How to Calculate FLOPS

by David Stewart

The speed of a computer processor can be expressed in the unit FLOPS, or floating point operations per second. One billion FLOPS is called GFLOPS or gigaFLOPS. A FLOPS calculation is a measure of the number-crunching capability of the processor. LINPACK is one of the standard benchmarks for measuring processor speed using FLOPS.

A high FLOPS rating for a processor is important in supercomputers, for scientific applications and in robotics, where a large number of floating-point operations need to be done quickly.

1

Download a software program for analyzing the capability of the processor of your computer. SiSoftware Sandra and The Lightspeed Matlab toolbox are some of the software programs are available on the Internet. Choose a program which will present the results in FLOPS or GFLOPS.

2

Install the software on your computer by following the installation instructions from the vendor's website.

3

Run the "Processor Analysis" option in the software you have just installed. You will find this in the "hardware" section located in the software's menu screen.

4

Check the processor performance value in the results shown after the analysis ends. The results will tell you whether you have a high or low FLOPS rating.

Tip

  • Try to run the CPU analysis program for different typical loads on your computer.

Warning

  • Manufacturers of the processors give the theoretical maximum FLOPS rating in their specifications. You may not observe the same value when you test your processor.

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About the Author

Hailing out of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Stewart has been writing articles since 2004, specializing in consumer-oriented pieces. He holds an associate degree in specialized technology from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

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