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Definition: benchmark

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.