Tom's Hardware Wants You: CPU Benchmarks 2011/12

Almost a year ago, I started a thread just like this one to elicit your thoughts on the way we test CPUs. Based on your responses, we made a number of changes to our test suite. Of course, we weren't able to accommodate every request. But each suggestion that made sense received careful consideration.

Well, it's that time again. We want to know how you want to see processors evaluated as we alter the benchmark suite.

As before, I think we have a reasonable mix of gaming-, productivity-, media-, and synthetic-based tests in our automated CPU software package. With that said, our ears are always open.

Now, keep in mind that we’d prefer to use free/trial/open source software, making reproducibility an option for as many of our readers as possible.

Here’s our current list of metrics. We aren't doing much with OpenCL or DirectCompute right now, preferring to save those tests for the graphics suite. With that said, feature like Quick Sync and AMD's Fusion initiative merit a reconsideration about folding in benchmarks with unique support for architecture-specific optimizations. This is something we want to be very careful with, though, as to not bias the weight of our evaluation toward any one company. Keep that in mind as we open up the dialogue to accelerated apps.

  • Apple iTunes
  • Lame MP3
  • HandBrake CLI
  • MainConcept Reference v.2
  • WinRAR
  • WinZip
  • 7-Zip
  • Autodesk 3ds Max
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
  • Adobe After Effects CS5
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • Cinebench
  • Blender
  • ABBYY FineReader 10
  • PCMark 7
  • 3DMark 7
  • SiSoftware Sandra 2011
  • Metro 2033
  • F1 2010
  • Aliens Vs. Predator
  • Just Cause 2


Occasionally you’ll see us swap out a game, exclude a more workstation-oriented app in a mainstream, or add something like Fritz, but that’s the lineup I’m using as of…well, now. So, give us some suggestions on what you’d like to see over the next year. Bear in mind that the apps we pick from the comments you leave will likely be the ones most applicable to the largest number of people, though there is room for a handful of more fringe tests, too.

Thanks again for the input. I’ll be stopping by the comments section here, of course. And if you want to reach me directly, you're always welcome to hit me up on Twitter.

Chris Angelini
Worldwide Editor-in-Chief, Tom’s Hardware

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  • StarCraft 2! I used to see it in some benchmarks, but it slowly got faded out. =[
    23
  • JacobiMatlab, taking advantage of multi-core processors and GPU processing


    Agreed I'd love to see benchmarks for MATLAB, Solidworks or more CAD programs
    21
  • Why do you have Aliens vs Predator when in EVERY SINGLE benchmark ever made, this game shows that a CPU has absolutely no impact. Same thing for Metro 2033, to a lesser extent.

    On the other hand, why don't you add GTA IV? I know it's poorly optimized and a little old now, but it's one of the few games that will actually provide a big performance boost when a new CPU is purcahsed or an old one overclocked, so I'd like to see it there.
    18
  • Other Comments
  • StarCraft 2! I used to see it in some benchmarks, but it slowly got faded out. =[
    23
  • Can you guys add more programs that benefit from hyper-threading? It will be easier to refer a CPU to new system builders if there's benchmarks in front of our face :)
    11
  • kingksturStarCraft 2! I used to see it in some benchmarks, but it slowly got faded out. =[

    Yep, this is a great test for single-core strength along with the original Crysis. (and Warhead??) AvP is a terrible CPU benchmark; on my X4 965 it locks all 4 cores at 40%, regardless of whether I'm running one or two GTX 460s. For more proof, let's look at what Tom's had to say :) :
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-core-i3-2100-phenom-ii-x6-1075t,2859-5.html
    In my opinion, BF:BC2 is the gold standard for CPU scaling at the moment, and will probably be supplanted by BF3.

    +1 to SiSoftware Sandra 2011, this is the only synthetic I use, but it's awesome.
    13