Pros and Cons of Benchmarking Tools: Are They Reliable?

Pros and Cons of Software Benchmarking Tools: Are They Reliable?

Software benchmarking tools such as GeekBench and AnTuTu have been used and referenced by tech reviewers and end-use consumers to measure the performance of smartphones and other consumer electronic devices such as desktop or laptop computers and tablets.

A particular software used to perform a benchmark mimics a specific type of workload on a device or computer system. It can measure the performance of a CPU, the GPU, and other hardware components such as the read-and-write speed of a storage medium, among others.

The scores produced by a particular software benchmarking tool can be indicative of the performance or capabilities of the device in comparison with other devices within the same product category. But this is not indicative of real-world performance.

Pros of Benchmarks: Advantages of Software Benchmarking Tools

The primary advantage of using software benchmarking tools or the benefits of benchmarks center on providing end-use consumers and even tech reviewers an idea about the capabilities of a particular smartphone or other consumer electronic devices. These tools can also compare the performance of a specific device against other devices.

Below are the specific advantages and benefits:

• Automates Product Testing and Review: One of the more specific advantages of using benchmarking tools such as GeekBench and AnTuTu is that it automates the testing and evaluation of a particular consumer electronic device. There is no need to spend a couple of hours testing a particular device or running different apps and subject it to different use cases and even stress tests.

• Produce Measurable or Quantifiable Results: It is also important to highlight the fact that these tools produce measurable or quantifiable results in the form of so-called benchmark scores. Benchmark tests can be considered more objective and the scores are more accurate than manual reviews.

• Comparison of Performance and Capabilities: One of the salient features of most benchmarking tools is that they provide a list and ranking of devices under the same category. The ranking is populated based on the benchmark scores of tested devices. This provides an easily-referenceable list for comparison.

• Availability of Different Tests and Applications: Another advantage of software benchmarking is that a particular tool can test a smartphone or other device using different performance criteria. For example, both AnTuTu and GeekBench test devices for single-threat and multiple-threat processes. 3DMark and GFXBench test devices based on their graphics processing capabilities.

• Free and Readily Downloadable Online: Note that these tools are also free. There are different apps or software available for a particular product category. For example, tools for Android smartphones and iPhones are available for download via the Google Play and App Store. These apps are free. They are also easy to use.

Cons of Benchmarks: Disadvantages of Software Benchmarking Tools

It is true that the pros of benchmarks or using benchmarking tools to test smartphones and other consumer electronic devices center on objective performance measurement. However, it is also true that these tools are far from perfect. The benchmark scores should not be taken as an absolute measurement of the performance and capabilities of a specific device.

Below are the specific disadvantages and limitations:

• Does Not Reflect Real-World Performance: One of the primary disadvantages of using benchmarking tools to measure the performance of a smartphone or other devices is that they do not account for real-world performance. The benchmark scores of a particular device might be high but they can still be outperformed by other devices in actual use cases or when performing a particular function.

• Need To Consider Other Performance Factors: Remember that the results of benchmark tests provide a quantifiable evaluation of the performance and capabilities of a smartphone. However, it is also important to consider other factors that can affect hardware performance. These include heat management, available memory, and available storage capacity, among others.

• Does Not Measure Other Device Capabilities: These tools also measure performance based on processing capabilities, read-and-write speeds, and battery capacity, among others. However, devices such as smartphones and tablets have other features or functionalities and capabilities that cannot be measured by benchmark apps.

• Problems in Benchmarking Android Devices: Another problem with benchmarking Android smartphones and tablets is that a lot of apps do not run natively. Remember that the Android operating system is inefficient than iOS and iPadOS because it uses virtualization to make apps run on different processors.

• May Misrepresents Actual Capabilities: because of the aforesaid problems and issues, another disadvantage of using benchmarking tools to measure the performance of consumer electronic devices is misrepresentation. These tools and the benchmark scores they produce are not reliable because of different factors that affect the real-world performance of tested devices.

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