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Effective toy benchmark for a computer?

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linux-howto

http://serverfault.com – I wanted to do some (very rough) comparisons between different computers, seeing the relative compute performance of laptops and cloud machines (AWS EC2, rackspace, etc.). I wanted something extremely easy and quick to run, and just wanted a rough benchmark of computation performance. Not testing parallelism, disk access, etc. I came up with the following command: head -c100000000 < /dev/urandom | time openssl sha1 > /dev/null That is, take 1000000000 chars from urandom, and time the duration it takes to sha1 them. My question is: is this indeed a decent rough benchmark of a computer (HowTos)