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Official Recommendations

Now that we have dealt with all the formalities, we cannot wait to get down to actual testing. However, in order to get accurate and repeatable benchmark results, you should follow the requirements and recommendations below:

  • Restart the computer before running the benchmark.
  • Exit all other programs.
  • Under the Windows operating system, other tasks can preemptively run during the tests, thus affecting the results. You will want to eliminate as many of these types of tasks as possible, such as automatic updates in operating systems, e-mail clients or other tasks from your Startup folder.
  • Disable all file sharing and possibly also all network connections. Background network activity may affect results, too. Save your results in the default format (.pcr) and restart your system with network connection after the benchmark completes. Run PCMark Vantage and submit your saved results by clicking the 'Submit Saved Result' item in the right click menu (open the right click menu by right clicking the PCMark Vantage main window).
  • Follow a standard testing procedure each time you run the tests. Run the tests at least three times to verify that the results are reproducible.
  • Before running the HDD tests, the target drive should be first defragmented.

Additional Recommendations:

  • We recommend that you test on a "clean" system only. You should use a program like "Norton Ghost" ( to restore a clean system for every test case.
  • We recommend that you disable the System Restore feature in Windows Vista. For more information, please see Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q267951.
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