Primate Labs, the company behind the popular multi-platform benchmarking tool Geekbench, released a major update to the software late Thursday. Version 3.0, a paid update, introduces dozens of new and revised tests, separate scores for single-core and multi-core performance, a new file format for storing results, Dropbox integration, and a completely revamped interface across all versions.
Geekbench measures processor and memory performance only, and does not consider factors such as drive speed and GPU capabilities while calculating its score. While this limits the tool’s overall effectiveness in judging a device’s true potential, it’s focus on CPU and memory has enabled it to become truly cross platform, with versions for Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS. In theory, scores between devices should be directly comparable, allowing users to perform, for example, a comparison between the computing power of an iPhone and a 12-core workstation.
However, in our very early testing, we noticed that reported scores changed a bit between Geekbench versions 2 and 3. Our MacBook Pro with Retina Display reported a score about 5 percent lower with Geekbench 3 compared to Geekbench 2.
Our iPhone 5 saw an even bigger drop in reported score, by nearly 23 percent, when moving from Geekbench 2 to Geekbench 3.
Note that these lower numbers don’t mean that the device is getting slower; it merely means that, due to the changes in the latest version of Geekbench, results between versions 2 and 3 of the application should not be used for comparisons of performance.
Geekbench 3 is available now from Primate Labs’ website. A free trial offers 32-bit capability for benchmarking, but users have to pay to gain access to the 64-bit tests, a necessity for modern devices. Indivual licenses for OS X, Windows, and Linux are available for $9.99 each, while a cross-platform license currently runs $14.99. iOS and Android versions are available on their respective mobile app stores for $0.99. According to Primate Labs, these are introductory prices which are set to go up after August 31.