Benchmarking and test the performance of a PC to determine if it is more suitable to upgrade components or purchase a replacement. This was chosen as a means to familiarize myself with Windows OS and third party software features.
The information regarding the performance statistics was taken from a test taken in situ on the computer used to produce the report. The criteria for the test was chosen as it was felt that it would give a more accurate picture of how the computer performed under a range of “typical” tasks. These tests were conducted using Treesize to analyze disk space on the PC and the resultant raw data compiled in Excel Spreadsheets. Excel Formulae was chosen to calculate the figures from both tests and, Line Graphs/Pie Charts were chosen as the most effective means to present the findings from both tests.
MS Word was used to compile all the data from the report as currently it is the most efficient and easily obtainable word processing software available.
The tests were organized into a series of tasks that focused on different areas of the testing process.
- Task A provided a more general overview and a test plan.
- Task B was to run a disk space scan using TreeSize that would show where any system bottlenecks were occurring and provide the raw data for the comparison to be made in the next task.
- Task C compared the data to ascertain the best course of action to take to improve the computer’s performance. Based on the deficiencies found in Task B various components were chosen that would make a demonstrable improvement in computer performance. This was offset by the cost of simply replacing the PC with a more modern unit. Both options also had to include a time scale for the work to be undertaken as well as labour costs.
I was impressed with the options available through TreeSize as well as how quick the Benchmark test took to reach completion. I also made use of Diigo to highlight many important web pages used in obtaining data and figures for my report. I also made use of The Crucial website for calculating what ram was suitable for the pc being tested. I also made extensive use of Google to obtain the best prices for new components and a potential replacement system.
The network was unstable on a few occasions and this did result in some lost work and time to re input data on to the Word Doc. Although this did not have a major impact on the completion of the final report it was a factor which caused delays through having to repeat work.
I used my own knowledge as a starting point and then compared the before and after data from the TreeSize data. Test results were as expected with bottlenecks all appearing in areas that are commonly found on older systems
Line Graphs were used to compare CPU and Ram performance as they clearly display performance averages and increase/decreases. In order to make the data more clearly understandable I did have to increase the maximum Axis to 100. The default setting did suggest that the computer was under performing in some tests.
Pie Charts were also used to display test results as they are an efficient way to display percentages. They also allow the viewer to gain a broader view of where disk space was in need of streamlining. I updated the data Series of the pie charts to reflect percentages as this further aided observation and understanding of the data .
Ram usage was very consistent throughout all tests, there were no major peaks or troughs. In comparison the CPU benchmark could vary from very low to very high depending on the task it was asked to perform.
Access to more varied testing software and/or the time to use more than one example to do the benchmark test would have been beneficial as the test only relied on one source of software for the data and this may have been inaccurate.