What is Benchmark Testing?

Before we learn Benchmark Testing, let’s understand-

Benchmark in Performance Testing

A Benchmark in Performance Testing is a metric or a point of reference against which software products or services can be compared to assess the quality measures. In other words, Benchmark means a set standard that helps to determine the quality of a software product or service. We can benchmark a software product or service to assess its quality.

For example, a football team has a benchmark for a player to qualify as a premier league player. The skill set for the benchmark could be a number of goals scored in the last five seasons, or ball possession during the first halftime, or a minimum number of games played in the local tournament, etc.

What is Benchmark Testing?

Benchmark Testing measures a repeatable set of quantifiable results that serves as a point of reference against which products/services can be compared. The purpose of benchmark testing results is to compare the present and future software releases with their respective benchmarks.

A benchmark must be repeatable. For instance, with every iteration of the load test, if the response times vary too much, system performance must be benchmarked. Response time needs to be stable amongst different load conditions.

A benchmark must be quantifiable. For example, the user experience cannot be quantified in numbers, but the time a user spends on a webpage due to good UI can be quantified.

Benchmark Testing is not a term related to just software testing, but it also deals with Hardware Testing and is considered one of the most important tasks in the business world.

In this tutorial, we will discuss benchmarks for a client-server application or, in other words, a web application. The benchmark testing can be done for the following services,

  • Browser compatibility
  • Broken Links
  • HTML compliance
  • Load Time
  • Accessibility
  • Link popularity

Why Benchmark Testing is important?

At the business level, benchmark testing can be helpful in determining

  • How well a web-based application is performing with respect to the competitors
  • How different types of customers experience the response time and availability of a site
  • It ensures that websites comply with standards and best practices
  • It enables to evaluate third-party service providers prior to making a contracting decision
  • Allows to figure out the mistakes to be avoided

Creating a Benchmark Test Plan

A test plan is the most crucial element of the benchmark testing process. The Benchmark Test plan follows the steps given below-

  1. Scaling and invoking workload
  2. Collect and store measures for benchmark testing
  3. Define the time span required and the terminal point of a test process
  4. Prepare a backup plan to overcome any new test case failure
  5. Decide the authority to call termination of the end process

How to Do Benchmark Testing

There are 4 phases involved in Benchmark Testing:

Benchmark Testing

Step 1) Planning Phase

  • Identifying and prioritizing standards and requirements
  • Decide benchmark criteria
  • Define benchmark test process

Step 2) Analysis Phase

  • Identify the root cause of the error to improve quality
  • Setting goals for the test process

Step 3) Integration Phase

  • Share outcomes with the concerned person and get approval
  • Establish functional goals

Step 4) Action Phase

  • Develop test plan and documentation
  • Implement actions specified in previous phases and monitor progress
  • Run the process continuously

Components of Benchmark Testing

Different systems have varying degrees of complexity and require different techniques for testing applications.

There are 3 major components of Benchmark Testing. They are

  1. Workload Specifications: Determining the type and frequency of requests to be submitted to the system under test.
  2. Specifications of Metrics: Determine which element to be measured e.g.; Download speed
  3. Specification of measurement: Determining how to measure the specified elements to find appropriate values

Things to consider while Benchmark Testing

For running successful benchmark testing following facts needs to be considered.

  • Consistency and control are important measures for performing benchmark testing.
  • Understand the system architecture to design test criteria and test data
  • Examine initial static data and update according to the number of users
  • Check for ‘Reset’ functionality wherever required and define per second transaction rate (this specifically deals with users’ transactions against a database)
  • Split the system elements according to its functionalities
  • Every system has different architecture and design, which needs to be taken into consideration while performing Benchmark Testing
  • Make sure all software components are in working condition
  • The operating system and supporting drivers should work accurately
  • Remove prefetch and temporary files from the system before running a benchmark
  • Close all processes and applications running in the background
  • Check for operating systems updates and real-world configurations

Benchmark Testing Frameworks

Benchmark Testing Frameworks help to perform some fundamental tasks for performance checks. These fundamental tasks include-

  1. Database Access
  2. Server-side composition
  3. JSON Serialization
  4. Configuration

Benchmark Framework 2.0 & TechEmpower are mostly used Benchmark Testing frameworks.

Let’s have a look at TechEmpower. We will have a quick glance at its salient features.

  • It is an open-source framework for performing benchmark tasks
  • It needs the correct configuration of benchmarking environment
  • There are mainly two modes such as Benchmark Mode for comparing results and Verify Mode for those who are not experts
  • There are several files required which are unique and may vary from system to system accordingly
  • It includes a ‘Benchmark Config File’ that defines a set of test instructions and metadata for a benchmark program
  • It is based on several languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript, Perl, C, Groovy, Haskell, Scala, etc.
  • Object – Relational Mapper (ORM) is used to perform tests on databases, JSON Serialization, etc.

Benchmark Testing Tools

Benchmark Testing Tools are being categorized accordingly. We will enlist one by one.

Tools for Testing Windows PCs:

  1. Prime95
  2. Novabench
  3. 3DMark
  4. SiSoftware Sandra

Tools for Testing CPU performance:

  1. Cinebench
  2. Geekbench

Tools for Testing System’s Speed and Mobile Device batteries:

  1. Phoronix (Linux)
  2. CPU UserBenchmark (CPU Benchmark test)
  3. Vellamo (Web browsing performance)

Benchmark Testing can also be performed with Android phones and tablets. Among all, Passmark is a well-known and widely used Benchmark Testing tool.


  • In Software Engineering, Benchmark Testing gives a repeatable set of quantifiable results on a performance of a system.
  • Helpful to exercise load conditions and determine system behavior against DDoS attacks.
  • Workload specifications, metrics, and measurement specifications are major components of benchmark testing.
  • Several tools and frameworks are used to perform benchmark testing rapidly and efficiently.
  • Benchmark Testing is also useful for mobile devices too.