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What Is CPU Benchmarking?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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CPU benchmarking is a type of measurement for computer performance. It is applied to the central processing unit, or CPU, of the computer system. These measurements help observers to understand standards for computer functionality. Moreover, they provide a set of standards that allow users to compare the performance of different machines under the same circumstances.

As research on computers evolved quickly during the past few decades, the CPUs on computers grew physically smaller. Smaller chips and circuit boards became able to handle larger amounts of information, and to work faster overall. This led to evolving standards for processor speed, where CPU benchmarking was one type of measurement that was used in efforts to increase speed and capacity or capability.

In CPU benchmarking, observers will often assess the clock rate, which is the rate that the CPU can process commands. Other types of processor function may also be assessed. The benchmark will provide the core standard for the design of a CPU, or simply be recorded in quality or production research. The final outcome involves much more testing and trials of developed prototypes.

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In some cases, which industry professionals may refer to as overclocking, the CPU is made to go faster than the proposed standard. Builders will measure peak performance and average performance to understand the total capacity of a CPU. Many different kinds of tests are run that test the speed or processing quality of one of these devices. These are important, since the CPU is such an integral element of the computer that critically affects its performance in essential ways.

CPU benchmarking is just one kind of benchmark for computer or PC design. Different organizations and groups have developed their own benchmarks for computer performance. Developers have their own methods and strategies for determining how quickly or how well a CPU works. Some people describe a benchmark as a “trainer with a stopwatch,” in that the benchmark methodology tracks speed or performance. These types of observational resources help to ensure good overall design for computers and other similar devices.

The software that helps to determine benchmarks must be matched with specific operating systems. It’s also critical for human users to understand how available memory affects processor speed. By monitoring CPUs over time, an individual can get much more familiar with current standards for computer performance, and become more professionally aware of how the CPU works and what kind of capability it should have.

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