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The Register: Transmeta speed debate -- damned lies and benchmarks?

Oct 25, 2000, 13:21 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Orlowski)

"The problem is that Transmeta's new chip confounds the traditional one-pass benchmarks that their propeller head authors have spent years perfecting. Since the Transmeta architecture allows for dynamic and smart execution of code in software, the first pass of any test sample is guaranteed to be if not crap, then not quite optimal. With the instruction set and performance heuristics in software - a compromise that allows the chip itself to throttle back its frequency and voltage - judging a Crusoe on first-pass benchmarks is like judging a marrow competition based on the seeds. It isn't going to give you the full picture."

"So unsurprisingly, the three benchmarks we've looked at pronounce the Crusoe a dog. To the magazines' credit (or at least most of them), that's qualified by a note that their benchmark shouldn't be taken seriously."

"PC Magazine (US) states: 'The PictureBook is a bit anemic [sic], even when set to maximum performance,' but then qualifies this by pointing out 'the Winstone benchmark test does not repeat tasks, which minimizes opportunities for the Code Morphing technology to have an effect.'"

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