PC performance testing at UL
UL works with consumer electronics retailers to test and categorize PCs of all types. We are currently working with more than fifteen major retailers worldwide including Currys PC World, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Elkjøp, iBuyPower and Lenovo.
Every year, UL tests hundreds of PC systems for its retail partners. We test the performance of each system with a selection of benchmarks and popular games.
Retailers use this data in-store and online to help their customers choose and buy gaming PCs that meet their expectations.
The game testing process
We conduct game testing on a wide selection of gaming hardware that covers the range of popular CPUs and GPUs found in modern gaming PCs.
Each game is tested using either a built-in benchmark, if available, or a live gameplay scenario.
Frame rates can vary within a game depending on the level or mode. Player actions, especially in multi-player games, can result in frame rate variance. Our game testing experts determine a suitable gameplay scenario for each game. A good scenario covers common gameplay, is reasonably demanding, and is easy to reproduce and repeat on other systems. The length of the test scenario varies by game. The minimum duration is three minutes.
We test each game at three resolutions:
- 1920 × 1080 (1080p)
- 2560 ×1440 (1440p)
- 3840 × 2160p (4K UHD)
Visual quality settings
We test each game using the game's medium and ultra visual quality settings.
- Medium means choosing the medium preset, if available, or manually turning the graphics settings to a medium level.
- Ultra means choosing the maximum fidelity preset or manually turning all the graphics settings to the highest level.
Ray tracing settings
Ray tracing options, if available, are tested separately for each game producing one frame rate performance model with ray tracing options enabled and a second performance model with ray tracing disabled.
The gameplay scenario is repeated on all systems for each combination of resolution and quality settings required by our customers. Frame rate data is collected during the test and checked for consistency between systems. We use the game testing data to identify the components that determine game performance at each resolution and settings level. This varies by game, and each game is modeled separately.
There can be noticeable performance differences between versions of a game. Driver updates and system updates can also affect performance. We retest games and rebuild our models when an update significantly affects performance.
Games and settings
This guide has a page for each of the games we test. Each page includes a brief description of the game, the scenario we used for testing, and the settings used for medium and ultra visual quality.