PCMark provides you with a powerful benchmarking utility that can be used to test the overall performance of a computer system, as well as the capabilities of different hardware components.
What makes it stand out from other similar performance testing applications is its simulated scenarios, which comprise groups of applications one would use at home or at work. Since it can assess the computer behavior in situations as close as possible to typical daily use, it's safe to say that its reliability is undoubtful.
The program's interface displays all the available tests in separate sections. The 'PCMark 10' test is designed for computers used in private environments like modern-day offices, simulating workloads associated with routine tasks.
It's well worth pointing out that this test includes three sub-tests, namely Essentials (covers typical user behavior), Productivity (which measures system performance and office-related workloads with spreadsheet and writing-related activities in mind) and Digital Content Creation test which, as its name implies, test workloads such as Internet browsing, text and photo editing, video chatting, basically almost all digital media content-related tasks.
Opt for the paid versions, and you also get access to the other two tests (PCMark 10 Express and PCMark 10 Extended), and you're also offered the possibility of running custom tests, in-depth hardware monitoring graphs and side-by-side result comparison. In addition, all your offline results are automatically saved.
The PCMark 10 Express may prove to be a far better option for dynamic work environments, as it's a less demanding test than the main PCMark 10 benchmark test described above, mainly because it's comprised only out of the Essentials and Productivity sub-tests. As expected, the PCMark 10 Extended test is the most demanding and the most comprehensive of the lot with a wider range of activities.
Not only does it bundle all the three sub-tests like the PCMark 10 (Essentials, Productivity, and Digitial Content Creation), but it also adds a so-called Gaming sub-test. This last subtest aims to provide you with an accurate real-life score of your computer's graphics and physics performance. Hence, it includes two graphics tests for GPU performance, a physics test for CPU performance, and a combined GPU-CPU test.
By comparing the obtained scores, PCMark can reveal real-world performance differences between multiple hardware configurations. Its wide range of tests can measure multiple areas of system performance, with various workloads.
The range of available tests makes PCMark suitable for any type of desktop PC, tablet or laptop, be it a home or a work computer. It is a powerful benchmarking tool, ready to provide information regarding system performance, stability and overclocking capacity.