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by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective

The Way Processors Should Be Measured
by Brandon Drezner
May 25th, 2000

There has been a lot of talk in regards to the difference in speeds between Macs and PC's. Now with the advent of the gigahertz PC, consumer's are even more confused as to the speed differences.

Pentium, Celeron, Athlon, and G4s all are boasting faster and faster computing speeds, but just because one chip says it runs at a certain megahertz rating doesn't necessarily make it faster. This is even true among chips used by Apple. For instance, a G4 500 will far outperform a G3 500 in certain tasks. This creates a multitude of different speed platforms by which processors are measured.

Although each chip has it's own strengths and weaknesses, there is no universal way in which we can measure their abilities (the G4 still ranks highest in my book!). Every company has their own proprietary set of benchmarks and tests, which lack continuity.

I believe someone should create a universal form of clocking chip speeds. The tests should include all aspects of processing from graphic manipulations and the number of commands executed, to mathematical calculations and more. All the scores would then be averaged from each category to form an overall speed rating.

Think of the possibilities, consumers could accurately compare different chips from different platforms. The best part is that it would stimulate chip manufacturers to beat their competitors. If they can keep blaming unequal numbers on a poor measurement system, then they have no need to keep increasing their chip speeds. This way, consumers could look at accurate ratings for their prospective computer(s) and make their decisions based on a computers true chip power.

Of course this would put the most pressure on the chips that are lagging behind. Luckily, I don't think that any of the G4 owners have much to worry about. If anyone is interested in trying to attempt this feat, please feel free to e-mail me.


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