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As computer architecture advanced, it became more difficult to compare the performance of various computer systems simply by looking at their specifications. Therefore, tests were developed that allowed comparison of different architectures.Benchmarks are designed to mimic a particular type of workload on a component or system.

In computing, a benchmark is the act of running a computer program, a set of programs, or other operations, in order to assess the relative performance of an object, normally by running a number of standard tests and trials against it. The term ‘benchmark’ is also mostly utilized for the purposes of elaborately-designed benchmarking programs themselves.

Benchmarking is usually associated with assessing performance characteristics of computer hardware, for example, the floating point operation performance of a CPU, but there are circumstances when the technique is also applicable to software. Software benchmarks are, for example, run against compilers or database management systems.

Benchmarks provide a method of comparing the performance of various subsystems across different chip/system architectures.

Test suites are a type of system intended to assess the correctness of software.

Open source benchmarks

  • AIM Multiuser Benchmark: composed of a list of tests that could be mixed to create a ‘load mix’ that would simulate a specific computer function on any UNIX-type OS.
  • Bonnie++: filesystem and hard drive benchmark
  • BRL-CAD: cross-platform architecture-agnostic benchmark suite based on multithreaded ray tracing performance; baselined against a VAX-11/780; and used since 1984 for evaluating relative CPU performance, compiler differences, optimization levels, coherency, architecture differences, and operating system differences.
  • Collective Knowledge – customizable, cross-platform framework to crowdsource benchmarking and optimization of user workloads (such as deep learning) across hardware provided by volunteers
  • DEISA Benchmark Suite: scientific HPC applications benchmark
  • Dhrystone: integer arithmetic performance, often reported in DMIPS (Dhrystone millions of instructions per second)
  • Fhourstones: an integer benchmark
  • HINT: designed to measure overall CPU and memory performance
  • Iometer: I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems.
  • IOzone: Filesystem benchmark
  • LINPACK benchmarks, traditionally used to measure FLOPS
  • Livermore loops
  • NAS parallel benchmarks
  • NBench: synthetic benchmark suite measuring performance of integer arithmetic, memory operations, and floating-point arithmetic
  • PAL: a benchmark for realtime physics engines
  • PerfKitBenchmarker: A set of benchmarks to measure and compare cloud offerings.
  • Phoronix Test Suite: open-source cross-platform benchmarking suite for Linux, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, OSX and Windows. It includes a number of other benchmarks included on this page to simplify execution.
  • POV-Ray: 3D render
  • Tak (function): a simple benchmark used to test recursion performance
  • TATP Benchmark: Telecommunication Application Transaction Processing Benchmark
  • TPoX: An XML transaction processing benchmark for XML databases
  • VUP (VAX unit of performance), also called VAX MIPS
  • Whetstone: floating-point arithmetic performance, often reported in millions of Whetstone instructions per second (MWIPS)

Microsoft Windows benchmarks


  • Geekbench – A cross-platform benchmark for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS and Android.
  • AnTuTu – commonly used on phones and ARM-based devices.
  • Khornerstone
  • iCOMP, the Intel comparative microprocessor performance, published by Intel
  • Performance Rating, modeling scheme used by AMD and Cyrix to reflect the relative performance usually compared to competing products.
  • VMmark, a virtualization benchmark suite.[5]
  • SunSpider, a browser speed test