Power Efficiency Test - Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is Neal Nelson?
       Neal Nelson is an independent computer consultant. Neal has been operating a software house in the Chicago area since 1973.
Why were these tests created?
       For over 20 years Neal has been performing custom computer tests for large companies and government agencies. Based on the results from these custom tests, which were generally not released to the public, Neal knew that much of the public performance information was either incomplete or patently deceptive.

Neal decided to create a suite of tests that would tell the truth about computer performance. These tests are part of that effort.

Did some major company pay for these tests?
       These tests were created by Neal based on his experience at numerous customer sites. No company sponsered, financed or influenced any part of this effort.
In some cases these test results conflict with SPECPower test results. Which numbers are "right"?
       There are huge differences between the workload tested by Neal Nelson and the workload tested by SPEC.

The SPECPower workload has a small number (typically 1-4) of processes that accept batches of transactions from a single client machine. These processes are small and simple calculation tasks that performs few context switches, minumal network I/O and no disk I/O.

The Neal Nelson Power Efficiency Test has a large number of simultaneous users (up to 500) that generate individual HTML transactions from 32 client machines. The process load is large and complex with high levels of interupts, context swtiches, network activity and disk I/O.

The two benchmarks stress different parts of a server's architecture and thus they report different results. Customers with a small and simple calculation workload may prefer to trust the SPEC results. Customers with a large and complex workload that includes network and disk I/O should use the Neal Nelson numbers.

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