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Appendix A: A History of Computer Performance
Pages 155-159

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From page 155...
... Because the above is time-consuming -- and therefore expensive -- many people evaluate computers by using standard benchmark suites. Each vendor produces benchmark results for its computers, often after optimizing computers for the benchmarks.
From page 156...
... The Figures A.1 and A.2 reveal two trends. First, computer performance has improved exponentially (linearly on a semilogarithmic plot)
From page 157...
... . Moreover, the principal reason that clock-frequency improvement has slowed greatly is that higher clock frequencies demand greater power and the power used by modern microprocessors has reached a level that make increases questionable from an economic perspective and may even encourage clock-frequency reductions.
From page 158...
... . 1,000 100 10 1 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Year of Introduction FIGURE A.4 Microprocessor power dissipation (watts)
From page 159...
... Optimists predict that Kurzweil's trend will continue. Pessimists worry that single-threaded architectures and complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology are reaching their limits, that multithreaded programming has not been broadly successful, and that alternative technologies are still insufficient.

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