Machine Performance Testing

See Craigk for the real deal. Comments can be left either here or on the original article

Some years ago Jonners put together a blog post showing some basic machine benchmarking scores using CrystalMark 2004. Being the competitive/curious fellows we all are, over a little while various friends and colleagues submitted their own scores to this post and it became a light-hearted competition (no-one actually put their machines together for this purpose, we are not that sad, but it did serve as an interesting way to compare them).

Since then over the years the tool has become less and less able to run fully, giving us no choice but to mostly let those scores stand as they are. With that in mind and given I just purchased a new Windows laptop (Dell XPS13 with 8th gen i7) we were looking for ways to compare machines again. In all those years we have always used http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php as one of the best ways to compare CPU’s and GPU’s. While it isn’t perfect, it is very comprehensive in the variety of units you can compare. So when we were looking for a tool to do some system benchmarking Passmark (their tool) was an obvious choice. So far those who have joined in this game have their scores in the table below. (Thomas also did a separate post with my initial score included)

Name System CPU GPU RAM HDD / SSD Total
Model Score Model 2D 3D
Craig Custom Desktop i7-3770K 8833 GTX 670 613 2389 12063 4603
Craig Custom Desktop (clean run) i7-3770K 9990 GTX 670 755 5548 2636 13053 4989
Craig XPS 13 i7-8550U 8821 Intel 620 771 1232 2443 13178 3865
Shaun Custom Desktop i7-3770K 9755 GTX 970 706 9626 2774 4299 4589
Shaun Custom Desktop (clean run) i7-3770K 9679 GTX 970 744 9414 2821 4423 4705
Shaun HP Compaq Mini 311C Atom N270 292 Nvidia Ion 88 134 262 1736 283
Thomas Custom Desktop Q6600 2837 GTX 950 340 3349 629 2371 1619
Thomas Custom Desktop (clean run) Q6600 3154 GTX 950 354 4106 784 2129 1791
Thomas Frankentop (Thinkpad R50P) Pentium M 755 253 ATi Mobility FireGL T2 186 47 281 692 219
Rick Custom Desktop Ryzen 1700X 14681 RX 480 776 8637 1862 4096 4654
Nik Custom Desktop i7-4760k 11251 GTX 1060 971 6238 2706 2873 4852
Jonners Custom Desktop i5-750 3708 GTX 1060 511 7436 1069 1472 2185
Jonners Custom Desktop (v2) Ryzen 5 1600 12527 GTX 1060 616 9651 1764 5187 4200
Andy Custom Desktop i7-8700K 16417 GTX 1080TI 917 14886 3511 5167 6239
Dave Custom Desktop QX6850 2389 GTX 285 311 1219 748 1475 1406
Dave Acer Aspire 8930G X9100 2276 GeForce 9600M 376 185 870 2294 1001
Nelson Custom Desktop i7-6700K 11551 Intel HD 530 733 1311 3022 15642 4252

Some of them are there to serve as a reminder how far things have come with no expectation of a high score, some of them show how actually even 5 year plus old CPU’s such as mine and Shaun’s are still more than capable today (both scores are without the over-clocking the k edition is more than able to take).

While as I write this I am top of the table, my PCIE M.2 SSD is a major reason for that and if others were to do something similar my score would be left behind by a number of them. I did however due to the age of my hardware have to go through the pain of adding a new module into my BIOS in order to get that drive to boot, so it was not an upgrade for most without a whole new motherboard/architecture.

For me the most interesting take home was that my new laptop is actually at a level of performance that I consider to be fairly close to comparable to my desktop. While clearly my desktop is getting on a bit in computing years, it is still very able. It just serves to demonstrate that laptops really have not stood still, especially in this most recent round of upgrades from Intel. It is now within sane reach to have desktop performance (minus graphics, although that is an option for larger laptops) in a very portable package.

Other benchmarks welcome, these were all done with version 9 of the trial.

And for the doubters of my scores, see below:

EDIT @ 05/01/2018: Added Jonners v2, Andy desktop, Dave Desktop, Dave Laptop

I have been knocked off my top spot thanks to my brother Andy. His build is an example of what happens when you throw down a huge pile of cash and see what happens. For me the CPU is very impressive, but for my money Ryzen is much better value, as shown by Jonners v2 and Rick.

Voting Conflict

See Craigk for the real deal. Comments can be left either here or on the original article

I retain that each time voting comes around my biggest challenge is having to decide who I distrust the least instead of the other way around. This has never been more true than it is now.

Brexit looms large over politics at the moment and it has left me with further contempt for our political system. That said, I still believe that voting is a civic duty which I should perform every time, for every time I chose not to vote, others will and I would rather make an active choice than idly watch other choose for me. Unfortunately this still leaves me having to make a choice and my current trust level is giving me a real headache here.

Theresa May has called a snap election having already triggered Article 50. So one way or another we will leave the EU. So far despite campaigning for Remain she seems to be steering a very hard right course in my view.That is simply not something I can vote for. I am and will continue to be an advocate for the EU and I would rather see the closest possible ties with the EU. This hard right turn is not something I can in any way support.

OK, so that’s easy right, I just don’t vote for her… well, maybe. You see, there is a strong possibility that she is being forced into a hard right thanks to her slender majority in the Commons. Her opposition is coming in the form of the Lib Dems, the SNP and a rudderless Labour not to mention her own MP’s who were Remain focused. With all this opposition her majority starts to look wafer thin. It is highly plausible that she has little choice but to appeal to the right of the party if she wants to get anything done.

It could well be that she has called this snap election at a time when opinion polls show her well in the lead. She could come away with a strong majority leaving her less at the behest of her hard right party members and she could steer a more centre ground course.

A more centre ground thing in my opinion would be a good thing. After all, when we had our referendum it’s not like the vote leave campaign won 90% of the vote, but that is what it feels like with the hard Brexit we are being offered. It might be that the hard Brexit deal on the table at the second is all negotiating fluff and bluster, but who can tell. The reality of the situation is we need the have the most amicable deal we can with Europe. Playing hard-ball with them only stands to damage us more than them.

The other by-product of a crushing Labour defeat would be to leave Jeremy Corbyn with no choice but to stand down. His political gamble would be shown to not be paying off and that would leave his position more obviously untenable than it is now. With him out of the picture the Labour party could make a break for the centre ground again and hopefully regain some seats next time around. Or if not seats, at least some of the requisite credibility that half decent opposition needs to actually oppose anything.

Of course, if my gamble on what Theresa May actually wants to do with a large majority is wrong then the last thing I want to do is vote for her. Anyone who isn’t basically a UKip voter should want to push back hard against the self flagellation version of Brexit she seems to be offering at the moment. If she really did want this mess then I would encourage the centre and left grounds in our political landscape to join forces and block her from getting anything like a mandate for this mess.

That said, unless there is a anything but a miracle we would just end up with Theresa May as PM with the self same slender majority she has now and again, a hard Brexit. If that left/centre miracle does happen however we will be left with Corbyn as PM. A man so authoritative his own party won’t follow him. And rightly so, his views on Europe seem to be about as laissez faire as they come.

So for me all of this boils down to what I think Theresa May really wants to do with her time in office. Do I think she wants to move away from the hard right views she is currently steering towards? Her views pre Brexit suggest she isn’t 100% behind her own party line at the moment. Do I think she will do a better job than most around her and dealing with this mess and actually she deep down is fighting for the strongest union that I would like to see? Or do I think this really is what she has settled on, WTO rules and a no compromise deal with us out at all costs?

As things stand the only option I have is to vote and take a chance. Who knows which chance I will end up taking though.