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.