Benchmarking is an important part of any PC build, and the GPU tests are crucial to ensure that you get a machine that performs well. There's nothing worse than building your dream computer only to find out it can't run the latest games because it has a weak graphics card.
To help make sure this doesn't happen, we've compiled a list of The 11 Best GPU Benchmarking Software For 2021.
What is Benchmark?
Benchmarking is the act of measuring your system’s performance in order to see how much it can take. It allows you to compare different systems and identify bottlenecks.
You not only expose just what hardware is available but also spot problems with more easily identifiable benchmarks than by observing behavior on a day-to-day usage basis.
The benchmark itself should be designed for this purpose; many are comprised solely of mathematical computations or graphics rendering which may not necessarily scale cleanly with CPU speed (or vice versa).
A well-written benchmark will have several instances that stress each component separately, so multi-core processors can be tested against single-core ones, hard drives compared directly, and so forth.
How to benchmark your GPU?
Benchmarking your GPU can be a complicated process, but if you're serious about getting the best hardware for your needs - and having the knowledge to properly configure it in order to get maximum performance from it - then this is something that must be done.
It's not enough just to buy a video card with the right specs; an unsuitable configuration could lead to decreased performance or even problems down the line.
Benchmarking will give you valuable insight into how different settings will affect playability on your computer system, as well as help determine which type of graphics work best for what types of games.
For instance, benchmark testing may reveal that one detail setting causes significant lag time while another has no effect at all in certain applications. This would show that one detail setting should be tweaked to improve performance and another is best left alone.
What you need: A Graphic card; a good internet connection (to upload the results); some free software like Unigine Heaven or CLBenchMark's Geekbench
To benchmark your GPU, head to the website of a program like Unigine Heaven or CLBenchMark's Geekbench and download it.
Once installed, open the software and choose a test for your system type. Again, there are different tests depending on what graphics card you have in order to ensure accurate results. You can find this information by checking where the manufacturer usually lists which parts they use - "NVidia" will be listed as such on most cards even though AMD may also list their brand name somewhere along with NVidia's. Usually, these programs automatically detect whether or not you have an Intel integrated Graphics card but you can also do this manually.
Once you have chosen the right test, open up your browser and navigate to a website like Unigine Heaven's Benchmark lineup that will automatically set it for you. This is how they give accurate results as well since different websites may not provide what program is best suited for your system types.
So make sure the benchmarking tool has been downloaded on your computer before doing anything else.
Now go ahead and follow whichever steps are necessary in order to run through the benchmark tests. The time taken varies depending on which kind of graphics card you have but usually takes around 15mins or less with an Nvidia GTX1080 Ti GPU running at its highest setting while using no other programs such as Photoshop, Microsoft Word, or Adobe Premiere.
If you have a dual graphics card setup, make sure to check which one is in the lead by choosing 'Device Manager' within your computer's Control Panel and looking for the device that has its own name as opposed to it just being called "AMD" or "Nvidia".
Once you've chosen this GPU from Device Manager, simply right-click on it while making sure not to select any of the other two GPUs below (one may be disabled) and choose Properties. Now go ahead and under the Compatibility tab at least tick off Windows XP Service Pack SP-0 if available; otherwise, there might be some problems with such programs like Unigine Heaven benchmarking tool not working properly.
For NVIDIA users: It's time to head on over to Control Panel > System & Security > Administrative Tools (or simply type "Administrative Tools" in your Start Menu) and then find Device Manager, like before.
Now select either of your two graphics cards from here (it doesn't matter which one). Right-click it again while being careful not to touch any other GPUs below that start with "NVIDIA", choose Properties once more, followed by going under the Driver tab near the top left corner; all you need is a driver for Windows XP Service Pack SP0 or later. You're good now so just go ahead and close out of it.
For AMD users: You're in luck!
All you need to do is head on over to the Properties > Driver tab, then click the "Update driver" button.
Select your graphics card from a list that should pop up and make sure it's for Windows XP Service Pack SP0 or later; if not, just choose another one. Once you've done this, reboot your computer by clicking OK at the bottom right corner of Device Manager.
Why you should benchmark your GPU?
Benchmarking your GPU is a good idea because it helps you understand the power of your hardware. This can help identify bottlenecks and issues that might arise in production workloads or gaming sessions.
If your benchmark results are not what they should be, this gives you an opportunity to make adjustments before any real-world problems show up.
