There’s no faster way to assess and/or evaluate your PC’s hardware performance than running a benchmark test, hence today’s article is going to address the best benchmark software issue. Now, since you’re a reader of our website, let’s suppose you already own a mean gaming machine. And, since we’re all gamers here, we all want to get the best for the best, and here overclocking software comes into play.
If you’re already familiarized with this kind of thing, benchmark software works pretty much in the same way as overclocking software, as it pushes the performance of, let’s say, your GPU, to the limit and then assesses its performance in a given scenario.
To make it real simple, the best GPU benchmark software will permit you to both stress test your hardware components, and to evaluate/troubleshoot issues, while allowing you to make hardware changes through software. And yes, that’s why we mentioned the overclocking thing earlier in the article.
Now, if you want to build your dream machine to run a specific game, you must learn all there is to it about the tech details of your future rig thoroughly, with an emphasis on the CPU/GPU combo, and that’s why we combed through the “interwebz” and selected the best benchmark software for your CPU, GPU, gaming and what have you.
So, keep on reading, because you’re in for a real treat today:
11 Best Benchmark Software
The One Benchmark for All your Hardware Needs
If you’re looking for a “Jack of all trades” bench-marking tool, 3DMark is a dream come true, as it allows you to find the optimal test for your machine. 3DMark is the weapon of choice for gamers and overclockers alike, as it automatically scans your hardware and then tells you what’s the ideal benchmark to run on your system.
3DMark provides detailed charts of GPU/CPU temperatures, showing how clock speeds and frame rates change during the tests. If you own a high-end PC or laptop, 3DMark offers the Fire Strike Ultra benchmark which is capable of rendering at UHD/4K resolution. If you’re on a tight budget, you can use the free version of the software, the Basic stuff, but there are also Advanced and Professional editions, which may cost you an arm and a leg (just kidding).
Finally, 3DMark offers cross-platform compatibility, as it works on Windows, Android and iOS devices, i.e. PC, notebook, tablet and smartphone.
- Well designed and easy to use
- Freeware available
- Includes benchmarking tools for smartphones and tablets
- DirectX 12 benchmark Time Spy available for Windows 10
- Excellent indicator of GPU performance
- None really
The Best PC Benchmark Software
UserBenchmark is a very popular benchmark software, and it brags with over 20 million downloads so far and almost 30 million PCs tested. What’s really cool about UserBenchmark is that it’s completely free to use, and, check this out: this is not a commercial enterprise, like others, but a bunch of geeks joining forces to deliver the best benchmark software for private users worldwide.
So, there’s zero marketing in this enterprise; all UserBenchmark does is help you choose the best hardware possible, and that’s it. Everything is user-based and focused on real-world performance.
The software is very tiny in size and it makes for the ideal tool to evaluate the performance of your PCs major components: the CPU, GPU, SSD, Hard Drive, USB drives etc. You can also compare the GPU results, the effective 3D speed respectively, with other graphics cards, so you can build your perfect rig hassle-free.
- Free download
- The simplest and best benchmark software for Windows
- Easy to use
- Ad free
- Can help with testing and building a PC from scratch
- Windows-only deal
The Best CPU Benchmark Software
If you’re looking for a comprehensive (as in cross-platform/real-world) test suite, Cinebench has your name on it. Cinebench is free benchmark software by any metrics, and one of the most trusted and thorough of the bunch, being able to render an image and compare it with various real-world tasks, in order to evaluate your rig’s “real-world” performance. The picture-rendering thing is due to the respective task being largely undertaken by the CPU, i.e. this is as real-world as it gets.
However, Cinebench will also test the GPU performance, and, even more, all available processor cores of your CPU, up to 16 cores respectively, which is kind of impressive.
Keep in mind that Cinebench is a CPU-centric benchmark software, and in this regard, it’s probably the best out there. Using it is really easy, as Cinebench will only run 3 tests on your machine: LuxMark rendering, Handbrake h.264 video compression, and GIMP Image Editing. The test results can be uploaded on the official website so you can compare them with various other hardware designs.
- Freeware at its best
- CPU centric
- Very easy to use
- Works on both Mac and Windows OS
- A little too CPU-centric for our taste
The Best Gaming Benchmark Software
As per its name, Geekbench is any geek’s dream, and, not surprisingly, it makes for one of the best benchmarking suites for Windows OS. To make it really easy for our readers, if you want to determine quickly and easily how strong your Windows system really is, Geekbench is the way to go.
This benchmark software is designed to use something akin to a real-world application or task to push your system to the limit, by throwing at it complex tasks, such as straightforward memory access patterns. After Geekbench finishes all the testing, the results displayed can be easily interpreted to find out the efficiency of one’s system. If that sounds occult to our readers, all you need to know is that Geekbench will assess the performance of your machine at the “flick of the switch”, i.e. all you have to do is to press a button to test both your CPU and your GPU.
- Completely free of charge
- Cross-platform compatibility (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux.)
- Works both on desktop computers and mobile devices
- Accurate readings of “real-life” performance
- Easy to use with a minimalist user interface
- Nothing we can think of
A Great System Information Software Tool
If you’re a tech aficionado, CPU-Z is a familiar name, as it makes for one of the most popular CPU monitoring applications for Windows and Android OS. CPU-Z is basically freeware at its best, and once you run it on your machine, you’ll get very detailed info on your CPU name and number, process, codename, cache levels, mainboard and chipset type, memory size, type, timing, including SPD (module specs) and real-time measurement of each core’s memory frequency and internal frequency.
