When I benchmark my computer, I have a program run a series of tests on the computer and all the different subsystems within it: memory, operating system, video, drives, etc.
You would do this if you’re experiencing problems with your computer. For example, you’re playing World of Warcraft, but the game play seems to lack something. Maybe it’s jerky, or the video isn’t clear. Another reason to run a system benchmark is just to see how your computer stacks up against other computers in a database.
5 Utilities to Benchmark My Computer
In this article, I’m going to present you with five programs I have used to benchmark my computer, that you can try for free. I’ll let you know if the “free” is only a trial, or if “free” really means free.
My Newest Favorite: Fresh Diagnose
This is one I’d actually never heard of before I started doing the research for this article and it showed up in search results. This program is completely free. The fact that Fresh Diagnose is completely free is pretty mind-boggling considering everything it does. It actually does more than the paid versions of the other programs.
It’ll tell you things, like what fonts are installed on your computer currently, your system policies, and your startup configuration.
Take a look at the image above. It shows the main window of the program after I tried benchmarking my computer. The results for my PC are shown in blue. They compare favorably to a number of other computers (although, they’re a little older than mine.) What I liked the most about Fresh Diagnose is that it ran a true video benchmark (which I captured with my camera for you.) To run any of the benchmarks, select the subsystem you want to test and click the start button.
SiSoft Sandra: My Old Standby
SiSoftware Sandra is a program that I’ve been using to benchmark and test computers for years. Up until today, it’s been my favorite because of the amount of information it gives you.
They’ve been able to progressively make it better and better over the years, and this year’s version is no different, with the test results being displayed in a pretty cool looking spider web graph. The free version isn’t as detailed or powerful as the paid version, but it still gives a wealth of information about your computer and can help you track down weak spots that need improving.
The capabilities of the program can also be expanded by adding modules to it, in the paid version.
Everest Ultimate: Well, Actually Aida64
Everest Ultimate is another program to benchmark my computer that I’ve been using for a number of years. However, it has very recently undergone a change to Aida64. It’s still just as powerful and gives the same amount of information as before, it just has a different name and slightly different interface. The screenshot to the right shows the main user interface for the program, with the information pieces available shown on the left.
The screenshot to the right shows the system information for my laptop on the right of the window. Performing the benchmark in AIDA64 isn’t as intuitive as in the other programs, however, the report it generates is very informative. Also, the program doesn’t easily allow for the whole system to be tested, so each subsystem (memory, video, CPU, graphics, etc.) must be tested individually.
Benchmark My Computer Easily with PerformanceTest
PassMark Software is the maker of PerformanceTest, the fourth piece of software in this roundup. This one is cool because the main screen (left side above) is graphical, and it’s also easy to use.
The main screen (far left in the image below) actually shows the frame rate (number of video frames per second) being used to generate the 3D image of a computer motherboard.
Once you run the system benchmark, clicking on one of the items on the rotating image after opening the program again will bring up the identifying information for that subsystem. As the tests are run, the program displays the results. (right hand image below) The image below displays my system information.
Fraps: Performance Testing and More for Gamers
Fraps is a testing utility for gamers with a twist. Launch the program, then run your favorite game. Once the game loads, hit the hotkey (toggle key to start the test) and, as you play the game, the software will monitor the video frame rate of the game and display the results in green at the upper left of the game window.
However, this software has a bit of a twist that gamers will love: It allows you to record yourself playing the game and outputs the recorded video to a file. Once you’re done recording and playing, you can convert the raw video into a usable format and share it with friends. This does tend to slow things down a little in the game, though, but not as bad as other utilities. There’s also an option to take screenshots during the game.
In all the test results from the first four programs listed above, you’ll notice quite a bit of stuff you might not understand and that would take too long for me to explain here. Terms such as MWIPS, FIPS, FPS, etc., were used when I read about benchmarking my computer. You can find the terms explained here.