We’ve had a lot of fun ramping up audience interaction here on Tom’s Hardware—from the contests (it seems like there is always at least one running) to the forums-driven Best Configs section going live this week to the comments and emails we get from every single story that gets published. Keep it coming—and we’ll do the same.
In the meantime, we’re working on our benchmark suites for 2011 (yes, there will be several) and want your input each step of the way.
Currently, I think we have a reasonable mix of gaming-, productivity-, media-, and synthetic-based tests in our automated CPU software package. But it’s hard to know if we’re giving you the performance results you most want to see in the software you most commonly use unless you speak up and let us know.
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. If it turns out we’re able to lean heavily on widely available titles, it might even be possible to make the suite downloadable, allowing you to run the same tests we run for quick and easy comparison. Understandably, benchmarks that still require a license probably won’t be part of that package.
Here’s our current list of metrics:
- Apple iTunes 10.0.1
- TMPG 4.7 with DivX 6.9.2 and Xvid 1.2.2
- MainConcept Reference 2.0
- HandBrake 0.9.4
- Autodesk 3ds Max 2010
- WinRAR 3.92
- 7-Zip 4.65
- Adobe Photoshop CS5
- AVG Anti-Virus 11.0
- 3DMark Vantage
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoftware Sandra 2010
- Metro 2033
- Just Cause 2
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- DiRT 2
Occasionally you’ll see us swap out a game, exclude AVG, 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 in 2011. Bear in mind that the apps we use 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.
As we revamp other aspects of testing—from graphics card measurements to workstation and mobile suites, I’ll ask for your input first, as our team in Germany sets out to automate as much of what we do as possible.
Thanks again for the input. I’ll be stopping by the comments section here, of course. And if you want to reach me directly, I swear I’m trying to get better about interacting with Twitter. I’m even planning to give away some hardware there...
Managing Editor, Tom’s Hardware