How to Calculate MFLOPS

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Million floating point operations per second -- shortened to MFLOP as an acronym -- is a computer science measurement that describes supercomputer processing speeds. The measurement normalizes the time it takes for a computer to execute an instruction. Computer instruction time can vary between 29 and 600 computer cycles. The MFLOP measure serves as a good approximation of the speed of a supercomputer as long as you use common baselines when comparing the speeds of two competing supercomputers.

  • Normalize the number of computer cycles assumed to execute per computer instruction. To demonstrate in a general formula, this value is represented by Y cycles / instruction.

  • Obtain the microprocessor cycles per second execution speed from the documentation provided with your processor, or from benchmarking programs. For the Macintosh IIx processor, the speed is 15.6672 m cycles/sec.

  • Obtain the speed of processor in MFLOPS by inverting the cycles per computer instruction value and multiplying by the number of cycles per second of the processor:

    1 instruction / Y cycles * 15.6772m cycles / second.

  • Compare the result to other computers conducting simular benchmark testing. In this example, the processor speed is 15.6772 MFLOPS.

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