Futuremark today announced the upcoming release of their newest benchmark, PCMark 8. This benchmark is the update to none other than PCMark 7, which we use extensively in our system testing to evaluate a system’s performance based on average day to day use. PCMark is traditionally used to measure overall user experience performance using real tests simulated in ways to make the results produce the same every time.
PCMark 8 brings some interesting new developments to the PCMark benchmark that were not present in PCMark Vantage or PCMark 7. The first, is that it brings about the addition of a battery life test, this benchmark will allow users to measure performance alongside battery life. One can use the battery life test to estimate overall battery life by simply looping the test until the device is near death. While we’re not sure if it will actually log the exact battery percentage if left to run until death, we expect this to be a potential feature if not available at launch.
In addition to having battery life tests, Futuremark has added new Adobe and Microsoft application tests to the suite to make them more like what people use on an average day. While Futuremark has been fairly mum about which applications they will be using, it should be pretty obvious that there will be some photography and some video tests being used. What remains to be seen is whether or not these new tests will utilize GPU compute in their benchmarks to accurately represent what a system is capable of accomplishing in a CPU + GPU or APU environment.
Futuremark states that the benchmark will be available in late Q2, which means sometime in June, likely after Computex. Unlike their 3DMark benchmark, which is available on almost every single mobile platform that matters, PCMark 8 will only be available for Windows 8 and Windows 7 use. We would really like to see some testing capabilities beyond Windows, however, this would make the Microsoft and Adobe benchmarks virtually pointless as both would require a Windows framework.