Checking PC performance with PCMark 10

pcbinary June 27, 2021 0 Comments

Breaking down a PCMark 10 result

A PCMark 10 benchmark result contains a high-level benchmark score, mid-leveltest group scores, and low-level workload scores.The main PCMark 10 benchmark score is a measure of the overall systemperformance for modern office work.PCMark 10 test group scores help you understand a PC’s performance for certaincategories of work such as Productivity or Digital Content Creation.Workload scores tell you about the system’s performance for specific taskssuch as web browsing, spreadsheets, or video editing.PCMark 10 results reflect complete system performance. Each workload tends toexercise the whole system: CPU, memory, storage, and, in some cases, the GPU.For more detail, please read our PCMark 10 Technical Guide, which explainswhat each test measures and how the scores are calculated.

Checking PC performance with PCMark 10

There are two main ways to use PCMark 10 and other benchmarks. The first is tocheck that your own PC is performing at the expected level without faults orissues. The second is to compare the performance of several systems in orderto decide what to buy.An easy way to check your score is to look up benchmark results for similarsystems on our website.Select PCMark 10 from the dropdown menu at the top. Then click on the AdvancedSearch tab.Enter your CPU and GPU models and the number of GPUs if relevant. Then clickon the Search button to find real benchmark results from people with similarsystems.Comparing your score with results from other people with similar hardware willshow you if your score is in the expected range. Small differences in scorescan usually be explained by storage and memory performance or different driverand OS versions. If your score is much lower than others from similar systems,it might indicate a problem with your configuration or hardware.

Comparing PC performance with PCMark 10

Now that you know your score is correct for your system, you can see how yoursystem compares with others.When you view your PCMark 10 benchmark result on, you will see achart that shows how your score compares with others. Your result ishighlighted orange.You can compare your PC with the results from several reference systems. Clickon the little arrow to see the hardware specifications for each system.The gray area in the chart shows the distribution of all PCMark 10 scores inour database. The higher the curve, the more scores we have in that range.In this example, you can see that the user’s score is better than 60% of thePCMark 10 scores in our database. You can also see that the most common PCMark10 score is around 5,100.

What is a good PCMark 10 score?

Whether a PCMark 10 score is good or not really depends on how you want to usethe PC. The main PCMark 10 benchmark score gives you a view of a PC’s overallperformance. But if you have a specific need, it’s worth looking at the testgroup scores as well.For example, if you only want to use a PC for general office productivitywork, then you don’t need a system with strong Digital Content Creationperformance.

Zotac ZBox Magnus EK71080

Aside from the green-themed ports on the front panel, the Pavilion GamingDesktop 690 has a sober look when off. When powered on, a green light stripvertically divides the space.To its left is the slim tray-load DVD burner, and to its right the powerbutton, an audio combo jack, an SD card reader, two USB Type-A 3.0 ports, anda USB Type-C 3.1 port. That’s as solid a collection of front-accessible portsas you can expect in a mainstream or budget PC.The case is mostly made of metal. However, the construction doesn’t inspireconfidence; the case materials are thin, and it feels hollow.One Phillips-head screw holds on the left panel, which slides off easilyenough…The low-profile CPU cooler and the rear 80mm fan are visible, while the restof the interior is shrouded behind the hard drive mounting panel you can seehere. The panel is held in place with some nonstandard slotted screws. They’reno doubt removable, but it’s a hassle you should not have to face.Removing the drive panel provides access to the motherboard’s two DDR4-2666DIMM slots (they support 32GB of RAM in a two-16GB DIMM configuration) andsingle M.2 Type-2280 (80mm) slot for SSDs, here empty. One 8GB memory moduleis installed in this test unit. (One DIMM means no dual-channel functionality,but on the plus side, you can upgrade to 16GB without ditching the 8GB youpaid for.) The only storage drive is a slow 3.5-inch 1TB hard drive.The Radeon RX 580 graphics card takes up a good portion of the interior. It’sa two-slot card but shorter than most cards I’ve seen based on the RX 580chip, chosen or designed to fit inside the Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690’scompact chassis. (See our review of another Radeon RX 580 card, from XFX,which should deliver similar performance.)The interior wiring is surprisingly minimal. The multi-colored cables comingfrom the power supply look generic, but you’ll never see them unless thedesktop side panel is off. Rated for 400 watts, the power supply in our unitcarries a nod-worthy 80 Plus Platinum rating.I’m not apt to complain about the unfinished look of the case’s metalposterior at this price. Microphone, line-in, and line-out audio jacks dot thetop left. Further down are blocked-off video ports on the motherboard (thisconfiguration has a dedicated graphics card, so they’re disabled), an Ethernetjack, two USB Type-A 2.0 ports, and four USB Type-A 3.0 ports…The Radeon RX 580 graphics card has one HDMI video-out and three DisplayPortvideo-out connectors; bear this (and the need for an adapter) in mind ifyou’re still rocking a monitor with DVI and VGA inputs only. The bottom-mounted power supply means you won’t have a power cable dangling from the top.

