelerator for us, APC might be a better bet these days) plus FastCGI/fcgid.
Addendum: it's been ages since I've used Apache on Windows. I have generally been of the view that its performance has been getting steadily better, rather than worse; however as with most unusual set-ups, good results are not guaranteed. As per my earlier comment, I recommend asking your question at Apache Lounge, where I previously have received some great expert advice.
If memory serves correctly, they can offer you a free Apache binary compiled with better tools than the standard one offered on the Apache website.