Today Futuremark is releasing their brand new full system bench, PCMark 7. The last PCMark (Vantage) was not exactly widely used in the benchmarking community. That’s not just because it isn’t a boint-granting benchmark on HWBot either. It took forever and a day to run; I think I saw a fish evolve into a lizard the last time I tried to run it.
Fortunately for everyone, this iteration takes about one third the time of PCMark Vantage. Vantage could take up to 30-45 minutes to run. On the test system referenced below, it took only 13 minutes, a vast improvement!
PCMark 7 comes in three flavors. The Basic edition is free and allows unlimited test runs. Unfortunately it is limited to one-stored-run at a time on the Futuremark web site. Depending on how they display results (hopefully the full result without upload), Basic could be ok for most people.
The other consumer-level edition is the Advanced edition and goes for $29.95, which is pretty reasonable if you need the additional features.
PCMark 7 runs seven tests on your system:
Test 1) Video Playback and Transcoding – This test plays a scene with taxi cabs and pedestrians driving and crossing the street, respectively.
Test 2) System Storage – Gaming – None of the system storage tests are not visually appealing, you just watch the single status indicator change slowly.
Test 3) Graphics DirectX 9 – This one is familiar to many of you because it was ripped straight out of 3DMark06. Remember the Firefly Forest test? Yep, that’s making a reappearance as the graphics test in PCMark 7. That one is particularly tough for GPU overclocks, so it’s a fitting addition.
Test 4) Image Manipulation – This twists, tiles, flips and does other things to various images of taxi cabs and long-exposure night cityscapes.
Test 5) System Storage – Importing Pictures
Test 6) Web Browsing & Decrypting – I’m not exactly clear which browser engine this uses. It looks like Futuremark’s own invention and does not seem to physically use the Internet Explorer browser as in past tests.
Test 7) System Storage – Windows Defender
All of that takes just under five minutes to run. The reason it takes the whole shebang longer is because it goes through the entire test cycle three times before giving you a score. Here’s hoping they allow single-pass scores down the road.
Overall, it seems like a solid benchmark and hopefully it will make HWBot at some point in its life. There is definitely an increased chance over PCMark Vantage because it has a free version and you can take screenshots with all details shown (you manually expand the test drop-down as shown in our screenshot).
As far as what you can expect, our example test system consists of:
- AMD Phenom II x6 1100T Black Edition clocked at 4.0 GHz
- ASUS Crosshair IV Formula
- G.Skill Flare run at DDR3-1600 / 6-8-6-20
- ASUS Matrix 5870 Platinum at stock (900 / 1200)
- Corsair Force series F160 SSD
Total score for that system: 4323 marks.
Now it’s your turn – go download the basic edition from Futuremark and show us what you’ve got!
– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)