Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strictly speaking a computer doesn't have any speed at all, as you measure speed in meters per second, and a desktop computer tends to be rather stationary. But of course you can measure the speed of a computer in many other ways, by setting him a task and timing how long he takes for that. There are units of measurement like megaFLOPS, but such units are more useful for scientific calculation speed than for the speed of a gaming PC.

Thus when I ordered a new computer, I invested some money in 3DMark, which is now available on Steam, which makes it a lot more user-friendly to install and handle. The result was that on my old computer the DirectX 11 Fire Strike benchmark had a score of just under 4,000. Today I received my new computer, and ran 3DMark again for comparison: 7,500 in the Fire Strike benchmark. Which means that my new computer is nearly twice as fast as the old one if it is graphics speed that concerns you most.

I have a sneaking suspicion that what will make more of a difference is that I have now a much larger SSD drive. On the previous computer I had 256 GB SSD, which was enough to have Windows and some favored applications run from that drive. But I couldn't put my whole Steam library on that, so some games I ran from the slower, regular hard drive. On the new computer the SSD is twice as big, with 512 GB. Which means that I can install most of my games on the SSD drive. And that should cut down loading screen times a lot. And ultimately a few seconds saved on each loading screen feels a lot faster than a higher framerate.

My last upgrade was about 3 years ago, and switching to an SSD for the OS and web browser made a huge impact on normal daily use. Cold booting in 10 seconds and nearly instant web access blew me away. My next build will have all executables on SSD for sure.
Interesting, I think based on this I'm going to make sure my next rig has a decent SSD onboard. I'm due for an current PC is about three years old now. Still performs well overall, but when a game is available on both PC and PS4 right now I'm going for the PS4 version for the general performance improvement.
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