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The truth about your PC: These benchmark tools tell all

Jim Norris | Feb. 7, 2014
Just how fast is your PC? Is your laptop's battery up to snuff? Benchmarking software can tell you this. Once the province of PC builders and tuners, the best packages available today are accessible to mainstream users as well--though it still helps to have some knowledge of your PC's innards to reap the greatest benefits. The free packages reviewed here can get the job done for free, and in many cases, you can get more by upgrading to a paid version.

Benchmarks stay one step ahead — or else
Good benchmark software stays ahead of the hardware curve, so it's not hard to see what's coming down the road. Leading packages like PCMark 8 and Catzilla offer friendly (or even fun) interfaces, making them more appealing to mainstream users. And as laptops slowly replace desktops, even for gamers, you'll see more battery-life tests and other mobile-focused features. For most users, the best packages balance broad feature sets with a reasonable resource burden — and don't make you jump through a lot of hoops to get results.


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