HOW WE TEST
Our benchmarking tests are the best in the business. Read on to find how they work…
Desktop PCs and laptops are tested using our own custom bench testing suite, which has been carefully designed to test all aspects of a system and rate them in a way that’s useful to you. Our benchtesting cover three main tests: a typical video editing test, a demanding 4K video editing test and a multitasking test that stresses all aspects of the system. We look at the time it takes for each test to run, which is then compared to our reference PC to produce a normalised result. This score is shown on a graph, and to help you understand just where the PC we’re reviewing sits in the grand scheme of things, we will often include other system’s scores.
On occasion we will run publically available bench testing software, predominantly PCMark 10 from Futuremark. This is run in the Home setting, in Accelerated mode. You can get PCMark 10 as well as 3DMark (below) from www.futuremark.com
For video cards, as well as Integrated Graphics Processing Units, we use:
• 3DMARK FIRESTRIKE
• RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER
• TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER 2
• GHOST RECON WILDLANDS
3DMark is designed specifically to test video cards, and you can download and run the same tool as us to help you gauge where your own GPU ranks compared to what we are reviewing.
The games were selected because they are relatively well balanced in performance between AMD and Nvidia, favouring neither. Rise of the Tomb Raider supports DX12. Ghost Recon Wildlands is a cutting edge 3D engine and can be optimised to stress either the CPU or GPU, while Total War: Warhammer is particularly good at stressing CPUs, and has beta DX12 support.
Tests are run using three resolution ranges, depending on where the GPU sits in the market:
ENTRY LEVEL: 1920 X 1080 MID-RANGE: 1920 X 1080 – 2560 X 1440 HIGH-END: 4K
Screen brightness is set to 120cd/m2, playing a 720p video on loop until the device runs out of power.