GPU Benchmarking Test
Benchmarking is the process of running a computer program, utility, or operating system function repeatedly with input values that vary each time to determine how efficiently it uses resources.
The terms benchmark and performance test are often used interchangeably though both measure different aspects of computing.
Performance Testing: A type of software testing in which tests are designed to push an application's functionality beyond its normal limits. To be successful, these types of tests must isolate specific features or functions from other parts of the software under test so as not to aggravate bugs unrelated to what was being tested.
Stress Test: This type of testing measures how well your PC handles high loads for long periods. It helps identify stability issues by testing the PC at different levels of pressure.
CPU Benchmark: A type of software test that measures a computer's central processing unit (CPU) speed by comparing it against an established standard, such as results from running tests using CineBench or Prime95 on PCs.
Blend Tests - This test combines two different types of workloads in order to find out how well they work together and if there are any conflicts between one another that will impact performance more than each individual type of load would on its own.
Coverage Testing- When it comes to coverage testing for laptop PCs, this is done with an external battery which determines whether or not power consumption has been optimized for all systems under heavy loads as opposed to just those used indoors without batteries.
Synthetic Benchmarking - Synthetic benchmarks do exactly what their name suggests, they are created to emulate real-world demands of the hardware without actually putting it through anything real.
List Of The Best GPU Benchmarking Software
3DMark is one of the most popular consumer-level GPU benchmarking software. In addition to its ability to test graphics power, it also offers a CPU testing component as well as an advanced system stability test for cooling systems and CPUs.
The 3DMarks tests are run in real-time so that results can be seen instantly without having to wait for any rendering or compilation processes.
It's free but only available on Windows PCs with DirectX 12 installed.
3DMark is one of the most popular consumer-level GPU benchmarking software.
In addition to its ability to test graphics power, it also offers a CPU testing component as well as an advanced system stability test for cooling systems and CPUs.
With DX12 installed, 3DMark is able to provide detailed information about your PC’s hardware configuration including components temperature sensor readings which will help you find out if there might be anything running hot inside your machine that needs attention.
MSI AfterBurner is an application that allows the user to monitor and record benchmarks or other information about video card performance.
MSI AfterBurner is primarily a graphics program, but it also has features for overclocking GPU voltage, clock speed, fan speeds, and more.
With just one click of any graph in the software, a benchmark will be shown instantly on-screen with no need to save anything first. The graphs are interactive so you can zoom into them at any time by right-clicking anywhere inside their window area."
MSI AfterBurner provides real-time monitoring capabilities for multiple displays such as monitors or projectors via NVIDIA Surround setups!
Other tools include data logging which automatically records all monitored parameters over periods up to 24 hours, screenshot capture and recording of the video stream with selectable resolution up to 1920x1080!
The software supports both AMD&NVIDIA GPUs including the latest GeForce graphics cards from Nvidia's Maxwell GPU architecture. It also can be used in conjunction with other MSI software like Kombustor burn-in testing utility (which is needed if you want an accurate VRM temp reading)."
Graphics rendering benchmark created by MAXON, developers of Cinema at the same time.
Uses different tasks for creating images with over 50 frames per second in real-time on your computer's monitor.
"CINEBENCH R20 tests both OpenGL and CPU performance using different tasks" - "It comes as no surprise to know that this software was used to determine how good or bad you are going to be able to run games possible based on what hardware you have installed" (no idea why I wrote these two sentences).
CINEBENCH R20 has been updated to include a new test that measures the performance of OpenGL graphics rendering.
"CINEBENCH is also available in benchmarking for both CPUs and GPUs, allowing you to determine how well your hardware operates with different tasks" (no idea why I wrote these two sentences).
"If we look at this graph, it becomes clear that even though AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor can't keep up with Intel Xeon E-2699 V-12 when it comes to creating images with over 50 frames per second in real-time on your computer monitor." - "The IBM POWER PC 970FX can be seen as being able to outperform AMD's Opter on 2384 and Intel's Xeon E-2699 V-12."
FurMark is one of the best GPU stress testing software for Windows. FurMark is one of the best GPU benchmarking software that can be used by gamers or enthusiasts who want to test their graphics card's stability with different levels of stress testing.
The FurMark features make it an ideal tool for gaming PC builders looking for some peace of mind when overclocking their machine while potentially playing demanding games such as Skyrim or Battlefield IV without worry about crashing because they are pushing too far past system specifications.
