Ness Benchmark (The)

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Screenshots - Ness Benchmark (The)

Ness Benchmark (The) atari screenshot
Ness Benchmark (The) atari screenshot
Ness Benchmark (The) atari screenshot
Ness Benchmark (The) atari screenshot
Ness Benchmark (The) atari screenshot
Ness Benchmark (The) atari screenshot
Ness Benchmark (The) atari screenshot

Information - Ness Benchmark (The)

GenreHardware - TestingYear1992
Language[unknown]Publisher[no publisher]
Box / InstructionsEnglishSoftwareEnglish

Ness, Jim

LicensePD / Freeware / Shareware
SerialST TypeST, STe, TT, Falcon030 / 0.5MB
ResolutionMedium / High / VGANumber of Disks1 / Double-Sided / HD Installable
Dumpdownload atari Ness Benchmark (The) Download / MSAMIDI

Instructions - Ness Benchmark (The)

                     NBM - The Ness Benchmark

A) What it is...

     NBM is a program which runs on any Atari ST/STe/TT computer, in any 
resolution.  NBM runs five tests, timing their duration, for use in 
comparing the speed of the machine with other Atari computers.

     NBM includes a Compare function, which contains a database of 
previously tested Atari computers of various configurations.  This 
allows the user to compare results with other people's machines.

     Also included is a Print function, allowing the user to print the 
results of each test.

B) Disclaimers...

     NBM gives specific results for specific tests.  The tests performed 
may or may not portray anything a user does in day-to-day operation of 
the computer.  As a result, it should be noted that some of the tests 
may not be significant to you, the user.  

     On the other hand, the five tests included in NBM do attempt to 
portray legitimate routines a computer will be doing in as many 
different real applications as possible.

     If nothing else, NBM allows the user to compare the advantages 
and/or disadvantages of various hardware and software combinations.

     NBM has been tested on hundreds of machines of various 
configurations, with no reported ill effects.  However, the author 
accepts no responsibility for any damages, real or perceived, resulting 
from the use of this software.  Use NBM at your own risk.

C) How to use it...

     Load the program as you would any other GEM graphics program. NBM 
displays a dialog box which lists the six tests to be performed.  Also 
displayed are your TOS operating system version, and whether or not the 
program is running in fast (TT) or normal (ST) ram.

     Across the bottom are buttons labelled Test, Print, Compare and 
Exit.  Before tests are performed, the Print and Compare buttons are 

     The test sequence is begun by clicking on the Test button,  but you 
must first select which of the six tests are to be performed.  This is 
done by clicking on the test descriptions themselves.  When selected for 
testing, each selection will have a checkmark in front of it.  Clicking 
again, on a selected test, will deselect it.

     As each test is being run, its description will appear in reverse 
video.  As it is completed, its results will appear on the right side of 
the dialog box.

     After all selected tests have been run, the Print and Compare 
buttons at the bottom of the box become active.  Choosing Print will 
cause the results to be printed out.  Your Atari Control Panel chooses 
printing parameters.  Make sure your printer is turned on.

     Choosing Compare will run you through a database of previously 
tested machines.  Your results for a particular test are displayed at 
the top, while other results appear in order from slowest to fastest.

D) The results...

     NBM results are displayed in two columns.  The first column 
indicates how much time, in seconds, each test took to complete.  The 
second column shows a percentage comparison between the tested machine, 
and a "baseline" machine.  The baseline machine is a TOS 102 ST, running 
at 8mhz, with no Desk Accessories or AUTO programs installed.

E) The tests...

     In the Math test, NBM performs 1000 iterations of a combination of 
integer and floating point math.  The floating point math does not take 
advantage of any math coprocessor which may be installed.

     The Memory test performs 25 iterations of a very large block memory 
move.  Approximately 250,000 bytes of ram are moved from one location to 
another, and back again, in ram.

     In the Dialog Box test, a standard GEM dialog box, with many items 
in it, is drawn 150 times, making heavy use of the graphics routines 
built into GEM.

     The next two tests involve disk drives.  The Floppy Drive test 
accesses drive A: on your machine, and attempts to open and manipulate a 
250,000 byte file.

     The Other Drive test accesses whatever drive NBM resides on, and 
performs 4 iterations of the same test done on your floppy drive.  This 
test is useful in analyzing the speed of your hard drive or 

     The Graphics test runs your ST through three sub-tests - text, line 
and object.   The text test repeatedly prints a line of text, until the 
window is filled,  then changes attributes and starts again.   The line 
test draws lines from one side of the window to the other, from about a 
dozen starting points.  The object test draws a number of objects, some 
rectangular with square edges,  some rectangular with round edges,  and 
some oval.

     The Graphics test time will vary depending on both your  machine's 
speed,  and the size of the screen you are using.  The test takes place 
within a window sized to almost fill your screen, and the various tests 
are designed to use the full window.

F) Notes...

     There are many things which can affect the results you get on your 

     First and foremost, DO NOT MOVE THE MOUSE during a test.  The 
internal routines which sense mouse movement and draw the mouse onscreen 
use system resources.  While those routines are working, the test is not 
running.  Your times will be misleadingly long.  Simply click on the 
Test button and take your hand off the mouse.

     Second, every Desk Accessory, and some AUTO programs, use system 
resources while NBM is running.  Properly written, the effect is small, 
but they will make a noticeable difference in your test results.  One of 
the interesting things that NBM can do is to show you exactly how much 
your system is affected by these programs.

     In the dialog box and graphics tests, your results will vary if 
you have one of the popular software screen accelerators installed 
(QuickST, TurboST, NVDI).  NBM is a good medium from which to make a 
gross comparison of these products.  

     The disk drive test results will vary wildly, based on a number of 
factors.  Disk fragmentation is the most important.  A disk which 
contains a number of files, especially files which are regularly written 
to, can easily become fragmented.  This will slow down any disk drive 
test dramatically.  The machines displayed in the Compare dialog did not 
have fragmented drives.

     In the case of hard drives, different brands and models will show 
slightly different results.  This is simply because hard drive speed is 
a sales feature.  Manufacturers are always trying to make their drives 

     For ramdisks, the ramdisk software is the important issue.  Some 
software is more efficient than other software.  This affects how 
quickly data is stored to and retrieved from the ramdisk.

G) Talk to me...

     I would be very happy to hear from you regarding your experiences 
with NBM.  I can be contacted on CompuServe (74415,1727), GEnie (J.NESS) 
and Delphi (JNESS).

     NBM is a FREEWARE product.  Use it to your heart's content, don't 
worry about having to pay for it.  But, if you pass it around, you must 
distribute it without modification, and include this documentation file 
intact with it.
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