You’ve spent months planning, researching, and painstakingly putting together every component in your beloved gaming rig. Now it’s time to see what it can do. Much like a virtuoso pianist will practice his scales to see how fast he can do them, you too can test your PC to see if it’s ready for Carnegie Hall-like levels of performance. Today we’ll show you the best software for benchmarking your PC.
What is benchmarking? It involves using specific software to test the speed of each individual component inside your computer, such as your CPU, GPU, and SSD, or even how everything works together. Yep, it’s a lot of science and math. Don’t worry though! It’s usually free and very easy to do, as the benchmarking software will do all that science and math for you. (Our guide to benchmarking your graphics card shows how simple this process can be.)
Along with performance, benchmarking can also test for temperatures, thermal throttling, and even overall PC stability as a side benefit. We’ll discuss more intricate details for each of the main components in turn, but here’s a cheat sheet for the hardware types we’ll be covering and their recommended benchmarking software pairing. Many, many more benchmarks exist beyond what we’re recommending here, of course. These tools will cover all the bases though.
- CPU – Cinebench R23
- GPU – Superposition, Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Hard Drive/SSD: Crystal Disk Mark
- Whole system performance: PC Mark 10, 3DMark
Benchmark your CPU with Cinebench R23
Let’s start with the beating heart of your computer. Several CPU benchmarks exist but we recommend using Maxon’s free Cinebench R23 software. This widely used tool not only gives benchmarks for both multi-threaded and single-threaded CPU performance, it can also test the stability of your system at the same time with a 10 minute stress test that helps you gauge your CPU temperatures when paired with monitoring software like HWInfo or Hardware Monitor. They’re both free and can provide deeper insights on thermals, frequencies, etc., though they’re not necessary to successfully use Cinebench.
After running the benchmark, Cinebench lets you compare your scores to other users with the same CPU online —a fun way to gauge gains if you’re overclocking. Another huge benefit of benchmarking your PC is the ability to monitor overall system health, which can be very important to help you isolate troublesome issues. For example, sometimes certain settings in your motherboard BIOS (such as AMD’s “PBO” or Intel’s “MCE” automatic overclocking) can give you varying performance and higher temperatures. By using Cinebench, you can see the direct affect that options like those have on both raw CPU performance and CPU thermals.
Benchmark your graphics card with Superposition
Ah, the graphics card. It’s the crown jewel in any gamers PC, and it’s only fitting that your GPU is also the most rewarding item to benchmark. Scads of different GPU benchmarks exist, but today we’ll focus on Unigine’s free Superposition benchmark.
We recommend starting with the “1080p Extreme” benchmark. After running, it’ll spit out a score that you can compare against other systems. If you overclock your graphics card, or modify any of its settings, you can come back to this benchmark and see what affect those changes had. Remember: That applies to both the raw performance score as well as the temperatures your configuration is achieving. Benchmarking your graphics card is an excellent way to see if changes need to be made to your case’s airflow, or if another component is bottlenecking your performance.
Another great way to benchmark your GPU is to use it exactly as intended—in games. Several titles include automated built-in benchmarks that make it easy to see what sort of performance to expect, in a repeatable situation. Check out our guide to benchmarking your graphics card for a much deeper dive into the topic.
Benchmark your storage with CrystalDiskMark
With ultra-fast NVMe SSDs becoming more popular (and ever-faster), benchmarking their performance means more than ever. Benchmarking the various storage drives in your PC also lets you know which ones run fastest and should thus house your most-crucial software. CrystalDiskMark is the go-to storage benchmark we use in our own SSD reviews.Better yet, it’s free.
Don’t be alarmed by the various numbers and tests. For a quick gauge of your drive’s performance, you can typically read the first line. The speeds in that line of the benchmark typically falls close to the rated speed for your drive (in this case, 4,993 MB/s read, 3,277.74 MB/s write). Benchmarking your SSD or hard drive can let you know if it is performing per specifications. Compare the numbers you get in CrystalDiskMark to what the manufacturer claims the speed should be.
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It’s typical for SSDs to run a bit slower in the real world than the peak-performance numbers that vendors use, but if your numbers are wildly off, something could be wrong with your SSD or your system configuration. Blazing-fast NVMe SSD drives may not achieve best results in a M.2 SSD slot with fewer PCIe lanes, for instance, while next-gen PCIe 4.0 SSDs fall back to much-slower PCIe 3.0 speeds if you aren’t using a compatible computer. Seeing slower-than-expected benchmark numbers let you know that you might want to start poking around your setup, or make sure SSD-related features aren’t disabled in your motherboard BIOS.
Pro tip: If you have an SSD or NVMe drive, keep in mind that it may not maintain peak speeds during very large file transfers due to the high-speed cache being maxed-out. Once an SSD’s cache is tapped, speeds can drop down considerably depending on the type of drive. That’s why some NVMe drives are so much more expensive than others. Our SSD reviews test large file transfer performance to identify the intricacies of each drive’s performance.
