While there are many factors that can go into PC purchase decisions, performance still ranks as the top concern for companies of all sizes. Many companies look to performance benchmarks to help determine which system would best meet their needs. Yet, these benchmarks may not provide the complete performance picture. Are they based on professional applications or mostly consumer workloads? What were the environmental conditions? In this article, we’ll look at some key considerations for using benchmarks to evaluate the performance of modern business PCs—and how to ensure that you choose the right system for current and future needs.
The Old-School Method Of Measuring PC Performance
Traditionally, companies have used various physical specifications, such as processor frequency and cache size, to set a baseline for PC performance. There are two problems with this approach. First, you can have two processors that operate with the same frequency and see dramatically different performance due to the efficiency of their underlying implementations, something measured as “Instructions Per Clock” (IPC). The second problem is that for most modern processors, frequency is not a constant. This is especially true for processors in notebook PCs, where the frequency is constrained by thermal considerations. Frequency will also vary dramatically depending on the type of task being performed, the task duration, the number of cores being used, etc.