The benchmark program takes less than 10 minutes to run (on most machines) and compares the system it is run on to two benchmark systems (a Dell Pentium 90 with 256 KB cache running MSDOS and an AMD K6/233 with 512 KB cache running Linux).
The archive contains the complete source, documentation, and a binary (Linux elf). The source has been successfully compiled on various operating systems, including SunOS, DEC Unix 4.0, DEC OSF1, HP-UX, DEC Ultrix, MS-DOS, and of course Linux.
This release is based on the Unix port of beta release 2 of BYTE Magazine's BYTEmark benchmark program (previously known as BYTE's Native Mode Benchmarks). The port to Linux/Unix was done by Uwe F. Mayer.
Additional changes to the code were made to make the code work with egcs compiler and to make the software packagable. This is a CPU benchmark providing indexes for integer, floating, and memory performance. It is single-threaded and is not designed to measure the performance gain on multi-processor machines.
Running a "make" will create the binary if all goes well. It is called "nbench" and performs a suite of 10 tests and compares the results to a Dell Pentium 90 with 16 MB RAM and 256 KB L2 cache running MSDOS and compiling with the Watcom 10.0 C/C++ compiler.
If you define -DLINUX during compilation (the default) then you also get a comparison to an AMD K6/233 with 32 MB RAM and 512 KB L2-cache running Linux 2.0.32 and using a binary which was compiled with GNU gcc version 22.214.171.124 and GNU libc-5.4.38.
The algorithms were not changed from the source which was obtained from the BYTE web site at http://www.byte.com/bmark/bmark.htm on December 14, 1996. However, the source was modified to better work with 64-bit machines (in particular the random number generator was modified to always work with 32 bit, no matter what kind of hardware you run it on).
Furthermore, for some of the algorithms additional resettings of the data was added to increase the consistency across different hardware. Some extra debugging code was added, which has no impact on normal runs.
In case there is uneven system load due to other processes while this benchmark suite executes, it might take longer to run than on an unloaded system.
This is because the benchmark does some statistical analysis to make sure that the reported results are statistically significant, and an increased variation in individual runs requires more runs to achieve the required statistical confidence.
This is a single-threaded benchmark and is not designed to measure the performance gain on multi-processor machines.