OK. Fair enough. 3Dmark is almost the full price of a game. Considering how often it gets installed and used across several WIP PCs by build enthusiasts, overclockers and benchmark channels it seems like a fair deal. This one has the added benefit of testing conditions specific to certain games off-the-shelf medium configurations so this seems like a real value. But just to be sure let's check out the free edition from their website and not the Steam DRM version. Mild spoiler. It's not worth FREE. Much less any dollar amount.
Is this a GPU benchmark or a stress test for my sub-woofer?
So I get into the testing program. Finally. 500 megs of download and then an install wizard that seemed to be senile later and.. well I'm glad I wasn't wearing headphones. The sound track explodes at you like you owe it bitcoin and the sound effects grate harder than a liberal arts major telling you their 'lived experiences' as a daytime chef and a night time erotic dancer. While the comedy of the situation playing out during the benchmark isn't lost on me I did not find it that amusing. Not when the dubstep headache was setting in 10 seconds after starting the benchmark.
What the hell is 576p?
Catzilla's free tests a anemic at best. I know the P in 576p stands for Progressive Scan but I'm having trouble finding IEEE or ISO standards for 576p output on anything newer than a first gen iPhone. The main benchmarking profile maxes out at 720p. A standard I'm aware of and only ever use when someone is hogging the internet or my upward bandwidth cap won't let me hit 1080p for a stream. Why is a DVD standard being used for a GPU when any video adapter made after the year 2000 surpassed it? None of the games I can recall off the top of my head had a 1024x576p 60fps option. Testing for games runnable on a system at such a low resolution is a farce beyond the reward of laughter and straddles the face-palm and face-desk camps like a brokeback cowboy short on funds.
Won't you login in so we can give you the info you freely gave us?
So I sit through two tests. The 720p test and then the Fallout 4 'Can I run it?' test. I didn't expect the 720p test to go well. Between all the tabs open in my web browser and an Android VM the GPU I'm using is getting lightly slapped with 2 to 10% usage. Even at 720p I was certain there would be some stutters. There were none save for the physics test. I was hoping to see what the benchmark report made of my system's performance and see if it picked up on the fact other apps were partially utilizing the GPU. Never got a chance to find out. A Microsoft Internet Explorer window opened, un-summoned, to request that I log in. To what? This is my machine. A report screen, if served online, should have opened in my default browser and not winblows internyet exploder. The Catzilla site stared at me for refusing to sign up for all their glorious offers and promotions until I closed IE with disgust.
Why use something free that works when you can buy this dumpster fire?
Benchmark hounds know the best testing tools are the games themselves. Just search YouTube for any one who does benchmarking videos. They rarely depend on benchmark tools and they use paid (or donation based) versions of tools available for free like Unigen, 3Dmark and FurMark to help in comparisons. Why? Because not everyone likes/owns/can afford the games they use to test with. So here's common ground. A free version of X-Mark tool will give you a score you can use to see how much better your rig is or could be. System builders also buy their tools. It makes life tons easier and there's no reason to not support the developer. Avid overclockers also buy their tools as they want guarantee of accurate results and can legitimately raise concerns if they are a paying customer of said tool.
Don't buy Catzilla. Not until they fix this shady "login for results" and "you can only test up to 576p" bullshit. If you did buy it then get a refund.