Last year i had to benchmark different VIA EPIA motherboard for absolute performance. I found quite usefull to use PovRay to do the job. Its quite simple to use once installed:
time povray benchmark.pov
Where benchmark.pov is a file usually distributed with PovRay that create a sample rendering job. You can also force PovRay to display additionals statistics about the job.
Benchmarking CPU using PovRay,