Benchmarking your whole PC for fun and profit
Sure, CPU and GPU gaming benchmarks are fun for enthusiasts, but we also use our PCs as workstations to get stuff done. With many people working from home, evaluating your system’s overall performance is an essential test. You can benchmark your computer with UL’s PCMark 10, which runs a variety of productivity tests to let you know how your PC stacks up. It cycles through various tests similar to real world scenarios, benchmarking drive speeds, work-related tasks, video editing, video-conferencing. That makes PCMark a gread benchmark to see how your system is likely to do in real life, not just on the test bench.
If you want to benchmark your PC’s whole-system performance in more gaming-oriented tasks, turn to UL’s 3DMark. 3DMark comes with several different scenes designed to stress computers in different ways—Time Spy gauges DirectX 12 performance, while Port Royal tests ray tracing effectiveness, for example. Time Spy and Firestrike are the go-to scenes for benchmarking your system as they’re less specialized. Running those scenes will provide a benchmark score for your total system, and individual items like GPU and CPU performance. Plus, UL also maintains an online hall of fame scoreboard to see where you land with your PC setup.
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Both UL benchmarks cost money for the full package, but PCMark and 3DMark each also offers a basic edition with limited tests included for free. Just select the “Download demo” button on Steam rather than buying the software outright if you want to take it for a test run.
There you have it—now you can benchmark the most important components in your PC with some of the best (mostly free) software available. Use this knowledge to catch any potential performance or stability issues in your rig, and as a base to figure out how much upgrading will benefit you in the future.
What is the best way to benchmark your PC? ›
- Install all critical updates to ensure your operating system is up to date.
- Install the latest approved drivers for your hardware.
- Restart the computer or device.
- Wait 2 minutes for startup to complete.
- Close other programs, including those that may be running in the background.
- Wait for 15 minutes.
Geekbench is an easy-to-use, cross-platform CPU benchmark suite. You can use it on a wide range of devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones running on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
We recommend a PCMark 10 Essentials score of 4100 or higher.Does Windows 10 have a benchmark tool? ›
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The Windows 10 Assessment Tool tests the components of your computer then measures their performance. But it can only be accessed from a command prompt.
The Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT) remains tucked away in Windows 10. You can use WinSAT to generate a Windows Experience Index for your processor, graphics card, memory speed, and more.Is CPU benchmark trustworthy? ›
There are many synthetic benchmarks which could be optimized for specific CPU and compiler used. They are not accurate and result will mislead you.What are the best CPU and GPU benchmarks? ›
Heaven Unigine, 3DMark, and Cinebench are the best devices for benchmarking and comparing CPU and benchmark performance on Windows and Mac devices. Passmark, Geekbench, and Basemark GPU are the best benchmarking software for testing your graphic cards on Linux and mobile devices.What are the 4 types of benchmarking? ›
There are four main types of benchmarking: internal, external, performance, and practice.Is Geekbench free for PC? ›
If you haven't purchased a Geekbench license, you can still run the free version of Geekbench and get the same results. However, the free version requires an internet connection and can't be run offline. It will also automatically upload your test results to the Geekbench browser when your test is finished.Which is the No 1 processor for PC? ›
|1||AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5995WX DirectX 12.0||n/a|
|2||AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5975WX DirectX 12.0||n/a|
|3||AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X DirectX 12.0||$3990|
|4||AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX DirectX 12.0||n/a|
What CPU do most pro gamers use? ›
The best gaming CPU you can get right now is the Intel Core i5-12600K. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, but allows you to boost it to 4.9GHz for even higher performance. It also has integrated graphics so you don't need to invest in an expensive, dedicated GPU to play less graphically intensive games.Can benchmarking damage CPU? ›
benchmark are both safe and reliable methods of testing your cpu to compare to others or get an idea of your performance compared to other computers built out there. The only stuff to worry about is cpu and gpu twmpuraters if your working with very old or dusty hardware.What is the best free PC monitoring software? ›
- Connecteam. Connecteam is an all-in-one, user-friendly, and highly scalable employee management solution with extensive time tracking and job scheduling features. ...
- Pivotal Tracker. ...
- RescueTime. ...
- Hubstaff. ...
- TheWiSpy. ...
- Workstatus. ...
- ScreenshotMonitor. ...
VBS is enabled by default after a clean install of Windows 11, but not when upgrading from Windows 10. This means the same system can get different benchmark scores depending on how Windows 11 was installed and whether VBS is enabled or not.How to check your PC performance? ›
- Click Start.
- Select the Control Panel.
- Select System. Some users will have to select System and Security, and then select System from the next window.
- Select the General tab. Here you can find your processor type and speed, its amount of memory (or RAM), and your operating system.
