A Review of PassMark Performance Test
PassMark PerformanceTest is designed to benchmark a PC utilizing a variety of speed tests. The results can be compared against those of other computers. This program is intended for use with Windows 200, XP, 2003 Server, Vista, 2008 Server and Windows 7. Older versions supporting Windows 98 and Millennium are available.
PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION
I downloaded Performance Test from the PassMark website. PassMark is a software company specializing in programs designed to monitor and benchmark computer systems. This software can be purchased or downloaded on a thirty day trial basis.
I copied both the sixty-four and the thirty-two bit versions onto a flashdrive. This allowed simple and straightforward installation to my various test computers.
This program runs a series of tests, examining the performance of the computer’s main components. These include measurements of the CPU, 2D/3D graphics, Memory, Storage and CD drive. The results of these tests are weighed according to the graphic alongside, and an overall pass-mark applied.
THE TEST DRIVE
I benchmarked my dual-core Aspire netbook. While the outcome was not particularly inspiring, the results achieved by the CD drive proved impressive – especially since the netbook is not equipped with such a drive! This was my fault. I’d inadvertently left my U3 enabled flashdrive connected to the computer, and the program used its virtual drive to conduct the read/write tests.
A laptop and my sister’s freshly purchased desktop were put to the test. The benchmark verified my assumption that multi-cored CPUs are preferable. The dual-core laptop CPU scored 1362 compared to 3927 points achieved using the four-core desktop.
My main test unit consists of an HP Compaq dc5850 business machine loaded with Windows 7 professional. The processor is an AMD 64 bit, two core processor running at 2800 Mhz. I ran the tests seven times, attempting to achieve a consistent benchmark.
During my first run the Disk results were quite poor because Performance Test benchmarked my external drive rather than the main hard drive. Once disconnected, this test worked properly but the CPU score dropped from 1515 to 926. This occurred, I suspect, because the computer was busy downloading a Windows update. This underlines the importance of disconnecting the internet and external devices before running a benchmark test.
Unfortunately the CPU test results were still not repeatable. I used Ashampoo WinOptimizer – Windows Task Manager will work as well - to halt a number of non-Windows associated services on the computer. I terminated those pertaining to Acronis Backup, Magic Jack internet telephone, UPS and Dragon Naturally Speaking. The next three benchmark measurements resulted in a stable CPU score around 1700.
The final tests were conducted on a computer equipped with an AMD single core processor, and an old 900Mhz Compaq running Windows Millennium. While the overall pass-marks were lower, they were buoyed by surprisingly high 2D/3D scores. My assumption that a new onboard graphics chipset would outperform an old dedicated video card proved not entirely correct. The Radeon 9200 and Radeon 9200SE cards fitted into the older computers failed to complete one of the 3D tests but, except for that, beat my newer desktop’s integrated ATI Radeon 3100 graphics. In fact the Radeon 9200’s score almost doubled that of my desktop. In one 3D test this translated into a flight of aircraft circling much faster around a more lifelike set of mountains and lakes.
While the average person will not use software of this type very often, benchmarking does serve a useful purpose. Perhaps a computer has become sluggish and the owner is wondering what type of upgrade would bring it up to scratch. Performance Test will benchmark the system in less than ten minutes, providing results that can be uploaded to their server. From there the benchmarks of similar computers can be browsed, perhaps determining what is needed to speed up the machine. Once upgraded, the test can be run again to determine whether the change actually helped.
While its range of measurements may not be as extensive as some of its competition, the price is reasonable, it works quickly and displays the results in an easy to understand format. PassMark Performance Test has my recommendation.
This links to PassMark website
- PassMark Software - PC Benchmark and Test Software
Benchmark and burn in test software to evaluate the performance of your PC computer hardware. USB serial and parallel loop back plugs. Video, disk, battery and modem performance and reliability testing. We also provide quality software customization
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