This benchmark program does a bunch of compuation and memory allocation procedures and produces some "scores". One set of scores is practically meaningless but if you run the benchmark on two different machines and compare the scores, then they will give an indication of how fast one machine is compared to the other (on a linear scale). Lower scores indicate the faster machine.

Regardless of how fast a machine the benchmark is being run on, it takes a couple minutes to complete. During this time you should not run any other programs, or else the benchmark will not be accurate. Also, when comparing two machines, each should be setup with the same version of the Java plugin (eg. 1.5).

The drop down menu gives you choice of the number of threads to use for the benchmark. If your machine only has a single cpu, you will only be given the choice of one thread. If your machine has two cpu's, you will given the choice of 1 or 2 threads. And so on. Generally speaking, by using a number of threads corresponding to the number of cpu's, the operating system will schedule one thread on each cpu, thereby doing as much in parallel as possible.

Suppose you have a machine with 2 cpu's. You run the benchmark with a single thread and get a total score of x (some number). You run the benchmark with two threads and get a total score of 0.5x (half the original number). This means that by using two cpu's, your machine can do twice as much work as with one cpu - it's the same linear scale as comparing two different machines, each with one cpu / thread. However, you will rarely get twice the performance by using twice the number of cpu's. Generally speaking the performance will be better, but there are cases where it may be worse. For example, if your machine has Hyper-Threading then the operating system will probably recoginze the machine has having two virtual cpu's, but in this case it's just that - two virtual cpu's. Hyper-Threading tends to increase performanc when two threads are doing different types of operations at the same time, but not when they are performing the same types of operations - Hyper-Threading is not nearly the same as actually having two cpu's or having a dual-core cpu (which also will get recognized as two virtual cpu's).

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If you need a command line version of this program, then download this jar file and you can run the benchmark by typing:

java -cp bench.jar benchmark.Bench <numThreads>

You must have a Java JRE installed to do this. Also, do not compare results from the web version of this program against the standalone version - they may not be the same because of different memory parameters.

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