Passmark’s online collection of benchmark data

passmark_performance_test_icon Times when processor performance was gauged by number of MHz alone had long passed. There are a lot of factors that differ in modern hardware lineups and it may seem impossible do adequately compare performance between hardware of different age and price.

For such comparisons you need large sampling of standardized data, free of marketing bias. Passmark software development company offers exactly that.

Passmark Performance Test

Company specializes in hardware performance and stress testing for years. Performance Test is one of core products, which can test multiply computer components and produce synthetic estimates, boiled down to single number.

Since app itself is shareware (with one month trial) I won’t focus on it, but on interesting things that happen with data. Software can submit test results to developers, which aggregate data and maintain number of extensive data sets, freely browsable online.

Benchmark sites

There are several sites maintained (more like parts of single site, but each has own domain) for several PC components:

Names are self-explanatory.

Strong features

There is clearly a lot of effort spent to make data presentable. Result are sorted by performance and separated into groups by budget tier.

passmark_cpu_benchmarks

For each entry it shows on hover number of samples submitted. The larger it is the more generalized and accurate is final average value.

Downsides

As with any data set it is extremely important to understand context and limitations of such data. Synthetic test are mathematical by nature and cannot accurately reflect performance in real-world tasks. They tell only how fast component is, but not how fast it runs real software.

There are also many factors that can influence test results, I’d say processors are least likely to be affected by system configuration and hard drives most.

There are also some market share graphs, just disregard them completely. Passmark users (techies) is hardly representative selection.

Overall

Useful set of hardware performance data, that is free and convenient to access. It will not give you complete insight into performance, but is great to put parts into context of similar models.

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5 Comments

  • As replied on Twitter earlier, this blog post came really handy. My dusty old GeForce 6200TC video card died (that bitch! Couldn’t even handle 4 years of usage, working -almost- 24/7) and I was really upset I would have to buy a new one.
    Turns out the cheapest of the cheapest video cards available around here (an ATI Radeon HD4350) scores significantly better. And as I don’t really need a fancy video card (my “heaviest” usage is the 2 or 3 hours/week of photo editing on Photoshop), I guess it will serve me just fine.

    I just refuse to see how my old Pentium D performs against the Core i7 I’m planning to buy next year. Oh well… Every hardware equipment has its own time of glory, and they are getting shorter and shorter.

  • @Seelenwahnsinn

    Yeah, it is really good for that kind of stuff. Especially for processors, old models can have deceptively high clock values (Pentium D sucked in major way btw, I spent that period on Athlons).

    I was wondering about very slow server at work on Xeon 2.4 GHz (it’s server and clock is high, must be nice) until I went to check it on site and realized that it is very outdated model, barely comparable in performance to modern budget Celerons. :)

  • I used Athlon XP for quite some time before buying the Pentium D. My Athlon was rather noisy (I used a Thermaltake Volcano 11+ Xaser Ed, 2 80mm fans and a blower) and still got really hot. No doubts performance was better on AMD processors, but my home has really thin walls and the noisy cooler was slowly driving my family mad. My Pentium D clocks 3.2Ghz by default, but I always used it at 3.4Ghz and it hardly gets too hot (and I’m even using the in-a-box cooler, and only one extra 80mm fan).

    About the Xeon, I wouldn’t guess it was comparable to Celerons, but I do know Core2Duo/Quad have better performance.

  • @Seelenwahnsinn

    XPs were indeed bit hot, but they set foundation for performance that rivaled Pentiums at lower clock. They were followed by Athlon64 that were very fast and low temp. I think (not sure) they were first to get dynamic clock feature (Cool’n’Quiet).

    Core architecture was a miracle for Intel, they barely got out of P4 trap. :)

  • When I got my Pentium D the Athlon 64 was fairly new and costly. On top of that, the OS’ and softwares in general for x64 platform was really on their initial stages, and I wasn’t an early adopter back then. For good or for bad, I ended up buying the Pentium D, and it served me well (actually, is still serving, though an upgrade would be greatly accepted).

    If it wasn’t for the invention of the Core architecture, Intel would be sunk by now. AMD was really powerful and growing strong on market share, and the 64 bits architecture was really promising. The way I see it, now AMD is much more for overclock enthusiasts (the newer chips are awesome for that) than the regular user (“average” doesn’t quite fit here and I can’t explain why).

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