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The free benchmark software NovaBench is a simple tool, but it offers all essential benchmark tests. Benchmark tools that are not free usually have more sophisticated benchmarking functions with nice graphical outputs. NovaBench's result page is rather simple, giving you just the plain numbers of the benchmark tests. However, if you just want to know how fast the components in a PC are, this is all you need.
NovaBench tests the RAM speed in MB/s, tests the CPU speed (floating point, integer, MD5 hash generation), tests graphics performance by measuring the 3D frames rate, and tests write speed of the hard disk.
NovaBench calculates a proprietary score that allows you to compare the performance of different PCs. If you register at the NovaBench website, you can store your results online.
Unfortunately, NovaBench has to be installed. A benchmark software tool is much more useful if it is portable. I copied the programs folder to another computer to see if NovaBench would work without installation, but the benchmark stopped when the RAM test was running. I guess a DLL was missing in the installation folder.
I tested NovaBench 3.0.3 on Windows 7.