Explanation of CPU scores
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Why Intel's iCOMP?
Dual G4 Benchmarks?
iMac DV Benchmarks?
Private Benchmark Analysis?
Xeon cache performance?
Pentium-III 800B & 900?
Dual Pentiums & Win98SE?
What CPU features measured?
Gigaflops & Alpha Processors?
Benchmark score changes?
Benchmark test conditions?
Benchmarks for fun?
Explanation of CPU scores
May I use the iCOMP figures?
Integer/floating point?
Where do they come from?


Dear CPU Scorekeeper

Am I correct to assume that the scorecard rankings or scores you give the various CPUs (for example you give the Pentium 166 MMX a score of 440 and the Pentium III 500 a score of 1650) are based on performance alone and that you only compare the performance/price of a CPU using the colour codes of red, yellow, green and flashing green to provide further "value" information (best buy)?

I assume this because there are some CPUs that are listed as best buys, but having a lower score than other CPUs (for example, the Pentium III 500 is given a code of yellow or FAIR, but it has the highest score of all the CPUs).

- - Fred, May 1999

See the questionCPU Scorekeeper Responds

You are correct. The numerical CPU Scores at the ends of the coloured bars represent relative performance only. In the current list, Intel's Pentium III 500 is the highest scoring CPU, based on Intel's iCOMP index (linked to the score). The colour-coding is an attempt at providing more subjective "best buy" information, based on CPU performance, component price, and system pricing.

The CPU Scorecard always shows which CPUs are the fastest. If that's what you want, that's what you'll pay for. For most people, however, price is also an issue. Oftentimes, slightly slower CPU systems can provide very acceptable performance for a much reduced cost. And cost savings on the particular CPU inside can go toward increased hard disk space, memory, video performance, monitor size, or other components that can be at least as important to the usefulness of a particular computer.

The goal of the CPU Scorecard is to present the complex details of CPU performance and pricing in a concise and accessible fashion. Knowing that there's always room for improvement, we will continue to strive for a clearer presentation of the information you find most useful.

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The CPU Scorecard assumes no risk or liability for damage or loss due to the use of the information or advice provided here. All responses are based on the best available information at the time of writing. However, users of this information who wish to apply it to their computer situations do so at their own risk.
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