How to Calculate Teraflops

by Jason Artman

One measure of the speed of a computer is the number of floating point operations per second (FLOPS) that it is able to compute. Today's high-end computers are measured in gigaFLOPS (billions of floating point operations), while supercomputers are measured in teraFLOPS (trillions). A few amazing machines are measured in petaFLOPS (quadrillions). To find out how your computer compares, benchmark it using SiSoftware Sandra.

Download and install SiSoftware Sandra (System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant). The "Lite" version is free for personal use. Launch the program.

Click on the "Benchmarks" tab.

Double click the "Processor Arithmetic" benchmark icon.

Click the icon on the bottom of the screen that shows two blue arrows in a circular form. This will begin the benchmarking process. Do not be alarmed if your computer becomes unresponsive for a few moments; benchmarking uses all of the computer's resources.

Examine your results. The number of gigaFLOPS that your computer can calculate is shown under "Whetstone" at the bottom of the window. Multiply the result by 0.001 to see your computer's performance in teraFLOPS. For example, 8.53 gigaFLOPS would be equal to 0.00853 teraFLOPS. If SiSoftware Sandra has any suggestions for improving your score, they will be shown at the bottom of the window.

Tip

  • check SiSoftware Sandra is not the only program available for benchmarking a computer. However, it is one of the few benchmarking programs that measures performance in terms of FLOPS. Other benchmarking programs may have options of features differing from the ones described in this article.

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About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.