PCMark is a comprehensive software application with intuitive tools that can stress your computer to evaluate its performance. It’s one of the best gaming benchmark tools ever built.
Running a business means adapting to the latest industry standards. It’s necessary to measure its impact by comparing it to the competition, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately make better decisions to ensure the company’s growth.
When it comes to computer hardware and software, this can be achieved with the help of a robust benchmarking application. Its goal is to collect detailed information about the machine, run multiple tests, and give you a clear idea about how you can boost its performance. And PCMark makes this happen.
- Run benchmarks for browsing, office, photo and video tools, as well as games
- Get a score that can be compared with other computer scores
- Free version available
- The free version doesn't support gaming tests
PCMark is a distinguished computer benchmark utility that can be used both at home and at work. Optimized for the latest Windows editions, it comes bundled with a comprehensive set of components for running various tests meant to highlight the PC‘s best and worst features.
Thanks to sophisticated assessments, it creates a complete profile of your computer’s specifications and produces a high-level benchmark score for essentials, productivity, and digital content creation.
Before getting our final verdict for PCMark, let’s review its system requirements, editions, installation process, interface, and feature set.
PCMark system requirements
The benchmark software solution has a large setup file. As such, you should check the system prerequisites before downloading it, especially if you don’t have a high-speed internet connection:
- Processor: dual-core CPU
- Memory: 4 Gb minimum
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce 7100, nForce 630i, or better
- Display: 1920×1080
- HDD: at least 6 Gb free disk space
- OS: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 (64-bit only)
- Other: DirectX 11
PCMark free version
Distinct PCMark editions are available for home and business use, which we will explain a bit later. Most casual users will be happy to know they can use a free version called PCMark Basic Edition, which they can get on Steam (Download Demo button). But it doesn’t have some of the features found in PCMark Advanced Edition.
When it comes to business use, you can get PCMark Professional Edition to unlock all product options and configuration settings. You can also opt for a free trial for Testdriver, a superior benchmark automation solution. Only the pro version allows commercial usage.
PCMark installation and interface
Setting up PCMark takes a while. Besides accepting the license terms and conditions, you can choose the installer and UI language, modify the default program and DLC install paths, and control desktop shortcuts.
As far as the interface is concerned, PCMark has a large main window with a clean layout, where you can explore all features in the Home, Benchmarks, Results, and Options tabs.
A word of advice about PCMark
Keep in mind that, during benchmark tests, you should suspend all computer activities until PCMark completes its job. It’s also recommended that you close any running applications. Besides the fact that PCMark maximizes system resources usage, there are other reasons.
Firstly, your actions will likely skew the results. Secondly, you risk having your programs automatically terminated by PCMark if they are part of its tests. Therefore, you could lose any unsaved work.
What is PCMark?
It’s difficult to find something wrong with PCMark, seeing how it’s a complete solution for PC benchmark testing on Windows systems. But we can safely assume that many gamers feel displeased about how the free version has significantly fewer features than its paid counterparts.
Nevertheless, PCMark is an excellent product for measuring the impact of games as well as office, photo, video and browsing tools on the computer’s performance. It provides relevant tests and scores for comparing results with others online.
FAQ: Learn more about PCMark
- What is a good PCMark score?
It depends on what you’re measuring. For basic computer tasks, the PCMark makers recommend at least a 4100 score. For standard office tasks with a hint of media content, you should score 4500 or higher. When it comes to photo, video and other media editing, 3450 or higher is recommended.
- Can you get 3DMark for free?
Yes, you can use 3DMark Basic Edition, which is completely free and has no expiration date. But some of its features are locked.
- What is the best benchmark program?
PCMark is our top choice when it comes to the best PC benchmarking software for Windows 10. However, if you’re curious about other similar products, you should check out 3DMark, SiSoft Sandra, and Fresh Diagnose.
Overview of PCMark features
PCMark Basic Edition:
- Essentials benchmark: program startup, video conferencing, web browsing
- Productivity benchmark: spreadsheets, writing
- Digital content creation: photo editing, video editing, rendering and visualization
- Online results: compare your score with other 4K gaming PCs, gaming laptops and PCs, and office PCs
- View basic system details: CPU, GPU, GUI, system info, time
- Details logging: instruct the tool to write in-depth logs (may affect benchmark scores)
- Multilingual: English, German, Russian, Simplified Chinese
PCMark Advanced Edition:
- PCMark Express benchmark: covers only common work tasks (Essentials and Productivity tests only)
- PCMark Extended benchmark: runs Essentials, Productivity and Digital Content Creation test groups, along with gaming benchmarks (real-time graphics and physics)
- Hardware monitoring: keep an eye on the CPU temperature, clock speed, power, and other specs during benchmarks
- Results check: compare up to four results at once, by viewing them side by side
- Custom runs: combine any workloads to run your own tests with personalized settings
- Save results: export the list of your benchmarking results to a local, offline file for safekeeping
PCMark Professional Edition:
- PCMark Applications: measure the performance of computers using Microsoft Office software tools
- PCMark Battery Life: test your laptop’s battery life in various conditions (offline work, video, gaming)
- PCMark Storage benchmarks: test the performance of an entire storage stack using a trace playback system
- Private results: do not publish sensitive benchmark results to protect your privacy when saving offline files
- Command-line automation: create automated tasks by controlling PCMark through the console
- PDF and XML support: export benchmark results to local files in PDF or XML format
- Testdriver: use a simple benchmark automation tool to reduce your company’s costs
- benchmark, performance