Since PHP 5.5 has now integrated the PHP OPCache, this speeds up the execution time. In my setup a full request with database access takes 180ms now.
Update to the latest php version
Set realpath_cache_size = 2M as DemonTPx mentioned
realpath_cache_size = 2M [XDebug] xdebug.profiler_enable = 0 xdebug.remote_enable = 0 [opcache] zend_extension = "C:\xampp18\php\ext\php_opcache.dll" opcache.enable = 1 opcache.enable_cli = 0 opcache.memory_consumption = 128 opcache.interned_strings_buffer = 8 opcache.max_accelerated_files = 4000
Why is Windows slower than Unix?
As discussed here, PHP is very slow in file_exists, and filemtime() on Windows. since Symfony2 is using these functions in dev mode a lot. we won't get under 700ms (in <= 5.4) on Windows. PHP 5.5 allows now 180ms.
A solution could be WinCache which was developed by microsoft to solve this problem on IIS. But as it only works on several Windows versions and also only with IIS it's no solution for me.
Also a nice solution I can recommend is to have a Linux Virtual Machine on Virtualbox. This is easy to setup and is also more like the production environment.