Maximizing SQL Server’s performance and scalability is a complex engineering challenge. Beyond good architecture and well-designed code, we also extensively measure SQL Server to ensure that it delivers the best performance compared to previous versions and other databases. But which benchmarks do we use? That’s an important question. Being super-fast on workloads that aren’t relevant for real-world applications may be good for bragging rights, but doesn’t help our customers.

See the full post @ http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2012/08/28/tpc-e-raising-the-bar-in-oltp-performance.aspx.