60 Hz is the bare minimum, but 144 Hz will give a boost to performance. 240 Hz is nice but is unlikely to give as large a jump in performance as the 60-144 Hz jump. You need graphics powerful enough to run games at these frame rates to benefit fully from a fast monitor.How many FPS is a good PC? ›
The target frame rate for gamers is preferential, since having a steady connection with the graphics card is sometimes more important than having a fast one. PC action games are played best at 60 fps, but otherwise, a frame rate of 30 fps or higher should be fine.What is the hardest game to run on PC 2022? ›
- Spider-Man Remastered (August 13, 2022) ...
- Elden ring (February 25, 2022) ...
- Dying light 2 Stay Human (February 4, 2022) ...
- God of War (January 14, 2022) ...
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake (December 16, 2021) ...
- Halo Infinite (December 8, 2021) ...
- Far Cry 6 (October 7, 2021)
With the game running, open Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) in Windows 10 and click on the Performance tab. You'll see an active graph for CPU utilization.How do I run a full diagnostic on Windows 10? ›
In Windows 10, go to Start , then select Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback. In Windows 11, go to Start , then select Settings > Privacy & security > Diagnostics & feedback.
How to improve Windows 10 performance? ›
- Check your updates for the latest updates for Windows and device drivers.
- Restart your PC with only apps you need.
- Check your memory and memory usage.
- Check your disk space and make room if needed.
- Restore your PC from a restore point.
Your Windows PC also comes with a built-in FPS counter, thanks to the Windows Game Bar overlay. You can launch this feature with the Win + G shortcut, with performance data—CPU, GPU, VRAM, RAM, and FPS—displayed in the lower-left widget.Does 100% CPU usage damage the PC? ›
CPUs are designed to run safely at 100% CPU utilization. However, you'll want to avoid these situations whenever they cause perceptible slowness in games.Is 100% CPU usage harmful? ›
If the CPU usage is around 100%, this means that your computer is trying to do more work than it has the capacity for. This is usually OK, but it means that programs may slow down a little. Computers tend to use close to 100% of the CPU when they are doing computationally-intensive things like running games.Is a higher CPU benchmark better? ›
Higher is better, but take the score with a grain of salt when comparing CPUs from different generations, as the means of executing instructions vary. Render time. In rendering benchmark tests, render time measures the speed at which your CPU renders the geometry, lighting, and textures in a 3D scene.Is 7 core or 8 core GPU better? ›
The performance gap between both the 8-core and 7-core GPU is negligible. The numbers on paper vary ever so slightly and make no noticeable difference in real-time performance.How much CPU do you need for 3080? ›
CPU: Intel Core i5 12600K or Intel Core i7 12700K
If you plan on building your PC entirely for gaming, then the i5 12600K will be a suitable option which is perfect for most games. The i7 12700K will be more for those that want to build a workstation system and gaming PC.
The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is a killer CPU that will have no issues keeping up with the RTX 3080. 16 cores, 32 threads, and a boost speed up to 4.9GHz with 105W TDP.What is computer benchmarking? ›
What is a benchmark? A benchmark is simply a test that is used to compare similar products. A computer benchmarking program works by running a series of well-defined tests on the PC to measure its performance. Benchmarks developed by UL Solutions produce a score that you can use to compare PC systems.What are common benchmarks? ›
Some widely used benchmarks in the stock market are the Wilson 5000, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Russel 2000.
What are the pros and cons of benchmarking? ›
Pro: Internal benchmarking allows you to repurpose something without reinventing the wheel. Con: You could miss out on a better solution. Pro: Competitive research can get the creative juices flowing. Con: It can also be a distraction and lead to a tangent in your creative process.How much does Geekbench 5 cost? ›
Geekbench 5 for macOS/Linux/Windows runs $15 ($10 for macOS only) while Geekbench 5 Pro costs $99.Is Geekbench a good benchmark? ›
Conclusion. If you want to have a laptop with performance that suits your needs, a Geekbench benchmark is a good reference. It scores a laptop's CPU performance when running several tasks, using a single thread or multiple threads.Is CineBench better than Geekbench? ›
Geekbench doesn't stress the CPU, so basically a waste of time, it just presents big numbers to brag about. CineBench R20 will push the CPU, it also reveals weakness if any in the cooling system. As stated best to look at the application you use, benchmarks are only really useful for comparisons.Which is better Ryzen or Intel? ›
Intel still leads the market for CPUs, offering the best balance between price and performance. Because of their unrivaled single-thread clock speeds, gamers will certainly want to go for an Intel CPU. AMD is increasingly competitive, and their new Ryzen 9 chip is the most powerful consumer-grade CPU.Is i7 faster than i5? ›
Intel Core i7 processors are typically faster and more capable than Core i5 CPUs. The latest i7 chips offer up to six cores and 12 threads, making them better suited for advanced multitasking.What processor is faster than i7? ›
In Intel's simple terms, the Core i9 is faster than the Core i7, which is faster than the Core i5. But faster isn't always better, and most people don't need the extra horsepower.Is i9 overkill for gaming? ›
Gaming: Do You Need a Core i7 or a Core i9 for Desktop Fragging? For most gamers, both the i7 and i9 line of chips are a bit overkill to justify their higher price points compared to chips in the i3 and i5 brackets.What is the fastest CPU in the world? ›
Intel claims that the 5.6GHz turbo boost clock speed of the new Core i9 chip is the fastest mobile processor as of December 2022, with 11 percent faster single-thread performance and 49 percent faster multitask performance over the prior-generation Intel Core i9-12900HK chip.What is the fastest processor in the world? ›
Intel announces the 13th Gen Intel® Core™ mobile processor family, led by the launch of the new flagship Intel Core i9-13980HX, the first 24-core processor for a laptop and world's fastest mobile processor.
