No sooner did I receive my SiFive HiFive Unmatched board than did the questions about the performance of the board start to come in – from far and wide. Prior to receiving the board, articles about the performance of the Freedom U740 SOC compared it with Arm Cortex-A55 cores. I’ve had a range of Arm based systems over the years, so this helped to set my expectation ahead of time in terms of performance. What was promising about the Unmatched boars is the fact that it has a PCIe slot (for a GPU) and the possibility to use NVMe storage. And as Unmatched boards started to arrive out in the wild, posts regarding performance of the board appeared in the SiFive forums.
Now that I’ve had the board setup for a few weeks, I decided to run a series of benchmarks on the board, with an HPC flavour. I’ve setup my Unmatched board effectively as a desktop system. I’ve installed both a GPU as well as and NVMe SSD in the system (details below). The system has been installed with Ubuntu 21.04 and has been configured to boot with the CPU clock speed at 1.4 GHz following the procedure here.