Recently on a number of sites the benefits for and against have been debated with, on occasion, these conversations falling into abuse being thrown in both directions.
From a pure technical perspective, the TPC benchmarks make little sense and are probably not relevant to 99% of organizations looking to implement a database technology. But as a tool for generating visibility, debate and improved public awareness of a vendors technology they still have an impact.
This is marketing, pure and simple. Having a great TPC result is akin to an author having a great review on Amazon. Doesn’t mean it is relevant for you but if faced with a stack of titles you haven’t yet read you’ll probably look more closely at the ones you’ve heard something positive about.
TPC’s are a tool for the marketing department, just the same as any other form of adverting.
There may be many technical purists who find this offensive. But the reality is that the database business is a $20b+ a year industry and everyone is jostling for their position. They will use all valid means to get their product in your mind when you are next making a decision around a database platform.