CPU Benchmark Definition & Meaning

A CPU benchmark is the result of a series of tests designed to measure the performance of a computer or device CPU (or SoC). A set of standards or baseline measurements are used to compare the performance of different systems using the same methods and circumstances.

CPU Benchmark Tests

A typical CPU benchmark test will compare the test system against the standards for the type of CPU used. CPU specifications typically measured by a benchmark test include:

  • Clock speed

  • Number of instructions executed

  • Registry calls per cycle

  • Overall architecture efficiency factors

The benchmark standards change between generations of CPUs and also between different manufacturers, such as Intel and AMD CPUs.

CPU benchmark software will also gather and provide information on many of the main devices in a computer system such as the processor, motherboard and chipset, memory and more.

What is a Good CPU Benchmark Score?

In CPU benchmark testing, what constitutes a good or bad score is subjective; a number of elements can impact the outcome of a CPU benchmark test, including the testing software, environmental factors like RAM and hard drive speeds, and the KPIs that are deemed most valuable. Some tests use real world situations and others use idealized environments, a difference that has major implications for a CPU s marketing and performance expectations. Similarly, clock speed is often considered the most important measurement for a CPU benchmark score, but it provides only a narrow view of a processor s overall performance.

GPUs can also be benchmarked to determine the performance of graphics cards.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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