Forbes just posted an excellent article on how synthetic (inappropriate or misunderstood) benchmarks are hurting the industry and consumers. Jump here to view the article.
BAPCo ships real-world applications (not synthetic) which are based on real world usage models. BAPCo does not optimize any applications. All the applications used in BAPCo benchmarks come directly from the application vendors. The performance of those applications will represent the performance users will see in the real world. BAPCo is a non-profit consortium with a charter to develop and distribute a set of objective performance benchmarks.