PCMark 10 uses a modular approach to build relevant tests around common end-user scenarios. There are three levels to this approach: 

  1. Benchmarks
  2. Test groups
  3. Workloads.


Benchmarks are the top-level starting point in PCMark 10. A benchmark is a test designed to reflect the performance requirements of a defined user group. There are four performance benchmarks in PCMark 10.

BenchmarkUse case
PCMark 10 benchmark

The complete benchmark for the modern office. The ideal test for organizations that are evaluating PCs for a workforce with a range of performance needs.

PCMark 10 Express benchmarkA shorter benchmark test focused on basic work tasks. It is a good choice when tendering for PCs for general office use.

PCMark 10 Extended benchmarkA longer benchmark test covering a wider range of activities. It provides organizations with a complete assessment of system performance beyond typical office work tasks.
PCMark 10 Applications benchmarkA benchmark for testing the performance of office PCs using Microsoft Office applications.

Test groups

Each benchmark contains one or more test groups. A test group is a collection of workloads that share a common theme or purpose. There are five test groups in PCMark 10.

Test groupPCMark 10 benchmarkPCMark 10 ExpressPCMark 10 ExtendedPCMark 10 Applications


Digital Content Creation


Microsoft Applications


Workloads are the low-level unit in PCMark 10. A workload is a test designed around a specific activity, task, or application. For example, the Web Browsing workload is designed to test performance while carrying out a selection of typical web browsing tasks.

EssentialsProductivityDigital Content CreationGamingMicrosoft Applications
App Start-up
Web Browsing
Video Conferencing
Photo Editing
Video Editing
Rendering and Visualization
Graphics test 1
Graphics test 2
Physics test
Combined test

Benchmark scores

Each benchmark run produces a high-level benchmark score, mid-level test group scores, and low-level workload scores. A higher score indicates better performance.

The precision of PCMark 10 benchmark scores is usually better than 3% when following the steps outlined in this guide. This means that running the benchmark repeatedly on a consistently performing system in a controlled environment will produce scores that fall within a 3% range.

A score may occasionally fall outside the margin of error since there are factors in modern, multitasking operating systems that cannot be controlled completely. There are also devices that simply do not offer consistent performance due to their design. In these cases, you should run the benchmark multiple times, and take an average or a mode of the results.