FurMark is useful for benchmarking and stability tests and provides a comprehensive set of tools that can be used to not only test your hardware but also really push it to its limits - even if overclocking or voltage modification are enabled.
The Benchmark mode will provide you with performance metrics such as framerate (FPS), GFLOPS, texture fill rate (TFR) in addition to an interactive graph that illustrates how much load is being put on the graphics card at any given point during the run of FurMark's included OpenGL workloads.
There are two modes: "Stability Test" which simply renders furballs until they become more than twice as bright as the original, and then reports if the GPU crashed. It will also report how many furballs were drawn before this happened; "Performance Benchmark" which renders a standard FurMark workload for one hour and provides real-time performance statistics in addition to final reported data at its conclusion.
Copying the frame buffer to RAM at selected intervals.
Running multiple renders passes in parallel on either CPU cores or GPU shaders and pixel processing units for a maximum stress test with little overhead from other processes running on your computer while you are playing games.
Adjustable resolutions up to 1920x1200, including some higher than 1080p (1920×1080) which is a common HDTV resolution.
Use FurMark for power, heat, and noise dissipation tests. When you find a stable overclock setting that maintains acceptable temperatures (40°C or below - or use MSI Afterburner in "Silent Mode") then proceed to stability testing with prime95/OCCT.
GeekBench is an open-source benchmarking tool. It can be used to measure a computer's performance and compare it with other systems of the same type, as well as compute potential system bottlenecks or problems under various workloads.
GeekBench allows testing for many different metrics such as CPU (single-core), memory, GPU OpenCL/OpenGLES floating-point operations per second, etc. Geekbench comes in three versions:
Geekspeak - A simple program that displays some basic information about your CPU and GPU hardware. This version does not do any calculations but provides a good way to test if you're able to run the more detailed benchmarks listed below.
Standard Benchmark - This tests both single - and multi-core CPU performance, memory bandwidth, single/multi-threaded OpenGL performance. This is the default benchmark that Geekbench will run;
Extended Benchmark - Tests more in-depth aspects of system performance such as cache & memory latency, branch prediction rates (which can be used to identify possible causes for certain types of intermittent stuttering), etc.
Passmark is a benchmarking application that tests your computer's performance. It measures the speed of basic operations for diverse tasks including CPU, memory, hard drive, and GPU. There are two versions: PassMark v11 or PassMark PerformanceTest v12 (the latest version).
To get started with this program you should first run the "CPU Benchmarks" test which will give you an idea of how fast your system performs on various computing workloads such as multimedia editing, office productivity applications, and games like World Of Warcraft to name but a few examples In total there are nine benchmarks in all.
The last one being "GPU Compute." This test runs relatively quickly and is designed to measure the graphics processing performance of your computer.
The PassMark PerformanceTest v12 benchmarks a variety of CPU, Memory, and Disk I/O operations which can be used as an alternative or complement to standard benchmarking tools such as Cinebench R15 (CPU), PCMark 08 (memory), and HD Tune Pro Benchmark version 2018.61 for disk drives.
These tests provide results that are more indicative of real-world usage than most synthetic benchmarks, so it's recommended you run them first before doing anything else if you're looking for accurate measurements for what your system is capable of.
Passmark takes about 20 minutes on average with some systems completing in less than 15 but this all depends on how fast your hardware is.
The PassMark PerformanceTest v12 is free to download and use for non-commercial purposes; if your business wants to use the test in a professional environment, there are commercial licenses available that come with more features than the free version allows.
HWMonitor is a top-of-the-line GPU benchmarking software that helps you take charge and monitor your system's graphics card. It can be used to analyze, test, profile, and measure the performance of both AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce GPUs with any Windows or Linux-based operating system."
"It provides accurate readouts for clock speeds, thermal/power status (TDP), temperatures in degrees celsius from 20 to 95 °C plus fan speed percentage among other things."
"The interface is simple yet powerful enough to provide all needed functionality without being too complex either. One example would be how it looks into an average FPS count while gaming when HWMonitor doesn't have game-specific presets - this isn't possible in other GPU benchmarking programs."
HWMonitor is freeware which means it doesn't need to take up system resources to be profitable. It's also completely open-sourced on Github so that others can contribute and give feedback as needed; the developers are not hiding anything about their work either."
