I installed PHP APC today was simply shocked by some of the performance gains I was getting by it.
I had a problematic page that was calculating a lot of info (the same info) every time it loaded. Those were costly calculations.
APC gave me about 80ms faster load off the bat. But the performance was REALLY noticeable after a lot of users were hitting the site. (I used Blitz.io to do load testing)
It went from 2.5 second response time with 260 users to 400ms with 260 users. Without APC I had a 600ms load time with only 81 users.
The graphs below really speak for themselves.
TL;DR: caching = win.
No Caching Graph:
With Caching (APC)