Benchmark



a standard of excellence, achievement, etc., against which similar things must be measured or judged:
The new hotel is a benchmark in opulence and comfort.
any standard or reference by which others can be measured or judged:
The current price for crude oil may become the benchmark.
Computers. an established point of reference against which computers or programs can be measured in tests comparing their performance, reliability, etc.
Surveying. Usually, bench mark. a marked point of known or assumed elevation from which other elevations may be established.
Abbreviation: BM.
of, relating to, or resulting in a benchmark:
benchmark test, benchmark study.
to test (something) in order to develop a standard:
IT benchmarked the new software.
to measure (something) against a standard:
executive salaries benchmarked against the industry.
Contemporary Examples

The Incredibly Stupid War on the Common Core Charles Upton Sahm April 20, 2014
The Brawl Over the Stimulus John Avlon January 25, 2009
China: An Extreme Communist Makeover? The Telegraph December 4, 2012
How I Finally Got to the Bottom of My Insomnia Gregory Ferenstein June 25, 2014
The Texas Drought Seen Firsthand from the Eyes of Ranchers Malcolm Jones August 8, 2012
One of These 5 Things Will Probably Kill You Abby Haglage, Brandy Zadrozny May 1, 2014
Election 2012: Myths, Lies, and Losers Robert Shrum November 6, 2012
Walmart Calls Out The Nation for Its Low-Wage Internship Program Anna Batchelor August 6, 2013
Andrew Garfield on the Evils of Capitalism, the Hacking Scandal, and Criticism of ‘Spider-Man 2’ Marlow Stern September 9, 2014

Historical Examples

The Road to Independence: Virginia 1763-1783 Virginia State Dept. of Education

noun
a mark on a stone post or other permanent feature, at a point whose exact elevation and position is known: used as a reference point in surveying BM

a criterion by which to measure something; standard; reference point
(as modifier): a benchmark test

verb
to measure or test against a benchmark: the firm benchmarked its pay against that in industry
n.
benchmark
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 (http://netlib.org/benchweb/).
[Jargon File]
(2002-03-26)

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