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Windows 8 found to skew benchmark results on overclocked hardware

Alexis Santos

Overclocking may yield impressive benchmark results, but it turns out scores from Windows 8 PCs may not be reliable. The management at overclocking community HWBOT has discovered that tests provide inaccurate stats when then CPU base clock frequency is fiddled with from within the OS. Hardware-based real-time clocks (RTCs) help keep accurate track of time, but the operating system's timekeeping somehow slows down or ramps up when processing speeds are tweaked. When underclocked by six percent, the outfit's Haswell-infused system lagged 18 seconds behind actual time, fooling the benchmark into a higher score since it seemingly finished in a shorter period of time. Conversely, a boost to CPU speeds results in a lower mark as the internal timepiece ticks away faster than usual. However, modifying processor speeds at boot time avoids these issues.

As a result of the revelation, HWBOT is no longer accepting benchmarks from computers running the eighth iteration of Ballmer and Co.'s software, and will invalidate those already in its database. "Simply no benchmark – not even 3DMark – is unaffected by Microsoft's RTC design decisions," the outlet adds. The timing issues are said to stem from Windows 8's support of disparate hardware setups, including embedded and budget PCs that don't have a fixed RTC. If you'd like to see the inconsistencies for yourself, head past the break for video proof.