A A health score/percentile based on relative component performance (50% is normal).
A component achieves a status of 75% when it's faster than 75 out of 100 results for the same component. When a component scores less than 50% it is underperforming. PC status is the average status of all the components in a system.

CPUCauses of poor CPU status

  • Overheating: For PCs check that the CPU fan is spinning and the cooler is firmly attached to the CPU. For laptops, remove dust near air vents with a vacuum.
  • Reduced battery power can put CPUs into a lowered performance state.
  • Windows power management settings can limit the maximum processor state to less than 100%.
  • Motherboard safe mode switches can limit the maximum clock.
  • Running stock clocks on an unlocked (K, Black) CPU - many users will have overclocked.
  • High background CPU utilization - identify and terminate any offending applications. (Open Task Manager's details tab, sort by CPU, close/kill processes using high CPU)

HDDCauses of poor Drive status

  • Rotational disks are fastest when data is located towards the outside of a platter. Use an empty first partition for optimal throughput.
  • Proprietary drivers (e.g. Intel RST or Samsung NVME) often offer better performance than windows stock drivers.
  • USB 3.0 drives on USB 2.0 ports limit peak speed to 35 MB/s.
  • SATA 3 drives on SATA 2 ports limit peak speed to 285 MB/s.
  • SATA 3 drives on non-Intel (e.g. ASMedia) ports sometimes limit peak speeds.
  • High background I/O - identify and terminate the offending programs.
  • RAM caching is enabled either via software (e.g. Samsung RAPID), RAID controller, driver error, device malfunction or via windows write cache buffer settings. Drives with these settings expose the system to data loss in the event of a power outage as they rely on temporary RAM rather than persistent storage. These results are disqualified.

GPUCauses of poor GPU status

  • NVIDIA Optimus/AMD switchable graphics drivers can switch to an IGP (low power integrated graphics e.g. Intel HD) rather than using the discrete "M" card. (How to switch to the discrete GPU)
  • High background CPU utilization can throttle a GPU.
  • SLI/CrossFire configurations are not supported. Where possible we run the bench with just one GPU enabled. If we fail to disable one of the GPUs, the results are not comparable, so we are forced to disqualify them.
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC can cap benchmark fps/score to the monitor's refresh rate. (Disable G-SYNC/VSYNC or any other frame capping technologies during the benchmark)
  • Frame capturing software can prevent the GPU benchmark from completing successfully. Disable them during the benchmark.

RAMCauses of poor RAM status

  • Performance RAM requires manual XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) activation in the BIOS.
  • A CPU can limit memory bandwidth, this often impacts AMD CPUs.
  • Reduced multi-core CPU performance will prevent full utilization of RAM bandwidth. (Check the CPU first)
  • When RAM sticks are plugged into the wrong slots they may operate in single channel mode rather than dual channel mode. (Usually alternate slots should be populated - check your Motherboard's manual)

Need PC help?

If you need assistance diagnosing a particular problem it's worth posting a request on the Toms hardware or Linustechtips forums, they both have knowledgeable and helpful communities.

The Best.
CPUGPUSSD
Intel Core i7-8700K $320Nvidia GTX 1070 $413Samsung 850 Evo 250GB $100
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 $150Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB $289Samsung 850 Evo 500GB $120
Intel Core i7-7700K $300AMD RX 480 $280Samsung 850 Pro 256GB $160
HDDRAMUSB
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Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $80G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 3200 C14 4x16GB $945SanDisk Extreme 32GB $46
Seagate Barracuda 2TB (2016) $55HyperX Fury DDR4 2133 C14 2x8GB $219SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB $12
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