Introduction: How to Benchmark an Intel CPU

Picture of How to Benchmark an Intel CPU

Have you ever wanted a good comparative method to test the actual speed of your CPU? You can measure its physical speed in GHz, but it won't give you much idea as to how fast it can actually solve problems. For example, you can clock a Pentium 4 at 4GHz, but an i7 at 1GHz will probably be still a lot faster. There are various other benchmarks, like CPU Marks , ok for comparing your CPU to others, but they are otherwise meaningless, and require payware to test your own configuration. If you want to benchmark you CPU, it is best to use GFLOPS (Giga [Billion] FLoating-point Operations per Seconds). It is what all supercomputers will use to test their speed and a very good measure of the processors true speed.

NOTE: This only works on Intel CPUs. You can probably find one for AMD if you google it, but as I don't have any,  haven't really looked. Only thing I could find was a linux version you have to compile yourself.

Step 1: Get Linpack

Picture of Get Linpack

First step is to get Linkpack. This is very straightforward, simply download the correct version from below:
[Linux ]
[Windows ]
[Mac ]

Download it and unzip it and save it to a memorable location.

Step 2: Using Linpack

Picture of Using Linpack

Once downloaded, open the "benchmarks" folder, then the "linpack" folder. Run linpack_xeon64 (or 32 if you have an older 32-bit cpu).

 You should now have a command prompt/terminal window open. Press return once so it says "Number of equations to solve". Input a large number like 5000, and hit enter. Then, for the leading dimensions for array, enter a larger number, for example, 10000. Note: you may want to run less equations for older CPUs, otherwise they might take over a minute just to solve one! Next, enter about 200 trials, and then the amount of ram for it to use (in kb). You will want to change this according to how much ram you have free, I gave it 100000, which is just under 1GB. If done correctly, it should then start giving you benchmarks. I have found mine varies quite a bit, but I have managed to get up to 43GFLOPS on Ubuntu with it overclocked to 3.3GHz. Feel free to post your benchmarks in the comments!

Step 3: Benchmark Your Mobile Device!

Picture of Benchmark Your Mobile Device!

You can benchmark your mobile device too!
[Android ]
iOS: [US ] [UK ]

Please note, the speeds here are in megaflops, not gigaflops. Divide them by 1024 to get the equivalent speed in gigaflops to compare to your computer.


RepairS2 (author)2016-05-04

PlayStaion 4 runs at 1.8 TERAFlops, so all your PC's are pure junk. Compare the cost

PS4 $300, = Intel CPU alone cost more and not even close

AndreS193 (author)RepairS22016-10-10

My RX 480 capable of 5 tflops says otherwise console boy

Uhh not so fast. That's your GPU Floating point operation, not CPU. The PS4 CPU runs at 102.4 GFLOPS, behind the 112GFLOPS of the XBOX One.

1.8 TFLOPS for a GPU is pretty weak and considered merely "entry level" in the PC Graphics market. In fact, a mid-level GTX 960 runs at 2.3 TFLOPS, while the GTX 1080 at 9 TFLOPS.

Makes your PS4 sound pretty useless now.

skerry97 (author)RepairS22016-07-02

i should get a macbook or a xbox 360 elite or slime

AlexanderG84 (author)RepairS22016-05-16

underhood ps4 usual x86 cpu from amd. 1.8TF it is theoretically performance GPU

GoA2 (author)2016-07-14

This doesn't work for me. I downloaded from your link and tried to run it. The command window just sits there, blank, forever. i7-4770k

GoA2 (author)GoA22016-07-14

Solved for myself. One of the DLLs that comes with Intel optimized Linpack needs to be moved from the lib folder to the application folder.

ThaddaeusG (author)2016-03-07

I just use intel burn test it has linpack output. I got a 123 gflops on my i7 5820k overclocked to 4.5ghz @ 2.999v

SarcasticNash (author)2016-03-02

How do I get the program to tell me the results? It just closes after it is done... or does it not give you the average or anything?

flboffin (author)2015-10-10

I ran linpack on my HP Z230 workstation: 64-bit Xeon CPU @ 3.5 GHz; 16 GB DDR3 ECC DRAM; running on a 250 GB SSD, which is the OS & programs drive. I got an average score of 70 GFlops, maximum of 76 GFlops. That makes it faster than a Cray 2, which was rated at 1.9 GFlops in 1985 and was fastest until 1990. Wow!

junio_bsp (author)2013-11-07

Thank you man, you help me!

sci4me (author)2011-06-06 Also, heres a screen shot of the program. I made it in visual basic instead. Here it is:

andy70707 (author)sci4me2011-06-07

Looks very nice so far in terms of UI, I guess you just have to find out how to carry out the tests to get accurate speeds in GFLOPS. Linpack is open source, so you should be able to read the source and copy most from that.