PCMark 10 (Productivity Test) and PCMark 8 (Storage Test)

PCMark 10 and PCMark 8 are holistic performance suites developed by the PCbenchmark specialists at UL (formerly Futuremark). The PCMark 10 test we runsimulates different real-world productivity and content-creation workflows. Weuse it to assess overall system performance for office-centric tasks such asword processing, spreadsheet jockeying, Web browsing, and videoconferencing.The test generates a proprietary numeric score.PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a specialized Storage test that we use to assess thespeed of the PC’s storage subsystem. This test also generates a proprietaryscore.The lack of solid-state storage hurt the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690-0020badly in both PCMark tests, especially in the PCMark 8 Storage run. Even asmall and inexpensive SSD boot drive would have made a world of difference.

Real-World Gaming Tests

The synthetic tests above are helpful for measuring general 3D aptitude, butit’s hard to beat full retail video games for judging gaming performance.Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider are both modern, high-fidelity titleswith built-in benchmarks that illustrate how a system handles real-world videogames at various settings. These are run on the maximum graphics-qualitypresets (Ultra for Far Cry 5, Very High for Rise of the Tomb Raider) at 1080p,1440p, and 4K resolutions to determine the sweet spot for visuals and smoothperformance for a given system. Far Cry 5 is DirectX 11 based, while Rise ofthe Tomb Raider can be flipped to DX12, which we do for the benchmark. Bear inmind that the Trident X here has a cutting-edge GeForce RTX 2080 card insidethat costs about as much as the whole Pavilion PC.It turns out that the 3DMark and Superposition tests understated the real-world performance gap between the Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690 and the LenovoLegion C530. The Lenovo’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is pushed to its limits in the1080p tests, whereas the HP’s Radeon RX 580 doesn’t break a sweat. The HP iseven capable of some modest 1440p pixel-pushing.

A Value for 1080p…But That Hard Drive

The right combination of price and performance is what sells the HP PavilionGaming 690-0020. The inclusion of a Radeon RX 580 graphics card makes it astrong gaming contender among machines in its price range, allowing it to drumup butter-smooth 1080p gaming performance in today’s demanding titles. That’swith the visual quality settings cranked, too; few desktops in this pricerange can claim to do that.The pitfall of the Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690-0020 configuration tested here,though, is its lack of SSD storage, relying instead on that painfully pokyhard drive. That’s easy to remedy with an aftermarket upgrade to aninexpensive SSD, but we’d just as soon see HP raise the price a tiny bit andinclude one in every configuration.The company does offer a host of other Pavilion Gaming 590 and 690configurations with SSDs, with Intel Optane Memory caches plus a hard drive,or with SSD and hard drive pairings. We did spot an AMD-centric one, thePavilion 690-0024, with the same Ryzen 5/Radeon RX 580 combo, a 128GB SSD, anda 1TB hard drive, from Best Buy at $829. (Also there: a 690-0034 variant witha Ryzen 7.) We’ll put an SSD on the wish list for next time we test thisfamily. This time around, though, the Pavilion Gaming Desktop 690-0020 crossesout almost everything else from that list that you could reasonably want in abudget gaming PC.

