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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), )
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benchmark A standard program or set of programs which can be
run on different computers to give an inaccurate measure of
their performance.
"In the computer industry, there are three kinds of lies:
lies, damn lies, and benchmarks."
A benchmark may attempt to indicate the overall power of a
system by including a "typical" mixture of programs or it may
attempt to measure more specific aspects of performance, like
graphics, I/O or computation (integer or floating-point).
Others measure specific tasks like rendering polygons,
reading and writing files or performing operations on
matrices. The most useful kind of benchmark is one which is
tailored to a user's own typical tasks. While no one
benchmark can fully characterise overall system performance,
the results of a variety of realistic benchmarks can give
valuable insight into expected real performance.
Benchmarks should be carefully interpreted, you should know
exactly which benchmark was run (name, version); exactly what
configuration was it run on (CPU, memory, compiler options,
single user/multi-user, peripherals, network); how does the
benchmark relate to your workload?