|I think excluding threading was the big win
Yes, you want to stick with that one.
a switch to 5.10 from 5.8, saved about 30%
I think a switch back to 5.6 will also provide a further significant reduction (untested). You could even go further back, if you like - though the further back you go the more likely it becomes that you'll have to make amendments to the code you want to run.
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