HP EliteOne 1000 G1 (34-Inch)

Except for the base’s faux-woodgrain finish, the stand isn’t too remarkablevisually, though the prominent sound bar beneath the display is covered ingray fabric. The fabric and woodgrain make the PC feel a little more at homein a living room or a home office than a workplace—it’s too big to reside in akitchen like some smaller AIOs, and too powerful for use as a simple webbrowsing kiosk.Since the screen is the focus, let’s dive into the details. It measures 31.5inches diagonally and boasts an alluring 4K resolution. The display qualifiesas HDR600 (its max brightness is 600 nits, with a 6,000:1 contrast ratio),making it the first all-in-one desktop to meet that mark, and HP says itcovers 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. It’s an IPS panel, with wideviewing angles and a glass cover that looks nice and won’t get covered infingerprints given the lack of touch technology.The overall quality is strong without being much to write home about; it’s anabove-average screen for its feature set, if not necessarily for its picturequality. Colors and detail are fine and the display does indeed get plentybright, but it doesn’t blow me away.You can tilt the display up or down via the rear stand, but it doesn’t rotatebetween landscape and portrait modes. Nor can you turn it without turning thewhole PC if you’re looking from the side.

Real-World Gaming Tests

The synthetic tests above are helpful for measuring general 3D aptitude, butit’s hard to beat full retail video games for judging gaming performance. FarCry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider are both modern, high-fidelity titles withbuilt-in benchmarks that illustrate how a system handles real-world gameplayat various settings. In this case, we used the maximum graphics-qualitypresets (Ultra for Far Cry 5, Very High for Rise of the Tomb Raider) at 1080p,1440p, and 4K resolutions to determine the sweet spot of eye candy and smoothperformance. Far Cry 5 is DirectX 11-based, while Rise of the Tomb Raider canbe flipped to DX12, which we do. Note that these tests were only run on theEnvy 32 and the Surface Studio 2, as they were the only systems realisticallyup to the task.If you don’t mind dialing down the resolution to 1080p, the Envy 32 willeasily push 60 frames per second. For a machine that has multiple prioritiesbefore gaming, those are pretty good results. As you can see, gaming at 1440por 4K becomes increasingly demanding, though hitting 60fps at 1440p isachievable if you reduce a few visual quality settings or just play lessstrenuous games. You’ll be lucky to pull 30fps at the infamously challenging4K resolution, but the Envy 32 proves itself to be a very competent occasionalgaming system on top of everything else.

Today’s Best Windows AIO

All-in-one desktops are often either moderately powered jacks of all trades ormore specialized machines. The HP Envy 32 is more of the former in terms ofits role, but it’s also more powerful in each area than most do-it-all AIOs.It has a bigger high-res screen than many alternatives, and extra featuresthat let it slip seamlessly into both your lifestyle and your workflow. Itsaudio is genuinely great, and its additional features are useful to mostconsumers. The price is pretty good for what you’re getting, too, especiallyconsidering the added cost of a good monitor and speaker setup for atraditional desktop tower.There’s something to be said for having everything you need rolled into one,and HP has executed it well without charging over the top. Not everyone needsthe power of this configuration, but there are less potent models available atlower price points. There isn’t a huge range of premium-grade all-in-onedesktops out there, but the Envy 32 is tops among Windows systems we’vesampled recently. It easily earns an Editors’ Choice.

Graphics Tests

3DMark measures relative graphics muscle by rendering sequences of highlydetailed, gaming-style 3D graphics that emphasize particles and lighting. Werun two different 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike. Both are DirectX11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is more suited to laptops and midrange PCs, whileFire Strike is more demanding and lets high-end PCs and gaming rigs struttheir stuff.The Acer Nitro 5 is in a league of its own here, with the notebooks withintegrated graphics (particularly Intel integrated graphics) well behind. Thefour non-gaming laptops are clearly in their own category and not designed forserious gamers. As for that Ice Lake-related nuance alluded to earlier: Notethat the Core i5 Ice Lake CPU in the Ultra-Slim is not one of the upper modelsin the line with Intel’s upticked Iris Plus graphics, but pedestrian UHDGraphics. The former would have led to better scores. (More in line with theRadeon Graphics models, mind you, not challenging the GTX 1650.)Next up is another synthetic graphics test, this time from Unigine Corp. Like3DMark, the Superposition test renders and pans through a detailed 3D scene,this one rendered in the eponymous Unigine engine, for a second opinion on themachine’s graphical prowess.Same trend, similarly unflattering to the Gateway. Of course, the GeForce GTX1650 in the Nitro dominates again, but the Gateway’s integrated graphics arealso outpaced by the Ryzen/Radeon pair. Buyers of the Ultra-Slim (or theAspire or VivoBook) will have to be content with casual or browser-based gamesonly.

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