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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 ?
Participants of the benchmarking program receive many valuable benefits in addition to determining the impact of SAP on their business.
To ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the program, ASUG and SAP have developed the ASUG/SAP Benchmarking Code of Conduct, which is based on the code of conduct established by the International Benchmarking Clearinghouse.
Founded in 1985, ValuSource is recognized as the leader in medical practice benchmarking software and provides an array of tools that help group medical practices become more effective and profitable.
John's receives its benchmarking data from Solucient, an Illinois-based provider of healthcare business intelligence; St.
John's found some managers were not on board or ignored the data, overall, its benchmarking process has worked efficiently.
KINSTREY: The industry typically uses benchmarking as a way of comparing mills.
EDGAR: Benchmarking is a process whereby people working on a machine determine critical variables in the papermaking process.
Style drift can also skew the results of the benchmarking process.
Our benchmarking rankings indicated that, on average, our physicians were using a higher number of supplies, paying more for them (intraocular lens Implants.
According to the AFS Benchmarking Committee, benchmarking - both industry-wide and on an individual, company initiated level - allows found-ties to:
Only after you've established objectives and the criteria against which you're benchmarking can you pick your benchmarking system.
Feedback received from both outsourcing clients and service providers is that the process of Benchmarking as a contractual means for testing and adjusting committed pricing is not working," says Stuart Harris, partner and Data Management Center of Excellence leader at TPI.