Speed tests - Magento 2 + Apache + Default Cache vs. Magento 2 + NGINX + Varnish + Redis
All test results are in seconds. The first three columns of tests are done using Magento 2.3.2 + Codazon Fastest - Ellyana theme - Most features disabled. The fourth column is done on Magento 2.3.2 _ Luma theme. The tests were aimed to show if Magento is faster on NGINX + Varnish + Redis configuration. The results are mixed - you can see the table bellow.
|Apache + Magento Cache||Apache + Magento Cache + Cloudflare||NGINX + Varnish + Redis||NGINX + Varnish + Redis + Luma Theme|
|Pingdom.com 2nd run||1.77||1.46||1.34||1.20|
|Pingdom.com 3rd run||1.48||1.46||1.39||1.20|
|Pingdom.com category page||3.96||2.96||2.31||1.44|
|Pingdom.com category page||2.51||2.96||2.42||1.43|
|giftofspeed.com category page||8.17||7.45||5.59|
|giftofspeed.com category page||7.52||5.28||5.04|
|GT Matrix 1st run||17.1||10.1||10.6|
|GT Matrix 2nd run||12.5||7.2||8.9|
|GT Matrix 3rd run||9.6||10.9||9.6|
|GT Matrix 4th run||9.6||8.4||7.8|
|GT Matrix category page||12.6||8.9|
|LightHouse (chrome plugin)||5.4||5.5||5.4|
It looks like in some cases NGINX + Varnish + Redis configuration is actually faster. However, the Magento Theme Codazon Fastest - Ellyana theme is not so fast as the name would suggest. We installed the same configuration on a local server running an old Pentium i5, 8 GB ram running on Ubuntu and Magento was much faster than any hosting / cloud hosting provider we had tried before that.