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Computer Speed Assessment App

Does a computer feel "fast" or "slow" to the user? I'm looking for a simple app that provides one or two succinct computer "scores" that are reasonable indicators of how fast (or slow) a computer feels to the user. Ideally, I'd like a tool that provides a score when the computer is running "lean" and a when a computer is "taxed" (multiple apps are running, virus scan is running, backup is running...)

I've fiddled some with Windows Performance Information and Tools. The tool provides a reasonable summary of the hardware performance, but I'm looking for a tool that's a better indicator of the user's experience. (A computer with some kick-ass hardware can be overwhelmed with services and startup items and still feel slow to the user.)

If someone has a listing of perfmon.msc (Performance Monitor) counters that, when looked at as a whole, provide an indicator of the computer's performance, I suppose I'm interested. I don't, however, want to spend half-an-hour looking at perfmon.msc counter results. I want a tool that allows me to make a quick assessment.
2 Solutions
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
You are talking subjective testing vs objective testing. WINSAT (part of Vista and above) is just one of many benchmarking tools available on the market.. Opening / closing of files, program load time, responsiveness (how long between a key press and the action being displayed to the user), smooth mouse movement, etc.. all are hard to measure.  I have a modern cpu (i7-2600K) so I'm very rarely cpu bound, lots of ram 16G, and most often disk i/o bound (if the disk queue is > 10 then I notice slow downs).. This is a General Purpose Computer and since I don't do gaming or other graphics intensive processing I didn't invest in a discrete video card.  A gamer would be appalled by my refresh rates (30-40fps) for them cpu speed is not as important as the graphic capabilities (they would want at least 60fps and possibly even 120fps in high detail/texturing/shading).  For these people for 1 1080p monitor a graphic card in the $250 range is normally sufficient.  

A winsat rating >5 in all areas except 3d gaming is sufficient for most people.
you can check if your pc is listed here, and compare :  http://www.passmark.com/baselines/index.php

here how to do it for free :  http://www.pcworld.com/article/258473/how_to_benchmark_your_pc_for_free.html

the 5 best programs :  http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-free-benchmark-programs/
If you'd ask me, I will go with 3d mark vantage or PC mark vantage.

jdanaAuthor Commented:
WinSAT - Awesome, I've started to experiment with it. Looks like a powerful tool.
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