Computer Benchmarking.

Essay by SC007ERUniversity, Bachelor's December 2005

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* What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is a performance test of hardware and/or software. The process evaluates and compares devices or systems. Processors are frequently benchmarked, in the hopes of coming up with a single number that can capture the value of the CPU and let it be easily compared to others.

* Why Can Benchmarking Be Useful?

The value of benchmarking is that it allows us to compare hardware and/or software. The problem with it is that there are so many ways to do it, and the answers different benchmarks give about the same processors aren't always consistent.

* Benchmarking Types and What Area They Are Aimed At?

1. Linpack - A linear algebra software package; also a benchmark derived from it that consists of solving a dense system of linear equations. The Linpack benchmark has different versions, according to the size of the system solved. The TOP500 ranking uses a version where the chosen system size is large enough to get maximum performance.

2. Dhrystones - Dhrystone is a general-performance benchmark. This benchmark is used to measure and compare the performance of different computers. Like most benchmark programs, Dhrystone consists of standard code and concentrates on string handling. It uses no floating-point operations. It is heavily influenced by hardware and software design, compiler and linker options, code optimizing, cache memory, wait states, and integer data types. The test reports general performance in Dhrystone per second.

3. Whetstones - Whetstone is a floating point version of the Dhrystones test. The Whetstone is a synthetic benchmark designed to measure the behaviour of scientific programs. It contains several modules that are meant to represent a mix of operations typically performed in scientific applications. The program attempts to measure the speed and efficiency at which a computer performs floating-point operations. The primary aim...