A PC benchmarking program allows you to evaluate the overall performance of your Windows computer as well as the efficiency of its various parts. This post gathers the best free benchmarking programs for Windows 10 and 11.
Tip: HDR looking awful on your PC? Learn how to fix it.
Why You Should Use a Benchmarking Program on Your Windows PC
The term “benchmarking” refers to the practice of using software to measure the performance of various parts of your computer, such as the CPU and GPU. By comparing your PC’s score to that of other computers that have gone through the same test, you may get a sense of where you stand in the grand scheme of things.
Benchmarking tools can be also handy if you’re looking to evaluate your computer’s performance to identify potential upgrades for your system.
CPU-Z is a free benchmarking tool that provides you with a comprehensive overview of your computer’s hardware, with a focus on the CPU. It can generate reports through either a command-line interface or a graphical user interface (GUI.) CPU-Z also includes motherboards and graphics card details. The program allows you to see how fast both single- and multi-threaded CPUs are able to process data. There is also an option to stress test your CPU. What’s more, it is possible to export the reports to TXT or HTML files.
- Android app offers similar features
- User-friendly interface
- Includes a system updater that notifies you of new BIOS and driver updates
- Offers no information on CPU temperature
Price: Free / starting at $21.20
HWMonitor displays the model of each piece of hardware in your system, along with other useful information. It records data about temperature, percentage of use, and fan speed. This is crucial, as issues like overheating components can cause frequent system failures. HWMonitor also displays important system indicators, including voltage, power usage, and clock rates. If you need more options, such as being able to remotely monitor equipment, you will have to pay for a premium subscription.
- Displays FPS (frames per second) counter during gaming sessions
- Lets you save data as a graph in .BMP format
- Android app only available as a paid offering
Tip: want to benchmark your Android device? These are the best benchmarking apps for your Android.
3. SiSoftware Sandra Lite
SiSoftware Sandra Lite is a comprehensive benchmark program designed to perform in-depth tests on PCs. The program offers a wide range of benchmarking tests, including the “Overall Computer Score,” which rates your PC’s performance – although this test will put considerable stress on your system. Sandra also allows you to test various components by providing dedicated tests for your processor, network, storage devices, and video adapter. For example, the Processor Power Management measures the efficiency of the power management system of processors, while the Network (LAN) test assesses the data transfer performance to host/devices on the local network. The program can also be used to view system hardware and software data.
- Offers advanced testing
- Wizard suggests ways to improve your PC’s efficiency
- Many features may confuse less technically inclined users
- PC may freeze during the benchmarking process
Price: Free / $19.95 annually
From the creators of CCleaner comes Speccy, a tool that provides a comprehensive inventory of your PC’s hardware, including most drivers. More detailed information on your system’s temperature, fan speeds, and other components is available by clicking their respective settings on the left side of the window.
- Allows you to retrieve system information quickly
- Lightweight program
- User-friendly interface
- Updates are rare
If you need a reliable benchmarking tool, you can also check out CineBench. For decades it was the go-to tool for graphical benchmarking. Whether you’re looking to check the status of your graphics card or just want to see how your computer performs overall, this free GPU benchmark software is a great resource. In contrast to other benchmark programs, CineBench evaluates your PC’s performance in under 10 minutes, testing all of your CPU’s processing cores as well as your GPU. Once that’s done, the program gives your system a rating – the higher the rating, the better.
- Single-core performance testing
- Faster than other programs
- No easy way to run continuous tests using the GUI
Tip: does your computer keep crashing? Find out why and what you can do about it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the sign of a malfunctioning or dying GPU?
One of the signs that your GPU is close to death is the appearance of graphical glitches. At the same time, if your computer is crashing more often than usual, it may be a sign that your GPU is slowly dying. For instance, if you’re experiencing frequent crashing and freezing during gameplay, you should immediately be concerned.
The failure of your GPU’s fans can also indicate its impending demis. Note that a defective fan is not a sign in itself, but it can lead to a failing GPU if not addressed in time. A Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) can also signal major GPU issues. However, if you’re seeing error code 43 in Windows, there may be a few things to try before looking for a new graphics card.
Why can't my PC detect the GPU?
The “GPU not detected” error message may appear for various reasons. For instance, this could happen after installing a recent driver update that has its own set of problems. Further, your system may not recognize the GPU if you are using an older BIOS or UEFI version, which spells incompatibility. Disabling the GPU in Device Manager also prevents Windows from recognizing it.
Sometimes Windows updates will break your device. This could be another source for the “GPU not detected” error, so you may want to roll back to an older Windows version before the issue manifesets. You can also try performing a System Restore.
Image credit: Pixabay All screenshots by Oluwatokiloba Folami.
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