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Let's say you're in a computer store looking at 10 laptops, you want to really compare the system's capabilities. What will be an efficient "your fav language goes here" script that will allow you to do this?

As an example, when I go to the store I usually open a macbook and a pro's terminal and write an equation in python, iterate it a million or so times, and time them. I like to compare the difference in time. What would be an ideal and simple script that can efficiently compare systems?

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Doing this, you're only testing CPU throughput for a specific type of equation, which is no way a good judge of performance and capabilities.

Chances are, the bottlenecks which will hamper system performance lie with RAM clockspeed and throughput and the hard disks. It'll be difficult to write a simple script (which you can remmber off by heart) which will accurately test the capabilities of a system (bearing in mind you'll be wanting to do fully random reads/writes/read-writes to both RAM and the hard disks).

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I would make this a comment, but I only have 1 point, so I can't.

I wanted to point out that you also need to consider the "Power Options" settings on each machine you test. Differences in these settings and profiles make an enormous difference in the performance of any given machine as they are tweaked.

Perhaps you would use one of the built in profiles for "Power Options" when running your test, but be aware that what appears to be a built in profile can be changed, so you really need to make a new one based on built in defaults for a test in order to defeat any changes made by others to the demo.

Lastly, you may want to consider a fresh restart of each machine, because you don't know how long these machines have been running or what they have been through since the last restart otherwise.

HAPPY SHOPPING!!!!!

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