Killer Download: Does your computer have what it takes?

No matter what kind of computer you're running--a brand new dual-core Alienware model or your aunt's old Dell laptop--it's hard to gauge the performance of your machine by factory specs alone. Especially with all the versions of Windows PCs out there using any number of hardware configurations; it's tough to really know how your computer measures up to today's fastest systems.

Finding complete system specs is especially important to gamers of course, but they're not alone in their need for system speed. Today's release of the graphics-intensive specs for Crytek's Crysis (from Crave, CNET's gadget blog) surely has many gamers praying their computers have what it takes to really bring the long-awaited game to life. But even if you're not a gamer, you might want to know, for example, whether your computer can handle the latest image- or video-editing software. Fortunately, you can find out in advance using a good benchmarking app. This category of software runs several diagnostic tests which check everything from processor speed and drive efficiency to the output of your graphics and sound cards.… Read more