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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 ?
SAS has embedded benchmarking in a number of areas to improve its financial functions.
APQC, leading organizations and industry leaders built this standard approach to benchmarking, dubbed the Open Standard Benchmarking Collaborative, upon which PowerMARQ is based.
Petersen and Kahn believe that benchmarking of maintenance practices is an area that can help mills and the industry be more competitive in the global marketplace.
A benchmarking process model consists of six steps which must be taken if the exercise is to yield maximum benefit to the company.
The new Benchmarking guidelines are part of TPI's Innovation Agenda for the Global Outsourcing Industry (http://www.
Participants of the benchmarking program receive many valuable benefits in addition to determining the impact of SAP on their business.
Producing benchmarking tools together with ValuSource since 1997, MGMA chose the Colorado Springs-based company because of its expertise in software development and reputation among financial professionals.
SSPA SoftwareMetric Benchmark - Service satisfaction measurement and benchmarking for software manufacturers and service providers.
APQC helps more than 500 member organizations improve and succeed through workflow improvement, benchmarking, and best practice adoption.
This partnership leverages the APQC Open Standards Benchmarking Collaborative(SM) (OSBC) research, which helps executives and managers benchmark within their industry and with best-in-class organizations.
Embedded validation routines also improve data quality while Hackett's benchmarking tool reconciles global currencies automatically.