WorldBench 5: Frequently Asked Questions

What is WorldBench? WorldBench is an applications-based benchmark that automatically installs a series of programs on your computer and then runs various tests to see how those apps perform on your system. The individual times for each test are used to create a composite score that indicates your system's overall performance relative to other systems that have also run WorldBench.

Who should purchase WorldBench? Anyone who tests Windows-based PCs should purchase WorldBench. Previous versions of WorldBench were distributed only to IDG publications and to system vendors covered in our magazine. By popular demand we decided to make WorldBench available for public purchase. Note: This is not quick utility, but an industrial-strength benchmark.

What operating systems does WorldBench support? WorldBench runs on all Windows XP-based operating systems: Windows XP Pro, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, and Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Is WorldBench complicated to run? WorldBench is very simple to run. A few button clicks are all that is begin testing. After that WorldBench is fully automated and will generally complete all testing without any user intervention.

Are there any settings that I need do prior to running WorldBench? Unlike most other application-based benchmarks, WorldBench includes a separate utility that begins running automatically when you start WorldBench. It will perform most of the settings needed to ensure fair and accurate testing of your system. The WorldBench Help documentation describes this is great detail.

Should I back up my system before using WorldBench? WorldBench will attempt to restore your system and remove the test application once testing is completed, but we recommend that you back up the system before testing. This is always a good policy when running benchmarks.

What makes WorldBench better than other benchmarks? PC World has been benchmarking systems for 9 years with WorldBench. We have refined and updated this benchmark over the years. WorldBench is created in-house and is an unbiased, proven, industry-standard benchmark. As an application-based benchmark, it provides real-world results rather than a synthetic score.

What type of tests does WorldBench include? WorldBench includes a very wide variety of tests. Examples include: Excel spreadsheet operations; Access database operations; ISO image creation, VCD and DVD image creation; WMA, WMV, and MP3 encoding; ZIP file compression; GIF and TIFF encoding; and DirectX and OpenGL fly-throughs and animations. For a more complete test list, see the WorldBench Help documentation.

What applications does WorldBench use to test systems? WorldBench uses 15 real applications in 13 test scenarios. WorldBench temporarily installs the following applications:

  • ACD Systems ACDSee PowerPack 5.0
  • Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1
  • Adobe Premiere 6.5
  • Ahead Software Nero Express
  • Discreet 3ds max 5.1 (DirectX)
  • Discreet 3ds max 5.1 (OpenGL)
  • Microsoft Office XP with SP-2
  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9.0
  • Mozilla 1.4
  • Musicmatch Jukebox 7.10
  • Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator 1.5
  • WinZip Computing WinZip 8.1

WorldBench deletes the applications as soon as testing is completed. These applications cannot be extracted from the benchmark and contain limited functionality. If you would like information on how the applications are weighted or how the composite score is calculated, see the WorldBench Help documentation.

Who can I contact for technical support or more information? The PC World Test Center does extremely rigorous testing of our benchmarks before releasing them so you are not likely to need very much assistance. If you have technical questions or comments, please send them to us at If you want general information, please e-mail us at

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