VPS Showdown - 16GB - August 2018 - DigitalOcean vs. Linode vs. Vultr

Josh Sherman
6 min read
VPS Showdown
HEADS-UP: A ton has changed since this post was originally published!
Why not check out the latest comparison?

It’s that time again!

This month I decided to compare some higher end 16GB servers instead of the usual $5 to $10 dollar instances. Each costing only $80 per month, these servers have a ton of bang for the buck and should be more than enough for even a high trafficked site.

I took a bit of time today to work through the issues I was experiencing with the MySQL benchmarks, and I am happy to report that they are included once again!

As always, the following stats are an average across 3 server instances from each provider.


  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Location New York 1 Newark, NJ New York (NJ)
Operating System Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
RAM 16 GB 16 GB 16 GB
CPU 6 Cores 6 Cores 6 Cores
SSD 320 GB 320 GB 200 GB
Transfer 6 TB 8 TB 5 TB

Note: Thanks to everybody that reached out over the transfer allotments being swapped between Linode and DigitalOcean. Things are sorted now, so again, many thanks :)

CPU Info

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
CPU MHz 2294.61 2533.33 2593.90
Cache Size (KB) 25344.00 16384.00 16384.00
BogoMips 3059.67 3533.00 3460.00


  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Events per Second 1087.14 794.31 1144.08
Minimum (ms) 0.85 1.21 0.85
Average (ms) 0.92 1.26 0.87
Maximum (ms) 3.16 2.17 2.07

Memory (Read)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Ops per Second 4367899.44 2428632.70 4522785.19
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 0.19 0.22 1.19

Memory (Write)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Ops per Second 4357797.53 2330957.50 4529815.35
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 0.06 1.82 1.77

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Reads per Second 1921.01 4384.63 6996.74
Writes per Second 1280.67 2923.09 4664.50
Fsyncs per Second 4092.32 9348.55 14920.48
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.14 0.06 0.04
Maximum (ms) 24.59 26.70 5.54


  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Transactions per Second 2397.33 3210.67 6024.00
Queries per Second 47946.67 64213.33 120480.00
Minimum (ms) 1.81 2.07 1.19
Average (ms) 4.27 3.18 1.66
Maximum (ms) 39.83 18.06 36.35

Speed Test

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Distance (km) 2433.66 2373.19 1871.87
Latency (ms) 47.119 65.218 45.610
Download (Mbit/s) 1329.49 376.57 1446.49
Upload (Mbit/s) 468.86 325.12 514.80

Apache Benchmark (against nginx on the servers)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Requests per Second 220.20 194.34 200.11
Time per Request (ms) (mean) 2270.79 2594.23 2505.67
Transfer Rate (Kbytes/sec) 184.72 163.03 167.87


While each server had comparable price, RAM and CPU cores, Vultr was far behind DigitalOcean and Linode in regard to disk space offered. Both DigitalOcean and Vultr trailed behind Linode’s transfer offering.

Even with Linode and Vultr having comparable CPU speeds, Linode fell short in comparison when it came to the number of CPU events processed. Linode fell even shorter in both memory reads and write as well.

Vultr really shined for file I/O with DigitalOcean coming in more than 50% the speed for reads and writes. Vultr continued to shine on MySQL with both Linode and DigitalOcean coming in at least 50% the speed.

Speaking of speed, Vultr and DigitalOcean’s network speeds were comparable and blew Linode out of the water. With that, nobody could touch DigitalOcean serving up requests from nginx.

As always YMMV and you should evaluate your own personal needs when picking a hosting provider. Vultr shined quite a bit on these benchmarks but the limited SSD and transfer allotment has me leaning towards DigitalOcean as this month’s pick.

Also want to mention, I played with Linode’s beta control panel during this month’s benchmarks and was quite impressed. It shows me that even though Linode may be falling behind a bit, there’s a good chance they still have some tricks up their sleeve for the future.

If you found this post helpful and would like to help support me while signing up for your shiny new server, please consider using my referral links below.

Now that I got some things sorted with the benchmarks, I’m hoping to include a new provider next month… maybe ;)

Or if you’re feeling really generous, show off your favorite tech stack by picking up a shirt!

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Engineering Manager and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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