Posts Tagged ‘benchmarking utilities’
Whilst wandering through the DCA Computers workshop recently, and watching all the different diagnostic and benchmarking software programs running in our PC assembly and testing area, the thought occurred to me that our customers might be interested to know a little bit more about the testing and benchmarking utilities that are commonly in use by our technicians. I have compiled a short list of the programs you would be most likely to see running on the workshop screens, if you happened to visit our store. Don’t get me wrong, this list is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive, and our techs would also regularly use perhaps another two dozen or more programs, depending upon the type of work they are performing. This list represents a collection of utilities that the average home user can download for free, and gather lots of interesting performance, stability and system information data about their own home PC.
Prime 95 itself is a program designed to try and discover new Prime numbers as part of GIMPS, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. Prime 95 uses all spare CPU cycles on all CPU cores and is a great way to run a CPU at maximum capacity. It has a built in stress testing function which has been widely used for CPU stability testing and endorsed by overclockers for over 10 years. Available in either 32 bit or 64 bit formats.
Download : Prime 95 32 bit
Download : Prime 95 64 bit
CPU-Z has been a standard part of every technician’s software collection for as long as I care to remember. CPU-Z provides an in depth analysis of your CPU including Name, Specifications, Stepping, Cache, Voltage and real time readout of current CPU frequency. Very handy to advise you exactly what speed your CPU is running at if you are overclocking. Also has information tabs for your Motherboard, Memory, Memory SPD Timings and more. Regularly revised and updated for new CPU models and is available in 32 and 64 bit versions.
Download : CPU-Z 32 bit
Download : CPU-Z 64 bit
CPUID Hardware Monitor
Hardware monitor is another very useful piece of software from CPUID, the creators of CPU-Z. Hardware Monitor provides real time readouts of Voltages, Temperatures and system fan speeds. DCA techs regularly use this utility to keep an eye on system parameters during overclocking stability testing.
Download : Hardware Monitor 32 bit
Download : Hardware Monitor 64 bit
ATTO Disk Benchmark
ATTO Disk benchmark is widely used in the computer industry to provide accurate performance analysis of hard disk drives, Solid State drives and RAID arrays by measuring read and write speeds of blocks of data ranging from 0.5KB to 8192KB. This can give a good indication as to whether the HDD is performing in line with the manufacturer’s specifications and can also give comparisons between different HDD controller chips with the same HDD attached.
Download : ATTO Disk Benchmark
GPU-Z by Techpowerup is a utility which can probe your graphics card and display a wide range of information including GPU and memory frequency, temperature, fan speeds as well as detailed statistics of your specific GPU core such as pixel fill rate, memory bandwidth and number of shader units.
Download : GPU-Z
Furmark is a Graphics Card benchmarking and stability testing program which we regularly use here at DCA Computers, particularly if we suspect hardware faults in a graphics card which may be causing artefacting or other graphics anomalies. Furmark pushes a graphics card very hard and generates maximum heat output, which Furmark also logs with a handy graph.
Download : Furmark
Super Pi is a simple program which calculates Pi to a predefined number of decimal places. This program runs entirely in CPU cache and is a direct test of the calculating power of your CPU. The less time it takes for your CPU to calculate the result, the “faster” of more powerful your CPU is, and is a good test of relative CPU horsepower. Get all your friends to run Super Pi on their PCs to see who has the most powerful CPU!
Download : Super Pi
3D Mark by Futuremark Corporation is pretty much a legend in the computer industry. For over 10 years, various versions of the 3Dmark program have been used to test the 3D graphics capabilities of gaming PCs. The most recent versions of 3D Mark are 3D Mark 2006 which can be used under Windows XP with a Direct X 9 compatible Graphics Card, 3D Mark Vantage, designed for Windows 7 or Windows Vista with a DirectX 10 compatible Graphics Card, and the latest incarnation 3D Mark11, designed for Windows 7 or Windows Vista and a DirectX 11 compatible Graphics Card.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
Unigine produces several graphics benchmark tools, the most popular of which is the “Heaven” benchmark. It was originally launched in conjunction with Windows 7 in October 2009 as the world’s first Direct X 11 benchmark, and has gained great favour amongst many hardware review sites for testing the graphics horsepower of modern gaming graphics cards.
Fraps is a great utlity for benchmarking and comparing real world graphics performance. Fraps will measure real time frames per second rate of any game you are playing. You can create your own custom benchmark tests between two points in a game and record the frame rates between those two points. This allows direct comparisons to be made between graphics cards when playing a particular game, or even compare the same graphics card installed into different spec PCs for comparison. Fraps also has other useful features such as automatic one key screenshot record & save and full realtime video capture capabilities of up to 2560 X 1600 resolution. A must for all keen gamers and benchmarkers.
Download : FRAPS
There are many other benchmarking and testing programs available. If I have left out your favourite, and you think it deserves a mention, please feel free to leave a comment for us. You never know, you may alert our technicians to a great new utility which has slipped their attention!