To evaluate real world 8008 performance, I have done some performance measurements using SCELBAL in my 8008 emulator. The 8008 running a typical BASIC program, such as “99 bottles of beer on the wall”, executes around 32,000 instructions per second. That is .032 MIPS, for those of you that measure processor performance that way. In contrast, the 6502 is said to execute roughly 300,000 instructions per second. However that is not the whole story, as instruction set influcences performance of real world programs in a significant way. For example, a single memory access on the 8008 will require 3 instructions if the H and L registers are not set up in advance. The 6502 can access any memory location in the entire 64K address range with a single instruction, without any need for setting up registers in advance.
Running a typical instruction mix, the 500 KHZ 8008 processor executes instructions about 10 times slower than the later 1MHZ 6502 used in the Apple ][.