Quickly find out “how fast” a CPU or GPU is

You can easily spend dozens of hours researching performance on CPUs and GPUs.

But what if you don’t have dozens of hours? What if before you spend that much, you just want a general idea? Something to start from, so you can decide whether it’s even worth looking at an upgrade in the current market, like: “will doubling my GPU performance cost around $50 or around $500?” for example. How do we quickly find out roughly how fast a particular CPU or GPU is?

Here are 3 sites using 3 different methods that can quickly give you a general idea of performance. Mad props to the r/buildapc community for recommending some of these.

Tom’s hierarchy charts

Included at the end of Tom’s “best value” articles for GPUs and CPUs published every month or two. Ranks parts by performance:

CPU hierarchy – July 2011 (check here for newer, if you’re reading this later)

GPU hierarchy – July 2011 (newer)

Pros

  • Quickly see if a C/GPU is faster than another
  • Based on a large number of benchmarks by a reputable team
  • Based on gaming performance (which is what most people want the performance for)

Cons

  • Can’t see how much faster it is (say GPU A is 2 tiers above GPU B – does that mean it’s 5% faster? 500% faster?)
  • The CPU charts only show somewhat recent CPUs (so I can’t see how my current machine compares unless I upgrade every few years – in which case I know a lot about recent hardware and probably don’t really need these charts).

AnandTech Bench

Also includes a nice price-performance graph, useful for those who live in the US and therefore can buy from NewEgg.

CPU benchmark results

GPU benchmark results

Pros

  • Gives and actual number (so you can see how much faster one C/GPU is over another)
  • Based on a large number of benchmarks by a reputable team
  • Can also select two C/GPUs and compare them in detail over dozens of benchmark tests

Cons

  • Can’t compare older hardware (such as your current PC, unless you upgrade frequently)

Passmark Lists

More comprehensive, but less accurate lists:

CPU list

GPU list

Pros

  • Gives and actual number (so you can see how much faster one C/GPU is over another)
  • Includes a large number of both desktop, notebook and server CPUs and GPUs, including very old ones for comparison
Cons
  • Benchmark is misleading in some ways: a quad core CPU is twice as fast as the identical dual core CPU (in real life applications, only very multithreaded apps will even approach that kind of speed gain)

Harry Potter and Christianity

A very small (but very vocal!) minority of Christians view J.K Rowling’s series as a gateway to the occult for young people (“look how popular it is! Anything today’s kids like must be evil!”).

A much larger group of Christians view it as harmless fun (many have actually read the books, and I imagine the others simply rely on the fact that of all the millions of kids who’ve now read Harry Potter, the percentage who’ve actually started worshipping Satan as a result is zero).

But the rest of us Christians think Harry Potter is not just harmless fun. It’s extremely-beneficial-to-humanity fun.

We believe J. K. Rowling is a Godsend. Here are a couple of reasons why:

For one, the Harry Potter books are chock-full of good moral values:

  • Guess what, that terrible guy Snape wasn’t so evil after all – guess you can’t judge anyone, can you?
  • The recurring theme about “purebloods” – showing how evil prejudice and bigotry are
  • The recurring theme that our choices, not our circumstances or innate talents that determine who we are: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” and “…the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are…”
  • Harry’s Mum, and that bloke Dumbledore, actually sacrificed their lives to save others (who do we know who’s done something like that?)

… just off the top of my head. Here’s some more MissInterpretation added last time I wrote on this topic:

  • Doing what’s right instead of what’s popular is its own reward (Longbottom trying to stop Harry, Hermione, and Ron)
  • Magic doesn’t fix real-world problems (peer pressure, homework, etc) even if you’re a wizard
  • Adults are there to help you in situations too big to handle (in the beginning, Harry & friends did not trust the teachers enough to bring their problems to them; by the end, Harry learns that he can benefit from the guidance and council of those older and wiser)

This is no big surprise really, as Rowling identifies herself as a church-going Christian.

But the excellent morals in Harry Potter, while leaving most of popular entertainment in the dust, aren’t even the best argument in favour of Harry Potter, even strictly from a Christian perspective. That honour belongs to their ability to encourage people to read.

How many children (and adults), worldwide, now read books regularly that never would have picked one up if not for Harry Potter? 50% more? 10 times as many?

Think how much more literate the world is, as a result of this one woman. Think how much a person’s life (and the lives of those around them, and often the lives of many others only vaguely connected to them) are improved by that person’s acquiring a lifelong love of learning and knowledge from an early age.

In a world where video games are entertaining enough to entice kids to play literally all day, where enough movies and TV shows are released to take up all our waking hours many times over, young people are actually reading books.

Christ taught that if you want to know whether something is good or not, you have to look at the actual results:

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit… Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:20

That’s why Christians should be the last people on Earth to condemn these books.

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