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A relatively permanent natural or artificial object bearing a marked point whose elevation above or below an adopted datum—for example, sea level—is known. Abbreviated BM.
(industrial engineering)
A standard of measurement possessing sufficient identifiable characteristics common to the individual units of a population to facilitate economical and efficient comparison of attributes for units selected from a sample.
(science and technology)
A reference value against which a measurement or a series of measurements may be compared.


A permanent reference mark, fixed to a building or to the ground, whose height above a standard datum level has been accurately determined by survey.


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?

Well-known benchmarks include Whetstone, Dhrystone, Rhealstone (see h), the Gabriel benchmarks for Lisp, the SPECmark suite, and LINPACK.

See also machoflops, MIPS, smoke and mirrors.

Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.benchmarks.

Tennessee BenchWeb.


A performance test of hardware and/or software. There are various programs that very accurately test the raw power of a single machine, the interaction in a single client/server system (one server/multiple clients) and the transactions per second in a transaction processing system. However, it is next to impossible to benchmark the performance of an entire enterprise network with a great degree of accuracy.

Benchmarks may change their rating scale with new releases of the software. Thus, the same version of the test must often be run to compare results. See PC Magazine benchmarks, BAPCo, ECperf, Linpack, Dhrystone, Whetstone, Khornerstone, SPEC, GPC and RAMP-C.
References in periodicals archive ?
Participating in an industry benchmark program for five (or ten) consecutive years
The TPC's updated pricing specifications create consistent price/performance measurements across all TPC benchmarks and enable verification of all pricing results.
SPC Benchmark-1 is the first industry standard storage benchmark and the first standard benchmark for SANs.
The methodology includes the widely accepted BDTI Benchmarks as well as expert evaluation of processor attributes, and provides the basis for BDTI's highly regarded technology reports.
Also key to the benchmark is the process of reporting a SPC-1 benchmark result, as test sponsors must publicly disclose the price (including three years of service) of the configuration being tested.
Futuremark[R] is known around the world for its benchmark products, including the 3DMark[R] and PCMark[R] Series and SPMark[TM] (with more than 30 million copies distributed worldwide) and value-added services powered by a database of over 13 million real life benchmarking results.
SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks were selected from applications and source codes running across multiple platforms.
CompTIA European ServiceMetric Benchmark - Service satisfaction measurement and benchmarking for computing hardware manufacturers and service providers in European region.
Futuremark endorses our vision with their latest benchmark, while providing the industry with the tools they need to select and build the best performing hardware for future handheld device users.
For more information on SAP Benchmarks, please visit www.