The best benchmark software to test your system

You've just installed a new game or a demanding video editor, but it's not running very well. Is the bottleneck in the memory, processor, graphics card or disk? Benchmark tools put your system on the test bench and tell you exactly how well each component is performing. We put the best benchmark software in the spotlight.

The term "benchmark" means benchmark or benchmark. The derived term 'benchmarking' means the systematic measurement of the performance of a certain product, after which it can be compared with equivalent products on the basis of a reference point. In the computer world we make a distinction between synthetic and 'real world' benchmarking.

The first category of tools provides a series of built-in artificial tests that attempt to mimic the properties of certain applications, which are then calculated a performance score. The second category makes effective use of existing apps to map performance. In this article, we introduce a diverse set of popular and mostly free benchmarking tools from both categories. By the way, some tools combine synthetic and real world methods.

UserBenchMark

We start with a very versatile benchmarker that measures the performance of various system components: UserBenchMark (UBM). In the welcome window of UBM you can read which parts are tested: Processor, Graphics, Fixed Drives, Memory and USB Drives. Confirm with run and leave your PC undisturbed. If asked, make it clear to your firewall that it concerns bona fide software. A couple of minutes later, the test results will appear in your browser.

With plastic classifications from Tree trunk and Yacht to Nuclear submarine and even UFO, UBM makes clear how your system performs as a Gaming PC, Desktop and Workstation. UBM uses a different criteria mix for each type of PC. For example, for Desktop, that's 25%CPU+50%GPU+15%SSD+10%HDD.

These ratings give you a good idea about system performance, but UBM provides you with other interesting information. A little further down the page, you'll get detailed information about all major system components and read what was tested for each component. Bee Drives you will find, for example, three large test items (Sequential, Random 4K and Deep queue 4K), each time with the corresponding tests (such as Read, Write and mixed). Click on the question mark next to such a test item for additional feedback.

Even lower on the page, at Custom PC Builder, can you on Explore upgrades for this PC click. This is especially interesting if you are willing to invest in more powerful system components. Here you can see which alternatives are available, how much performance gain you can expect from them and at what cost you then look at. This PC Build Comparison page is made up of two parts: top left the initial parts of your own system, top right the parts of a possible alternative.

To change an item, first open the desired tab on the left (CPU, GPU, SSD, HDD, RAM and MDB), after which you via Change […] indicates which upgrade you might consider for your system

SiSoftware Sandra Lite

Before we move on to the more specific benchmarkers, we would also like to introduce you to SiSoftware Sandra Lite. This tool has enjoyed great popularity for years and is mainly aimed at the more advanced user.

In addition to an extensive system information module, with both hardware and software feedback, you will also find an impressive range of benchmark tools. You will find them neatly collected on the tab Benchmarks. Unlike UBM, you decide here which tools you want to run.

There are several tests, divided into rubrics such as Processor, Video Adapter, Storage Devices, Memory Controller and Network. At the very top you will find the button Overall Computer Score at. Click on the green checkmark, place a checkmark next to I have read […] or uncheck Enable certification […] and click the green check mark again. The benchmarking process starts immediately.

Keep in mind that the whole procedure can take quite some time and your PC may seem to freeze from time to time. Afterwards you will receive a score expressed in (the own unit) kPT, both globally and per measured part. In itself, this indication says little, but it is the intention that you compare those score(s) with other, equivalent systems.

CPU benchmark with Cinebench and CPUID CPU-Z

With a tool like Cinebench we arrived at the specific benchmarkers. Cinebench checks the performance of your CPU by rendering a 3D image in high quality. You do this by starting the tool and clicking the run Bee CPU to click. The score follows after the test and the performance of your CPU appears in a comparative table.

You can go a little more detailed via File, Advanced Benchmark. Click on CPU (single core) on the runbutton, then Cinebench measures the speed of the individual CPU cores. Bee MP Ratio you read the ratio between single and multi core.

CPUID CPU-Z is another well-known tool for benchmarking your CPU, albeit on a different footing than Cinebench. This way you get very detailed technical information about your processor – and by the way also about your motherboard, memory and GPU. The actual benchmarks can be found on the tab bench. With the button Bench CPU start the benchmark, both Single Thread if Multi Thread, where you can set the number of simultaneous threads yourself.

In the drop-down menu at Reference you can select another processor, the score of which will then be placed next to your own result. Note the button Stress CPU: this puts maximum load on your processor, which is confirmed by the Windows task manager, which you can call up with Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

Graphics card benchmark with 3DMark and Unigine Heaven

3DMark is intended for benchmarking GPUs, or video cards. You can use the Basic Edition for free to test DirectX10, 11 and 12. The tool detects your hardware and proposes the appropriate test itself, but you can also select a different test.

The multiplatform tool Unigine Heaven is also a popular gpu benchmarker, the Basic version of which you can use for free. It shows a few dozen graphically demanding scenes that you can precisely set using various parameters, such as resolution and anti-aliasing. The result is an average, minimum and maximum fps value (frames per second), as well as a global score that you can compare with other systems.

We would also like to mention Bandicam. This tool shows the fps in real time while you are playing any game.

RAM benchmark with PassMark Performance Test

The amount of working memory often plays an important role, of course, but the performance of that memory also has an influence, and one ram module is not the other. However, there are some benchmarkers that specifically target memory. In addition to the already mentioned UBM and Sandra Lite, there is also PassMark Performance Test (30 days free trial).

Start the installed tool and press Memory Mark on the button. This will launch a benchmark module that performs memory read and write tests, as well as a latency check and some intensive database operations. A minute or so later you get the result and by clicking on a few icons you can compare the result against comparable ram modules.

Hdd and ssd benchmark with ATTO Disk Benchmark and AS SSD

In applications where a lot of data is read or written, the disk often turns out to be an annoying bottleneck. You can quickly find out how well your hard disk (HDD) or SSD is performing with ATTO Disk Benchmark. This benchmarker can handle various types of disks, such as HDDs, SSDs and raid arrays.

After installation, launch the tool and press the Start-knob. The window gradually fills with the determined write and read speeds for various block sizes (called I/O Size).

However, these block sizes are adjustable (up to 64 MB), as is the size of the test file (up to 32 GB). You can also use the Queue Depth set, the maximum number of read and write commands you can execute at any given time. Place a checkmark Direct I/O, then the benchmarker does not use system buffering or caching. The built-in help function provides more information about this.

If you have specific SSDs in mind, whether or not controlled by the NVME protocol, you can also consider the AS SSD tool. Based on a few synthetic benchmarks, the tool nicely maps the sequential and random read and write performance of your SSD.

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