Will Cinebench hurt my PC? ›
Cinebench is not a stress test. It's a benchmark. It will not degrade the cpu as long as the system is not overclocked. If thermals where one's concern, the processors are made to throttle to prevent degradation.Does more RAM increase benchmark? ›
There have been many benchmarks done that shows that, in general, just adding more RAM won't increase your in-game performance.How much does Cinebench cost? ›
Improvements to Cinebench Release 23 reflect the overall advancements to CPU and rendering technology in recent years, providing a more accurate measurement of Cinema 4D's ability to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and modern processor features available to the average user. Best of all: It's free.What is the best FPS benchmark? ›
- MSI AfterBurner.
- OverClock Checking Tool.
- Knowledge Center & Support.
As things stand, in-game benchmark modes are often not reflective of actual performance realities or variability, and they tend to overly focus on the GPU as the sole limiting factor in game performance - as Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider demonstrate.Are benchmarks accurate? ›
These tests provide a repeatable test environment. As long as your system configuration remains the same, the benchmarks give an accurate reading of the in-game performance you'll get.Is 27 fps good for gaming? ›
The target frame rate for gamers is preferential, since having a steady connection with the graphics card is sometimes more important than having a fast one. PC action games are played best at 60 fps, but otherwise, a frame rate of 30 fps or higher should be fine.Is 120 fps enough for gaming? ›
With this speed, the images will move smoothly from one frame to the next with minimal latency. However, many professionals prefer higher frame rates than the 45–60 mark. Typically, most people consider anything above 30 FPS to be at least passable, although not necessarily perfect.What software improves graphics card performance? ›
MSI Afterburner is one of the most popular GPU overclocking apps available. It's very reliable and works with non-MSI graphics cards as well. It's a free piece of software with a range of features (mainly the GPU overclocking) and a custom fan profile for a perfect balance of performance and cooling.
Why not to use UserBenchmark? ›
UserBenchmark is a terrible source for benchmarks, as they're not representative of actual performance. The organization that runs it also lies and accuses critics of being "anonymous call center shills".Can benchmarking damage your PC? ›
No, its just a benchmark software - testing your pc to its limits then gives a score in the end.Is UserBenchmark free? ›
The UserBenchMark tool
The tool UserBenchMark is offered here for free, may also be downloaded at Major Geeks and from other web sites. The program is promoted by UserBenchMark evaluating the user's PC and comparing the results with other users using the same components.
To date, no single tool or app has accurately delivered these results, which is why we've created FrameView, an all-in-one benchmarking app that you can download and use for free.How do you know if a benchmark is good? ›
- Determine what you're going to measure. To do this, you need to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs). ...
- Research your competitors and your industry. ...
- Draw a line in the sand (i.e. set your benchmarks). ...
- Communicate targets based on researched benchmarks. ...
- Measure and improve.
EzBench Benchmark on Steam. Ezbench is a GPU stress test tool that allows users to push their graphics card to its limits in order to test its stability and performance. Run intense graphical workloads on the GPU in order to simulate real-world scenarios and ensure that the system is optimised and stable.What is the problem with benchmarking? ›
In most cases, the benchmark data being compared is stripped of its short-term and long-term context, meaning it tells you what a competitor or internal team has achieved, with no information on how they achieved it. This makes it difficult to pinpoint meaningful areas for improvement.What are 4 of benchmarking best practices? ›
- Start early. If you want to be the best, it's never too early to start benchmarking. ...
- Have a timeline. ...
- Choose an appropriate peer group. ...
- Look outside your industry. ...
- Stick to meaningful metrics. ...
- Focus on improving operations.
CPU benchmarks are crucial in determining whether your processor can run the games and applications you like. Here's what you need to get started. CPU benchmarks are crucial in determining whether your processor can run the games and applications you like.