MIPS Performance Measure

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An MIPS Performance Measure is a computing performance measure based on millions of computing instructions per second.



  • (Wikipedia, 2015) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructions_per_second#Millions_of_instructions_per_second Retrieved:2015-5-12.
    • The speed of a given CPU depends on many factors, such as the type of instructions being executed, the execution order and the presence of branch instructions (problematic in CPU pipelines). CPU instruction rates are different from clock frequencies, usually reported in Hz, as each instruction may require several clock cycles to complete or the processor may be capable of executing multiple independent instructions at once. MIPS can be useful when comparing performance between processors made from a similar architecture (e.g. Microchip branded microcontrollers). However, MIPS are difficult to compare between CPU architectures.

      For this reason, MIPS has become not a measure of instruction execution speed, but task performance speed compared to a reference. In the late 1970s, minicomputer performance was compared using VAX MIPS, where computers were measured on a task and their performance rated against the VAX 11/780 that was marketed as a 1 MIPS machine. (The measure was also known as the VAX Unit of Performance or VUP.) This was chosen because the 11/780 was roughly equivalent in performance to an IBM System/370 model 158-3, which was commonly accepted in the computing industry as running at 1 MIPS.

      Many minicomputer performance claims were based on the Fortran version of the Whetstone benchmark, giving Millions of Whetstone Instructions Per Second (MWIPS). The VAX 11/780 with FPA (1977) runs at 1.02 MWIPS.

      Effective MIPS speeds are highly dependent on the programming language used. The Whetstone Report has a table showing MWIPS speeds of PCs via early interpreters and compilers up to modern languages. The first PC compiler was for BASIC (1982) when a 4.8 MHz 8088/87 CPU obtained 0.01 MWIPS. Results on a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (1 CPU 2007) vary from 9.7 MWIPS using BASIC Interpreter, 59 MWIPS via BASIC Compiler, 347 MWIPS using 1987 Fortran, 1,534 MWIPS through HTML/Java to 2,403 MWIPS using a modern C/C++ compiler.

      For the most early 8-bit and 16-bit microprocessors, performance was measured in thousand instructions per second (1 kIPS = 0.001 MIPS).

      zMIPS refers to the MIPS measure used internally by IBM to rate its mainframe servers (zSeries, IBM System z9, and IBM System z10).

      Weighted million operations per second (WMOPS) is a similar measurement, used for audio codecs.