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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
FIGURE 1 Benchmarking and organizational culture (Percent agree/highly agree) Supply chain All other functions functions Benchmarking is ingrained in how our organization conducts business and manages performance 76.0% 49.5% Benchmarking is an expected activity whenever building a business case or conducting an improvement project 68.0% 59.1% Benchmarking information is an intrinsic component of decision making within our organization 61.2% 44.8% Benchmarking is only conducted on an ad-hoc basis for specific projects 44.9% 58.15 Source: APQC Note: Table made from bar graph.
Benchmarking is a well-known tool for comparing the performance and practices of a business entity against those of others.
Benchmarking has collectively been denoted as a management tool that can be defined as the systematic process of searching for greatest practices, innovative ideas and efficiencies that show the way to continuous improvement [12].
Benchmarking has also been defined as measuring the product of continuous, systematic process for evaluating products and work processes of organizations that are recognized as the best practices for the purpose of organizational continuous improvement [13].
Fernandez and others defined four types of benchmarking (2):
Internal benchmarking compares an organization's own performance metrics over time.
The literature mentions that performance benchmarking is focused on quality elements, on customer satisfaction and qualitative measures.
Collaborative benchmarking is undertaken by more than two organizations, where many or ideally all partners are acting as models for each other in some cases and as organizations that are learning to compete with other organizations in other aspects.
Folz (2004) focused on the selection of benchmarking partners when exploring the difference between comparing performance measures across local governments versus comparing service quality across local governments.
In a recent study conducted by Ammons and Roenigk (2015), the authors made the case that coherent theory around the value of public sector benchmarking does not exist because there are different types of benchmarking with different approaches, expectations, and outcomes.
Ascertain that sponsors adhere to benchmarking objectives that are established to help a plan operate at full throttle.
Benchmarking can be seen as a four-step process, he says: goal setting, planning, execution, and measurement.