sci4me (author)andy707072011-07-02

Heres what I had... i gave up though. This code is NOT going to work... well, it will, but its not exactly... good code for testing... It just rates ur pc speed on a scale of 1-10... it needs a calculation to be added. You can figure it out i hope... anyway.. heres the files:

andy70707 (author)sci4me2011-07-03

Ahh, I see. Looks good, but inaccurate. I got 10 on my laptop which benchmarks at about 5 GFLOPS, so 8 times slower than my desktop, and even that isn't an extremely high-end machine, although I do understand this is just a concept and may not be fully calibrated. I haven't done much VB programming before, but as of September, I will be learning it more, so I may be able to figure something out.

sci4me (author)andy707072011-07-04

Go onto youtube, and look fot the tuts on thenewboston. Also, I dont think i put the actual stress code in the program... you will PROBABLY get 10 on MOST computers... It is missing a MAJOR piece... I put TONS of comments where the piece is missing.

sci4me (author)2011-06-06 Also, heres a screen shot of the program. I made it in visual basic instead. Sorry about the quality of the pic..... :/ Here it is:

andy70707 (author)sci4me2011-06-06

Looks nice so far, as much as I can see. Please, just use the print screen button next time though.

sci4me (author)andy707072011-06-06

Wheres that?

andy70707 (author)sci4me2011-06-06

Its next to the F12, on the System Request key usually. It will beither be ctrl+prt scr or fn+prt scr, then a screenshot is copied tot eh clipboard. Then you can just pasted it in paint ot something and clip off the edges.

sci4me (author)andy707072011-06-06

hey thanks! I never knew that existed! Useful!

sci4me (author)2011-06-02

What type of tests does this do? I want to make my own simpler version in.. c++ probably. PLEASE REPLY!

andy70707 (author)sci4me2011-06-02

I'm not entirely sure, just some complex mathematical functions and timing how long they take to compute. If you are using the windows or linux version, they actually give you the source, just look in the benchmarks>mp_linpack folder. Please post your final product here, it would be interesting to see how this turns out. It would be good if it was all done through UI, and it auto-detects how much system ram the user has and uses, say, half of that, and always runs a set number of tests and size, unless specified separately.

sci4me (author)andy707072011-06-02

EXACTLY! Ok, here's what i'm going to do. I'm going to look at the source ad start to look into making this... do you know how I can like... see how long it took to do a piece of code in c++? I will post a link to it here when its done.

p.s. Thanks for the fast reply! Very cool of you! :D THANKS MAN!

andy70707 (author)sci4me2011-06-03

I don't think there is a way, I guess the noly way to tell how long it took to write is by looking at how long it is. I had a quick look myself, and its not excessively long, but tis not a quick snippet either. Could take a week or so to complete. I always try to reply to as many comments/emails I get as soon as possible. I like the feedback :)

sci4me (author)andy707072011-06-03

Ok, this is unrelated, but ?VERY important... ever since you commented on my CPU Thermal Management thing, I am un-able to view it... it gives me a stupif instructables error... what to do?

p.s. I'll try to figure something out. If I ever do make it, i'll post it here.

andy70707 (author)sci4me2011-06-03

How strange, It may simply be because the topic is so old. I'll just post what I said here instead.

"Re applying the thermal compound definitely does help. I always take it off completely with isopropyl alcohol and re-apply it. Don't use too much either, just a little blob in the middle, and let the heatsink spread it out. I usually buy the expensive stuff, like the nano-diamond or arctic cooling mx-4 (not entirely sure what thats got in, but its not silicone or silver). The silver based stuff works well, but is a pain to get off, and the silicone stuff isn't great, but definitely don't use the white ceramic stuff, it dries up within a few months and really doesn't do much.

As for the temperature, 42-51 degrees is pretty much what is expected for an older CPU like the P4. I have an i5-760 overclocked running at 3.1GHz, and it idles at about 28-36.

Also, the heatsink does make a big difference. I used the stock cooler for an AMD athlon II x4 on another build, and I needed a 6000RPM fan (usually running at about 3500 but it needs to be on about 5000 when gaming or watching blu-ray). When I got my i5, I took one look at the pathetic stock cooler and went out and bought an arctic cooling freezer 7 pro, It keeps the temperature at around 30 degrees even when fully overclocked. The fan only runs at a few hundred RPM, and I think I could probably take it off completely."

Also, good luck with the program, I can't wait to see how this will turn out!

sci4me (author)andy707072011-06-03

Thanks for that. Again, i'll post it here if I get it done. It may take awhile since I have so much other things to work on... but anyway, thanks!

Nerdz (author)2011-05-25

SuperPi Is also pretty much a standard in benchmarking.

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