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Grosch's law


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The best known of many attempts to provide a measure of computer performance in terms of price, originally formulated by H. R. J. Grosch in 1953 as:

performance = constant × price2

Reliance on this law, which was approximately true at the time, led to the concept of “economy of scale”, i.e. that large computers were less expensive per operation than small computers. Since that time other values of the exponent have been suggested: a good case can be made for the value 1 rather than 2. Current technology has almost completely invalidated Grosch's law.

Subjects: Computing.


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