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Benchmarking is the practice of performing standardized tests to evaluate the performance of computer hardware. Benchmarks can be indispensable when upgrading CPU, GPU, or DDRAM because they make it easy to tell just how much of a performance boost will the upgraded component provide.
In this article, we introduce the most popular CPU, GPU, and DDRAM benchmarks so that you can learn useful information about the performance of your current hardware setup and compare it against the best products available in 2021.
Modern CPUs have multiple cores and threads, which allow them to crunch a massive amount of numbers at the same time, but not all applications are able to take advantage of them. A well-rounded CPU should perform well even when only one of its cores is in use, and it should also be reasonably power efficient and easy to cool down. Here are the best CPU benchmarks to help you determine whether your current processor meets these criteria:
Cinebench has become one of the most popular CPU benchmarks because it measures the performance of a CPU by performing real-world tasks instead of running abstract tests that evaluate only specific functions of CPUs. Cinebench is available on Windows and Mac, and you can get it for free either from Microsoft Store and Mac App Store or directly from its official website. Keep in mind that Cinebench test results are easily influenced by background processes, so it’s necessary to close as many applications as possible before running it.
Best score: AMD Threadripper 3990X
Currently, the AMD Threadripper 3990X claims the best Cinebench score, at least when it comes to multi-processing tasks. With its 64 cores clocked at 2.9 GHz, this mighty processor has been able to achieve 24803 points. It’s single-core score is also impressive, 501 points, but there are several processors that have achieved slightly more, including the Intel i9 10900K and the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X.
NovaBench is a free CPU benchmark for Windows and Mac computers. Benchmarking with NovaBench takes just a few minutes, and the software lets you instantly compare the current result with previous results, which is useful when overclocking or tweaking various CPU and system settings to optimize performance. Besides CPU performance, NovaBench can also test your graphics card, memory, and hard drive, but we wouldn’t really recommend it for that purpose.
Best score: AMD Threadripper 3970X
According to the NovaBench Results Database, the AMD Threadripper 3970X is the most powerful CPU currently available, ranking first with 7,259 points. The result is very interesting because the AMD Threadripper 3990X, which has twice the number of CPU cores has scored only 6,856 points. It seems that the higher clockspeed of the 3970X compared with the 3990X (3.7 GHz vs 2.9 GHz) was far more important than the difference in the number of CPU cores.
Not all GPU benchmarks are created equal. Modern graphics cards are incredibly complex, and they support many different rendering technologies that need to be taken into consideration in order to obtain accurate results. Here are two CPU benchmarks that you can trust:
3DMark is a highly regarded benchmarking suite that’s perfect for gamers who want to evaluate the performance of their machines, but it’s also widely used by system builders who want to squeeze out every ounce of performance from their hardware. Included in 3DMark are multiple tests that can easily push even the best graphics cards to their limit, such as Time Spy Extreme, which is the world’s first 4K DirectX 12 gaming benchmark. Unfortunately, this test is included only in the Advanced Edition of 3DMark, which costs $29.99. The good news is that the Basic Edition is completely free.
Best score: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is a flagship graphics card with a large amount of video memory, over 4,000 CUDA cores, and more than enough processing power even for the most demanding virtual reality games. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a graphics card of this caliber isn’t cheap, but you really get your money’s worth, and you can rest assured, knowing it will serve you well for many years.
PassMark is a comprehensive PC benchmarking and testing software solution that has been around since 1998. You can use it to perform intensive 2D and 3D graphics tests and instantly compare the results with over a million computers in its database. PassMark can run from a USB flash drive, so you can easily test multiple computers with a single copy.
Best score: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Once again, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti has emerged as the most capable graphics card in 2021. As is often the case with flagship hardware components, you need to pay extra to get the best performance currently available, so this is certainly not the card to get if you’re looking for the best price to performance ratio. Graphics cards like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 or the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT can give you a lot more bang for your buck, but they can’t give you the best PassMark score in the world.
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Most DDRAM benchmarks focus more on system stability than on performance. They’re designed to put your system under as much load as possible and keep it there to see if it can sustain it. If not, it can mean that your DDRAM is faulty or that you’ve overclocked your system a bit too much and need to go down a bit.
Aida 64 is a versatile system information, diagnostics, and auditing application that runs on many different operating systems. It includes a suite of benchmarking features that you can use to measure the maximum achievable memory data transfer bandwidth and memory latency time with a few simple clicks. You can download Aida 64 for free and use it for up to 30 days. Just keep in mind that the application offers limited functionality during the trial period and may not display all data on the information and benchmark result pages. To unlock all features, you need to spend at least $39.95 to purchase Aida 64 Extreme.
Best score: G.Skill RipJaws V Series
The GG.Skill RipJaws V Series is the best memory with a stock cooling module in Aida 64’s worldwide overall ranking. This rather menacingly looking dual-channel memory was designed for maximum compatibility and cutting-edge performance, and it delivers both with confidence. Because the memory is 42 mm tall, you can use it with just about any aftermarket CPU cooler, which is something that can’t be said about many other competing memory modules, which often have ridiculously oversized coolers.
There’s no reason why benchmarks should be used only by professional hardware reviewers. Anyone can download a CPU, GPU, or DDRAM benchmark and use it to objectively evaluate the performance of critical hardware components to determine whether they are worthy of an upgrade. In this article, we’ve described some of the most popular benchmarks available in 2021, so all you need to do is download them and start benchmarking.