Stress-test your com­puter

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

What you need: Nov­abench; Win­dows 7, 8 or 10 Time re­quired: 15 min­utes

you ever wanted to com­pare your PC’S per­for­mance against sim­i­lar ma­chines to see how it mea­sures up? Nov­abench is a free pro­gram that car­ries out bench­mark tests on four cru­cial PC com­po­nents - your pro­ces­sor ( CPU), graph­ics card (GPU), mem­ory ( RAM) and hard drive. It then dis­plays scores for each, as well as an over­all score for your PC. You can com­pare the­sese scores with those sub­mit­ted by other peo­ple. This in­for­ma­tion can help you de­cide when it’s time to up­grade your PC.


To in­stall the pro­gram, go to, click the ‘Down­load for Win­dows’ but­ton, then run the down­loaded setup file to in­stall and open the pro­gram. On its main screen, you’ll see in­for­ma­tion about your PC’S pro­ces­sor, graph­ics card and mem­ory 1 . If you want to find out how Nov­abench runs its tests and com­pares your scores, click the Help tab 2 , On­line Doc­u­men­ta­tion, then click the rel­e­vant links to read more info. Click Start Tests 3 to be­gin. You’ll see a pop-up mes­sage with an es­ti­mate of the time re­main­ing (the tests usu­ally take about three min­utes).


Af­ter all the tests are com­pleted, you’ll see an over­all score 1 and scores for each of the four cat­e­gories 2 . Each time you run a test, its over­all score will be listed on the left 3 . To com­pare your scores with other users, click the ‘View Per­for­mance Charts and Com­par­isons’ but­ton 4 . This opens the Nov­abench web­site in your de­fault browser. On the right, you’ll see op­tions to cre­ate a Nov­abench pro­file (use­ful if you want to keep track of your scores). Al­ter­na­tively, con­tinue to the next page with­out cre­at­ing an ac­count.


You’ll now see your over­all score, sys­tem in­for­ma­tion and each com­po­nent’s scores 1 . On the right, you’ll see com­par­i­son charts 2 (this fea­ture was un­avail­able when we used it but is ex­pected soon). Next, click the Base­line Com­par­i­son drop­down menu to see five PC cat­e­gories (gaming PCS, high-end PCS, bud­get PCS, and so on) – se­lect the one that matches your PC 3 . You’ll now see your over­all, CPU and GPU scores as a per­cent­age com­pared with sim­i­lar types of PC used by other peo­ple 4 . If all your scores are sig­nif­i­cantly below av­er­age, you may want to con­sider up­grad­ing your PC.

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