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Benchmarking Android

With Android adoption continuing at a quick pace, there are more and more platforms available for users to choose from. But they don’t all perform equally. So how can developers (or even users) get a good sense of how the base system works?

You might think of just taking a particular app and trying it on different machines to compare. But the performance of a given app on a given system is highly dependent on the compiler optimizations used, so relying on that might amount to comparing the software builds more than the actual systems.

To address this, EEMBC has announced AndEBench for benchmarking Android platforms. In its first release, it focuses on the CPU and the virtual machine interpreter. It will gradually be augmented to test out other portions of the system like the graphics, audio, and networking.

The current emphasis is on integer operations, providing numbers for both native and Java execution. They perform numerous compiler optimizations in order to expose the true available performance of the system. You can also test the platform’s multi-threading capabilities by specifying the number of threads to spawn (although they had to add a Stop button, since, without it, if you dialed in too many threads, the system might disappear for, like, 15 minutes without your being able to call it back).

Apparently there are other benchmarking apps out there; EEMBC cautions that these typically have unclear pedigrees, and rarely make the source code available.

You can find more info in their release

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