CPU-Z is also pretty good at providing information about the GPU, and helps with identifying your PCs components; moreover, since the software monitors your systems’ main health sensors, like temps, voltages and fan speed, it would make for a good addition to any rig.
- A must-have freeware for computer lovers
- Delivers impressive collection of raw data
- Easy to use
- Minimalist interface
- Windows/Android only
A Comprehensive Monitoring Software
The HWMonitor is basically a sub-section of the previously reviewed CPU-Z, and it works by monitoring the hardware parameters (the vital stats basically) of your machine by accessing the main health sensors: fan speed, temps and voltages. On top of that, the latest versions of the software can read modern CPUs on-die core thermal sensors, plus GPU temps and HDD temps via SMART technology.
While the freeware HWMonitor is the most popular, there’s also an extended Pro version which allows for up to 20 remote connections and 2 years of unlimited updates. Using HWMonitor is the best way to make sure your PC is not overheating due to mechanical failure, and things of this nature.
- Straightforward and easy to use
- You get real time updates of all data readings
- No alerts feature available for readings outside the norm
The Best GPU Benchmark Software
If you want to test your CPU/GPU combo, as well as your hard-drive/SSD and RAM, well, NovaBench is a one-stop software which is designed to provide you with detailed specs, and it’s capable of assessing both processing and graphic abilities; moreover, this software will even assign you a “personal” score. Obviously, what good is a score if you can’t use it to brag to your friends, hence you’ll have the opportunity to compare it online with others (yes, you’ll have to register an account for that) and “mix and match”.
NovaBench is very quick, i.e. the tests will be done in a couple of minutes tops, and the software offers Direct3D 11/Metal graphics with OpenCL compute test, plus write speed and memory transfer speed with the disk for optimum results.
- A great comparison tool
- Works on both Windows and Mac OS
- You can tune your machine with optimize&repair function
- Pro version available
- Runs directly from USB (no installation required)
- None really
SiSoftware Sandra Lite
The Best Free Benchmark Software
SiSoftware Sandra Lite is another legendary freeware, which is arguably the most renowned and oldest of the bunch. With each new-gen, SiSoftware Sandra Lite gets better and better, and as far as benchmarking software utilities go, this one runs with the best, as it’s capable of assessing both the hardware components and the software environment.
Sandra Lite will check out the performance potential of your CPU, GPU, the speed of the USB ports and of your network, and more. Besides benchmarking, you can also conduct surveys across the network with this baby, or even remotely access smartphones, computers, tablets and anything in between. The installation process will require some configuration, while the UI is intuitive and clean, with everything clearly listed: tools, benchmarks, hardware and software.
- One of the best and most popular benchmarking software around
- Can benchmark/evaluate your CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD, as well as network, virtual machine and more
- Basically free, with a paid-for option available for advanced users
- Huge online reference database
- Only works on Windows OS
A Must-Have Software for Pro Gamers
If you’re a pro gamer looking to overclock your GPU, the MSI Afterburner has your name on it. Using this interesting piece of software from one of world’s biggest computer parts manufacturer will allow you to overclock your GPU to the Moon and back, because that’s what MSI Afterburner is: a cool GPU overclocking utility that allows you to fully control your graphics card.
The Afterburner not only delivers full details of your hardware, but it also allows you to customize fan profiles and benchmark your “precious”. And before you ask, yes, even if it comes from MSI, the Afterburner works with all GPUs, regardless of the brand, and it’s absolutely free. Just to give you an idea, Afterburner was described as the golden standard of overclocking utilities, hence if you’re looking to push the pedal to the metal and make your GPU scary-quick, it doesn’t get any better than this one.
- Free of charge
- Allows you to increase GPU’s fan speed control, voltage and clock frequency
- Features OC Scanner for RTX 20 series GPUs
- Offers real performance gains in terms of higher FPS and smoother in-game experience
- Comes with custom fan profiles and in-game-available/real time hardware monitor
- None really
Freeware at Its Best
Speccy is the brainchild of Piriform and it’s basically a free system information tool with a smart UI and portable support. Speccy will deliver a detailed list of both software and hardware components in a comprehensible fashion, which makes it a great system information utility.
To enumerate just a few features, using Speccy you’ll obtain key details of your machine’s functions and elements, things like CPU cache, core details, threads, clock speeds, temperatures and more. There’s also a quick overview available regarding CPU, RAM, Storage, Motherboard, Graphics card, Audio, Operating System and many, many more.
- Nice freeware for getting comprehensive computer specs
- Well-designed UI
- Easy to use
- Absolutely free (including ad-free)
- Windows only deal (XP and above)
The Best Benchmark Software
Finally, we have the PassMark PerformanceTest, i.e. an easy to use and fast benchmark software, which is great if you want to compare your, let’s say, gaming rig, to other computers. The PMPT can benchmark your machine via various speed tests, and it comes in two flavors: the fully featured paid version and a free trial version. PMPT will test the CPU, 2D/3D graphics, Memory, Storage and CD drive by employing 28 standard benchmark tests available in 6 test suites, and there’s even custom benchmarking available for OCD users.
To make a long story short, if you’re looking for a comprehensive benchmarking software solution, PMPT is as good as it gets, especially if you want to know how your gaming rig performs/compares to others, and yes, it’s even available to mobile devices in its latest version.
- Professional grade benchmark software
- Also good for mobile devices
- Free tech support and software upgrades
- Free trial version available
- Configurable tests are great for in-depth analysis
- Free version is limited in functionality