Performance, Benchmarks, and Gigahertz

It's said in the computer world that there are lies, damn lies, and benchmarks. Like Mark Twain's original observation about statistics, the numbers don't tell the whole story, or even the half of it. Measuring the speed of a microprocessor chip might seem to be a simple, straightforward task, but it's anything but.

As an example of the problem, try defining the world's best car. Do you measure top speed? Trunk space? Fuel efficiency? Price? Resale value? You could combine and weight all these factors, but other people will inevitably argue that you've given too much importance to speed and not enough to passenger comfort, for example. You can't please everyone with a single score. This is the problem with ...

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