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PCMark 8 Review


Testing Setup & Results:

As mentioned on the previous page, I ran into an issue when running PCMark 8. One of the Web Browsing tests repeatedly gets stuck whenever it is run for the second time during a benchmark. This prevents me from completing the standard benchmarks that use it, as they all run three passes to get consistent results. Futuremark is aware of the issue as it has been reported by multiple people running Windows 7. I am confident the developers will be able to find and fix it.

While this is definitely a major problem, it is not insurmountable. One of the features of the Advanced and Professional Editions is the Tuning section, where any test or collection of tests can be run. The raw data from these tests is then provided to the user for tuning their system. Something available to anyone is the PCMark 8 Technical Guide (available on Futuremark's website), which includes a great deal of useful information, including how the raw data is processed to arrive at the reported scores, which Tuning does not give you. Sadly, the calculations for arriving at the Storage scores are not provided, so I cannot give them to you.






Armed with that information, I ran the 28 tests I am able to, collected the raw data, and following the Technical Guide, calculated my scores. Sadly I have nothing to compare these to, and I cannot recommend them being compared to proper PCMark 8 scores. Of course, a benchmark write-up would be of little interest without scores, so here they are, but my computer's specifications first:

Testing Setup:

  • Processor: AMD Phenom II 720 BE, 4-core, @3.40GHz (17.0x200)
  • Cooling: Corsair H50 with Push-pull Akasa 120mm fans
  • Motherboard: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO 785G
  • Memory: Corsair Dominator 2x2 GB and G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4 GB (12 GB total) @ 1600MHZ 9-10-9-28
  • GPU: EVGA GTX 570 1280 MB (797/1594/1950)
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB SATA
  • Power Supply: Corsair 750TX
  • OS: Windows 7- Home Premium 64-bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320.18 WHQL Driver (64-bit)

As I do not have data to create interesting graphs, I will instead describe some of the tests in greater detail with the different scores. The tests, if they run in a special window, run within a window and not at fullscreen. Some tests though have no window, besides the progress meter at the bottom of the screen.


PCMark Home benchmark: 269.74865

The Web Browsing tests open a simple browser created for the tests and starts a local server to host the pages it opens. The two tests are meant to simulate visiting a social networking site and checking out an online retailer.

The Casual Gaming test runs the Firefly test first from 3DMark06, and later used in PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 where it was used as a DirectX 9 test.


PCMark Creative benchmark: 64976.82696

The Mainstream Gaming test has two parts, and both are tests from 3DMark 11. They are run in a 1280x720 window, but otherwise use the same settings as the Performance preset from that graphics benchmark.

The Photo Editing test loads 32 TIFF image files with resolutions from 2674x1506 and 8576x5696. One at a time the images have a color transformation applied to it 20 times within a preview image. The Batch Photo Editing test is similar but applies the transformation to all of the images, before saving them.


PCMark Work benchmark: 17202.54532

The Writing test opens documents in a custom text editor and has it perform common operations such as adding to the text, copying and pasting, inserting pictures, and saving. The initial document size is 53.5 MB and the final document is 67.2 MB.


PCMark Microsoft Office Applications benchmark: 1929.05859

To run this series of tests, the applications are started and files loaded into them. Sections are then copied from one file to another, along with having additional text, data, or images added. For Word, the file size starts at 3.25 MB and ends at 57 MB, while Excel takes two initial files at 4.62 MB and 2.33 MB, and makes a single 4.18 MB file. PowerPoint's initial file is 27.1 MB and after some adjustments, it is saved as a 2.83 MB PDF.


With the issue preventing me from using PCMark 8 as intended, it is hard to comment on the scores. From what I have seen though, it looks like a good tool for testing a computer's capabilities, when it comes to everyday functions, and some more interesting stats concerning storage.

  1. PCMark 8 Introduction & Closer Look
  2. PCMark 8 Testing Setup & Results
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