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Abstract:As a variety of manufacturers is competing in a relatively small market, performance considerations are of big interest especially in the field of supercomputing. But more than in other computer classes reliable and meaningful data is hard to get. Design and implementation of hardware, operating systems and software spread out over a large variety of architectures. And as the price for a single machine is usually found in the million dollar range, vendors are often willing to play tricks to achieve better benchmark results.
In this chapter we first present an overview on the most popular benchmarks, before we discuss the LINPACK benchmark, which we have chosen to compile our TOP500. Finally we will analyse the general informations on the distribution of performance of supercomputers in the TOP500.