We here at The Verge use benchmark utilities a lot to compare computers to each other and figure out which ones are the most powerful. But that’s not their only purpose. You may also want to run them just to see how your own PC stacks up to the competition and make sure it’s running as well as it’s supposed to.
One of the easiest utilities for beginners to run is Cinebench R23. This program uses your CPU to render a 3D image and evaluates how well it does that. It’s free and only takes 10 minutes to run.
Here’s how to do it.
How to Download Cinebench
If you’re using a Mac, search for Cinebench in the App Store. If you’re on Windows, you can find it in the Microsoft Store. Users of either platform can also download it from Maxon’s website directly.
If you’re running Windows 10 or 11, your system needs to have an Intel or AMD 64-bit CPU with SSE3 support and at least 4GB of RAM in order to run Cinebench. If you’re a Mac user, you need to be running macOS 10.13.16 or higher; you also need a 640bit CPU and at least 4GB of RAM.
Note: you may find different versions of Cinebench floating around, but as of this date, Cinebench R23 is the most recent one and the best one to use.
How to Run Cinebench
Once you’ve got the program downloaded, open it up. You’ll see two Start buttons in the top left corner. Click the one next to CPU (Multi Core) to test your system’s multi-core capabilities and CPU (Single Core) to test its single-core capabilities. Both of these tests will take around 10 minutes.
You can also run the tests for as long as 30 minutes if you want to see whether your system can keep up its performance over a longer period of time. To set that up, go to File > Advanced Benchmark. A drop-down menu will pop up on the left side labeled Minimum Test Duration. From that menu, select 30 Minutes. Then start whichever test you want.
For the most accurate score, make sure there are no other programs or background processes running while Cinebench is going and that your device is plugged in. Any settings your computer might have (power profiles, fan settings, etc.) should be maxed out.
How to See Your Cinebench Score
Once your device has completed the test (this can take some time, so be patient), a score will pop up next to the start button you pressed earlier. In the bottom-left corner, Cinebench will show you how your processor stacks up against a list of similar chips.
Remember, Cinebench is just one test and one datapoint. The fact that your computer receives a worse Cinebench score than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a worse or weaker computer. All kinds of factors influence the performance that you, the user, might see from a computer, and raw CPU power is just one of them.
Still, Cinebench is one free and easy way to check how your PC is doing and see if there are any performance issues you might need to address.