Put through its paces
If you want to know exactly what your own system is capable of, it is best to use a benchmark tool. The software from UL (formerly Futuremark) has been one of the most popular solutions for years. With PCMark 10, the Finnish developers provide a free program that is even used in the professional sector to determine the performance of hardware components.
PCMark 10 can test systems with various benchmark tests that simulate different tasks. This includes browsing the Internet, working with tables and documents, and photo and video editing. The software is structured in such a way that both weak hardware – such as that of tablets and netbooks – as well as the components of high-end computers can be tested. For this purpose, tests are offered under the items “Home”, “Creative” and “Work”, which have been tailored to the various user scenarios.
In addition, the developers provide additional tests in the paid Advanced and Professional Editions with which you can determine, among other things, the battery life of laptops or tablets and the performance of hard drives. PCMark 10 requires Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (both 64-bit) as the operating system.
If you want to know what the system can do, PCMark 10 gives the right answers. The software can put a wide variety of systems to the test and, thanks to its widespread use, also provides many comparative values. Unfortunately, practical extra tools such as the battery and hard drive test can only be used by buyers of the paid version.