UL adds battery, Office benchmarks to PCMark 10

February 26, 2019 | 10:59

Tags: #applications-benchmark #battery-benchmark #benchmark #benchmarking #microsoft-office #office #pcmark #pcmark-10 #productivity-suite

Companies: #ul-corporation

UL Corporation has announced it is adding two new benchmark tests to its PCMark 10 bundle: a battery life benchmark aimed at laptops and an application benchmark based on the Microsoft Office productivity suite.

Designed to replicate, as closely as possible, real-world usage patterns, PCMark is the more serious sibling to the 3DMark gaming-focused benchmark suite. It's also a package which has won considerable industry support: Prior to UL Corporation's acquisition of developer Futuremark, PCMark was chosen by the European Commission as a mandatory benchmark for IT tenders.

There's always room for improvement, though, and UL Corporation has announced it is adding two more real-world tests to the bundle, starting with a battery life benchmark. The benchmark will, the company has confirmed, be based around four key scenarios: Office work, video playback, gaming, and idle time, in contrast to traditional benchmarks which select only a single workload to measure.

'Battery life is one of the most important criteria for choosing a laptop, but consumers and businesses alike find it hard to compare systems fairly,' the company claims in support of its approach. 'The challenge, of course, is that battery life depends on how the device is used. Unfortunately, manufacturers' claims are often based on unrealistic scenarios that don't reflect typical use. Figures for practical, day-to-day battery life, which are usually much lower, are rarely available.'

The PCMark 10 package is also to get a new applications benchmark, which swaps out synthetic testing for real-world measurements based on the Microsoft Office productivity suite. Running its tests directly in World, Excel, and PowerPoint, along with browsing tests in Microsoft's latest Edge browser, the suitably-named Applications benchmark is claimed to offer measurement of 'practical, real-world performance and battery life for the modern office'.

Interestingly, the applications test will be cross-platform between traditional x86 systems and those based on the Windows 10 on Arm platform, with UL claiming scores between the two will be directly comparable.

The battery benchmark is to launch in late March, UL has confirmed, with the applications benchmark to land in the first half of this year.

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