"In short, if your goal is to get accurate readings from your graphics card or just like an application which doesn't have any sort of bloatware included with it - then HWMoniter would be perfect for your needs."
GFXBench is a universal GPU benchmark tool. It provides the capability to measure and compare mobile graphics processing power or find system bottlenecks by testing different components of an IOS device.
GFXBench includes three benchmarks: The Compute Benchmark tests OpenGL ES performance with various compute workloads like Physics Simulation; Particle simulations with Perlin Noise; Raytracing through a scene created from various materials and light sources; Image processing on raw data (no postprocessing) in several formats including PNG, JPEG, TIFF, WebP and GIF animation plus others such as PDF file rendering
The Graphics Test measures both CPU and GPU performance using many popular image effects that are used in games today. Finally, there's the Memory Bandwidth benchmark which measures the memory bandwidth and tests latency.
GFXBench's unique feature is its "Off-screen" mode that provides a way for developers to test the rendering performance of their app on different device screens with higher resolutions than what they are currently supporting. GFXBench can also measure CPU/GPU power consumption at idle or during various workloads (i.e., running an OpenGL ES game) so it becomes possible to estimate battery life without even having to run any code.
Some unique features when running any of these tasks are available - like the ability to set the number of threads used for testing. There are also "Custom" benchmarks, which can be created with any 12 tests from GFXBench's library and run them simultaneously.
Valley Benchmark, or ValleyBench for short, is a benchmarking tool that tests the performance of your computer's GPU.
It was created to address some shortcomings which were seen in other benchmarks: namely inaccurate and unrealistic test data generation methods as well as lack of support for newer API features like large pages.
ValleyBench has been tested on Windows Vista through Windows Server 2012 R02 (x86-64), Linux Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x86_64 with kernel version v34+, Apple macOS Sierra (v17), and Microsoft Azure Cloud Services Platforms using PowerShell scripts available here.
Accurate & Realistic Test Data Generation Methods including FurMark rendering workload scenarios.
Supports modern graphics APIs like DirectX 12 and Vulkan.
Supports the latest hardware such as NVIDIA RTX GPUs, AMD's Ryzen Threadripper series CPUs + Radeon VII Graphics Cards.
Superposition Benchmark is the best GPU benchmarking software on the market. It can measure and sort through your video cards so you know which one will be fastest for a specific task, whether it's rendering videos or playing games.
Superposition also allows users to create custom benchmarks that test their own programs. The interface of this program is very easy to use and intuitive - even novice computer users should have no problem with mastering its tools in just minutes.
It has features such as screen shots of all graphics cards, performance profiles, instant auto-benchmarks (performance tests), encoding profile selector, application launcher/kill processer, general settings section where you customize what is tested during an auto-benchmark session plus more options like system asks.
"Superposition Benchmark Software" is a benchmarking tool for OpenGL and DirectX 11 (and 12) games, but also has applications in other fields such as video encoding/decoding.
It's important to understand that Superposition doesn't always show you which card will be faster on its default settings. It can help you find out what your computer needs are by testing them from different angles.
It's an excellent program if you want to test how well various graphics cards work with your own programs. Superposition gives users access to many tools that are usually only found in professional software suites like Adobe Premier Pro or Autodesk.
3DMark is our top recommendation for GPU benchmarking. It is specially designed to measure GPU performance and it is nearly perfect for overclocking.
So, this is our favorite option. You may have different preferences and should consider your needs and budget.
Frequently Asked Question
Question: A lot of benchmarking software is available, but how do I know which one to use?
Answer: The best approach for choosing the right benchmark tool will depend on a few factors. First and foremost, it's important to identify what you're trying to measure with your benchmarks. Take a look at our blog post about different types of hardware performance metrics if this topic interests you.
Secondly, consider how much time you have before performing the tests. Benchmark tools that are less time-consuming may be better suited for those who don't want or need immediate feedback from their test cycle.
While other options might provide more detailed data in return for significant advance notice as well as an increased workload during execution. Lastly, understand your desired audience for the benchmarking report.
If you will be presenting your results to a large audience, it's better to choose a tool that produces professional-looking graphs and data visualizations as opposed to one with more basic output.
In conclusion, the GPU benchmarking software that we recommend is Benchmark. Benchmark includes a suite of tests for measuring graphics performance and load times while also offering a series of test profiles to help you find what best suits your needs. It's perfect for anyone who wants accurate results without having to fumble around with complicated settings.