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European Commission mandates PCMark for PC tenders

European Commission mandates PCMark for PC tenders

The European Commission is to require all companies tendering for supply of desktop and laptop PCs to submit a score in the PCMark 8 benchmarking suite.

Futuremark's PCMark 8 system benchmark has become a pan-European standard, with the news that its scores will be used to mandate a performance baseline by the European Commission Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT).

Designed to offer a more balanced viewpoint on the performance of Windows-based systems than the company's more famous gaming-oriented 3DMark benchmark suite, PCMark is designed to give scores in a range of categories: home workloads, creative workloads, office workloads, storage performance, application performance, and battery life when used on mobile devices.

The deal with DIGIT, the organisation responsible for setting the IT strategy for the European Commission, will see PCMark 8 used to measure the performance of equipment prior to purchase. Its first use is in an invitation to tender for the supply of desktop computers to be used in 20 member countries across more than 50 agencies including the European Parliament. The tender, for the first time, mandates a minimum level of performance as measured by PCMark 8 for some 87,100 general-purpose and 15,900 specialised PC systems.

DIGIT isn't alone in using PCMark, either: Futuremark has boasted of simiar deals with L'union des Groupements d'Achat Public (UGAP) in France, the Northern Ireland Civil Service, and the Secretaria de Logística e Tecnologia da Informação in Brazil for tenders totalling more than 250,000 machines.

Thus far, there has been no indication that the UK government will follow suit with mandating minimum scores on industry-standard benchmarks - Futuremark-produced or otherwise - as a standard feature of future offers to tender to help ensure that taxpayers' money is not squandered on sub-par hardware with persuasive sales executives.

15 Comments

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GrahamC 7th July 2014, 14:36 Quote
Seems like a sensible starting point when purchasing office computers.
Corky42 7th July 2014, 15:14 Quote
So no chance of the UK government using something like that then, not known for sensibility is the UK government when it comes to IT.
RedFlames 7th July 2014, 16:25 Quote
I'm curious to know what the 'minimum standard'/score is...
Anfield 7th July 2014, 16:29 Quote
How is that going to work for the ever increasing number of PCs free of x86 / Windows?
PaulC2K 7th July 2014, 17:58 Quote
It shouldnt really matter what OS you're going to use, the idea is that the system is being rated on its abilities for certain criteria, and by using that you'll be able to compare systems more effectively.
If you buy that machine and put a non Windows OS on there, it still should perform the sort of tasks you bought it for, better than the systems with a lower score.

But from what i understand of this, it isnt something that you'll see companies like Dell, H, Alienware, PCWorld or whatever being forced to display their scores, its for tender offers. So when a company is looking for 50 PCs to fill a new building, they'll get offers from these companies and they'll be required to include a score to highlight the systems capabilities.

I think it'd be a good idea from a consumer POV too, personally. Though i'd imagine most of us here buy ours from parts, it still makes sense.

Most people buy things based on the few things they've picked up on, they'd see a CPU speed and how much ram, and thats what they'll base it on. I mate of mine used to buy terrible digital cameras simply because it had a bigger megapixel number, and he'd assume it was great because it was higher than something lower which was twice the price.
Adding a score system for different purposes, can only help inform customers. Ultimately, they need to know what they're buying and adding a score wont solve that.
jrs77 7th July 2014, 18:07 Quote
Wasn't the Win7-score ment to do the same thing? And how did that work out exactly?

Seriously. Instead of coming up with such bull**** they should simply hire IT-experts to purchase, setup and maintenance the IT-equipment.
XXAOSICXX 7th July 2014, 18:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Wasn't the Win7-score ment to do the same thing? And how did that work out exactly?

For n00b customers buying PC games from retailers like Game, actually the system worked quite well. The boxed game would often state the minimum number required to play the game - and those consumers who did purchase their machine from PC World (spits) who had no idea what the graphics-doo-dah or see-pee-you-thingy was at least had a simple "my pc gets a 3 and this game needs a 2" comparison to make.

Us lot using Steam/Origin etc who know what we're doing had no use for it, but we are not the majority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Seriously. Instead of coming up with such bull**** they should simply hire IT-experts to purchase, setup and maintenance the IT-equipment.

Because IT experts would never lie about what was needed, and from who, and definitely would never, ever take backhanders from suppliers for putting the business their way, right?

Someone with a better knowledge of a thing than someone with no knowledge of a thing always appears to be an expert when many really, really are not.
Deders 7th July 2014, 21:01 Quote
Never really seen the point in PCmark Vantage or 8, it barely stresses anything, most new PC's or laptops should easily be able to perform al those tasks.
oasked 7th July 2014, 21:38 Quote
Sounds like a good idea, it'd be great to use at a consumer level.

Just imagine the average consumer walking around PC world - ok that computer is 3.9, but this one has a rating of 4.9 so it's better and worth the extra money.
Andy M 7th July 2014, 22:02 Quote
Well that's nice for Futuremark and the other benchmarking software authors in terms of revenue. How do DIGIT et al justify forcing PC manufacturers to pay a third-party for validation software? It's sensible to mandate a reasonable performance, but there could be suggestions of corruption there. Do any of the people who have made this rule have shares in the companies whose software they require computer manufacturers to use?
XXAOSICXX 7th July 2014, 22:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M
Well that's nice for Futuremark and the other benchmarking software authors in terms of revenue. How do DIGIT et al justify forcing PC manufacturers to pay a third-party for validation software? It's sensible to mandate a reasonable performance, but there could be suggestions of corruption there. Do any of the people who have made this rule have shares in the companies whose software they require computer manufacturers to use?

Forcing? If a manufacturer wants to bid for the government contract to sell them twenty-thousand PCs then they first have to run ONE of their proposed systems through PC Mark to verify the machines performance. Oh noes!
r3loaded 8th July 2014, 09:42 Quote
It's a good idea. One of the good things about PC Mark is that it places a lot of emphasis on storage, so systems with SSDs always score highly. It should avoid the situation where the manufacturer packs in pricey top-tier CPUs into their systems to sway purchasing decisions, while the computers themselves are slow due to being held back by spinning rust drives.
Deders 8th July 2014, 10:07 Quote
The basic test doesn't touch storage
XXAOSICXX 8th July 2014, 10:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
The basic test doesn't touch storage

Pretttttttty sure the European Commission will be requiring potential suppliers to run more than the basic test!
Corky42 8th July 2014, 10:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
The basic test doesn't touch storage
What is the basic test ? AFAIK PCMark gives an overall score based on the following.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
PCMark is designed to give scores in a range of categories: home workloads, creative workloads, office workloads, storage performance, application performance, and battery life when used on mobile devices.
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