In the specific case of ARMv7 vs. ARMv8, you need to consider NEON. An ARMv7 with NEON, wouldn't you do the SHA-512 hash using the NEON registers?
(These guys show decent results for other crypto algorithms using NEON. They suggest SHA-512 would speed up well also, but say they "didn't bother" with it yet.)
I guess my point is, ARM v7 already offers a path to way more registers than the base 16 x 32. I would imagine anyone springing for a Cortex-A15 would also include NEON. NEON is designed to absorb the heavy duty bulk computation, leaving the 16 GPRs for the more general control stuff.
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