The Best CPU Benchmarking Software For 2021

In the ever-changing world of CPUs, you definitely need to benchmark and test them. Here's a guide to the best CPU benchmarking software available.

When most people hear about computer benchmarks and benchmarking software, the first thing they think about is overclocking. And, I understand why they make that connection as a lot of PC enthusiasts overclock their GPUs, CPUs and RAM.

However, benchmarking software is not used for that purpose only. In fact, such software should be used more often to ensure that a computer is performing as well as it should.

Of course, you don’t have to test your computer every other day, but giving it a few benchmarks to compare results with other systems similar to yours will give you an insight into your hardware’s capabilities.

Whatever your purpose is, you’ll need good CPU benchmarking software. To help you with that we’ve made this article of the best and most popular benchmarking software used in [seo_year].

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Table of ContentsShow

Cinebench

Cinebench

The Pros:

  • Free
  • Quick benchmarks
  • Large benchmark database (great for comparison)

The Cons:

  • CPU-only benchmarks

Cinebenchis a real-world test software that can determine the capabilities of one system. However, because its tests are basically rendering tasks, what you will be really testing is your CPU’s power.

There are some people who believe that Cinebench cannot relate to real-world performance, but most enthusiasts of the PC community beg to differ. The scores do translate well to a CPU’s “real” performance.

Not only that but Cinebench is very popular which is always a huge plus. Why? Well, since it is so heavily used by people around the world with different systems/setups, a large database is built allowing users to easily compare their rigs with others.

That’s not all!

We also have to consider the fact that this software is completely free, unlike some of the other options available. That’s not something to scoff at.

And, the benchmarks themselves are overall pretty quick, so if you want to run several tests to get an average, you’ll be able to do that in less than half an hour. Having to wait hours for a few benchmarks can be excruciatingly boring and annoying.

3DMark

3DMark

The Pros:

  • Number of benchmarks to choose from
  • A large database of tests

The Cons:

  • $30 price tag
  • Certain benchmarks locked behind more costs

Another very popular benchmarking tool for both CPUs and GPUs is 3DMark. This software has been around since 1998. That is decades of testing, so you can imagine their database of users and different systems available for comparison.

However, unlike Cinebench, 3DMark is not free, and it is pretty costly. A $30 price tag. It is not a whole lot since it is a one-time purchase, but we imagine that people that just want to do a couple of tests a year.

If your CPU benchmarking is going to be a one-time thing, we recommend looking at other tools.

Those that plan to do extensive testing because of CPU overclocking then 3DMark might be a good option.

Keep in mind, there are multiple tools you could purchase that provide different types of benchmarks. We recommend going for the 3DMark program as it holds the most popular benchmarks.

Some of the benchmarks you should try include: Time Spy (DirectX 12 benchmark to put any GPU a run for its money, Time Spy Extreme (the same test at 4K), Fire Strike (DirectX 11 benchmark and a few more.

For CPU testing, it’s best to use Fire Strike as it won’t stress the GPU much while it will push the CPU to its maximum.

Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5

The Pros:

  • Fair price
  • Useful browser to search for already existing results

The Cons:

  • Not as popular

Geekbench is­ a solid pick since it is cross-platform. Doesn’t matter whether you are running Linux, macOS, or Windows, you’ll be able to run these tests. There are even results charts for mobile chips (laptops, tablets, phones, etc.).

If you want to do some CPU testing on your desktop or laptop, Geekbench 5 provides you with a score for both single-core and multi-core performance.

The benchmark includes all kinds of testing to determine where it excels and where it is inferior. Everything from the most basic folder browsing and up to complex machine learning.

In other words, the results at the end are an accurate representation of your processor’s power.

Of course, there is also a pretty large database for comparison. Use their Browser to find your CPU and compare single-core and multi-core results.

Geekbench 5 is considerably cheaper than 3DMark with a $10 price tag. For a license available for all operating systems, it’s $15. There is a Pro version that costs $100, but that’s dedicated for commercial use, so you probably don’t need that one.

Prime95

Prime95

The Pros:

  • Best stress test to ensure CPU overclock stability
  • Good stress test to ensure thermals are normal

The Cons:

  • No database for comparison
  • Not exactly a benchmark

Unlike some of the other software in this article, Prime95 is not exactly made for benchmarking and comparing scores. Prime95 is more focused on stress testing.

Stress testing is useful for ensuring that you have enough airflow in your computer to keep your CPU’s temperatures balanced or if your overclock is stable for daily use.

It is completely free, semi-frequently updated, and available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Additionally, if you want to test your GPU too, you can ramp up the graphical settings of the benchmark to force the GPU to its max.

Monitoring Software

PC

While benchmarking a computer, it’s vital to have some kind of software monitoring the status of your components. Monitor temperatures of your GPU, CPU, RAM, and drives, keep track of the CPU’s clock speeds, power usage, and more.

Here are some of the best monitoring programs available.

HWInfo

HWInfo is widely used amongst many tech reviewers and enthusiasts as it provides accurate and real-time information on all hardware. An abundance of info for CPUs.

It is also highly customizable, allowing you to adjust exactly which value you want available or hidden.

The only downside would be that it can be difficult to operate as it is pretty complicated. Recommended only for experienced users.

HWMonitor

A simpler alternative to HWInfo. HWMonitor is more user-friendly and provides enough info on your processor’s thermals, power usage, clock speeds, and more.

Still, HWinfo is a bit more in-depth.

CPU-Z

Made by the creators of HWMonitor, an application even friendlier for users. You can acquire information on your GPU, CPU, RAM, and motherboard through CPU-Z, but you won’t have access to all monitoring sensors as some of the previous options.

Which CPU Benchmarking Software Do You Need?

Even when the options are reduced to just four, it can still be difficult to make a decision. To help you with that, let’s summarize.

For quick and easy benchmarks to test the overall performance of your CPU go with Cinebench.

For those that want to do extensive testing for CPU overclocking stability and to benchmark other components, we recommend Geekbench 5 or 3DMark. Both are good.

Finally, just for the testing of GPU or CPU overclocking stability, we recommend Prime95.

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Branko Gapo
Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is almost impossible. That's why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements related to CPUs.