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How to Benchmark Your Laptop for Real Benefits



Everyone wants to know how well their laptop is performing, but usually for a variety of reasons. Was that high-end processor you chose worth the extra money? Can your cheap clamshell run the latest hottest PC games? Is it time to give up that old laptop for something with a little more options? A good way to find out is to run a few benchmarks.

Benchmarks let your machine perform a series of fixed, predetermined tasks and then deliver scores that can be compared with the results of other PCs. Comparison is key here, as a benchmark without context means little to you. Indeed, no matter how high the score, if it can’t be contextualized against other PCs (or to a minimum performance requirement) then the benchmark won̵

7;t tell you much.

Which laptop benchmarks should I run?

There are numerous benchmarks available, and some are more popular than others. Ideally, you want a benchmark to be challenging enough to get a sense of your system’s performance under normal load.

The benchmark does not necessarily have to be a so-called “torture test” that pushes your system to its limits. These are great if you want to test system stability during overclocking, but they aren’t necessary for overall system performance.

The benchmarks we suggest below are widely used, making it easier to find scores online for comparison purposes. These tests are too free, make them accessible to the widest possible audience.

For best results, keep your laptop connected to everything but the battery test. You should also shut down as many background processes as possible to see what your system can really do. It’s also a good idea to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth by putting the laptop in airplane mode and unplugging ethernet. That said, some benchmarks (like Geekbench 5) require an active internet connection.

A higher score is better for all of the following benchmarks.

Benchmark your laptop’s CPU

cinebenchr23 IDG

Cinebench R23 for Windows after testing an Intel Core i3-7100U.

Cinebench is a solid choice for benchmarking CPUs. It’s a quick and easy test that takes about 10 minutes to complete, and you’ll often see it in PCWorld CPU reviews. Cinebench has a ranking panel in the left rail that shows how one system compares to another, and shows your system’s score after the first run. There are also sites such as CG Director and CPU-Monkey that display results from other users.


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