Linked by Christopher W. Cowell-Shah on Thu 8th Jan 2004 19:33 UTC
General Development This article discusses a small-scale benchmark test run on nine modern computer languages or variants: Java 1.3.1, Java 1.4.2, C compiled with gcc 3.3.1, Python 2.3.2, Python compiled with Psyco 1.1.1, and the four languages supported by Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET 2003 development environment: Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual C++, and Visual J#. The benchmark tests arithmetic and trigonometric functions using a variety of data types, and also tests simple file I/O. All tests took place on a Pentium 4-based computer running Windows XP. Update: Delphi version of the benchmark here.
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Hazards of microbenchmarking
by Paris Hilton Returns on Sat 10th Jan 2004 18:50 UTC

If your real-world application resembles this benchmark, then the results >might< be useful.

For any floating point codes I have seen (Orbit/Attitide determination, weather simulation, and so forth), accurate results are more important than sheer speed. See the evaluation on this bug report for a discussion of wildly inaccurate results from simple-minded calculations:

As mentioned in the Evaluation: if you don't care about accurate, consistent results, why do you need the calculation at all?