3DMark and PCMark creator Futuremark responds to HWBot's ban of Windows 8 scores

Earlier today, we reported that the HWBot website, which collects PC benchmark scores from its community members, decided to ban all Windows 8 scores from its database. The site claims that the decision was due to a change in the real time clock (RTC) in Windows 8 that can cause benchmark programs to show inaccurate results if the CPU base clock (BCLK) frequency is changed in software.

HWBot says that this issue affects scores generated by the 3DMark and PCMark programs made by Futuremark. In a post on their website today, Futuremark responds to the HWBot Windows 8 ban decision. It says that it is "investigating the Windows 8 RTC issue". However, it added:

... it is worth clarifying that the exploit described by HWBot has no practical benefit for hardware manufacturers or PC gamers since it only serves to create a false score that does not reflect actual performance. Furthermore, the steps required to exploit this issue are quite unusual and could not be happened upon by accident.

The statement added that PC owners can still use 3DMark to test their Windows 8 rig "without concern" and that PC systems that have their CPU overclocked from the BIOS are unaffected by this issue. Reviews of PC systems that have used 3DMark to perform benchmarks for comparisons are also not affected by this exploit.

Source: Futuremark | Image via Futuremark

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Report: Microsoft to shut down Games for Windows Live July 1st, 2014

Next Story

AdDuplex: Nokia continues to dominate Windows Phone sales

16 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I bet this was made to show how fast windows 8 is when in reality it sucks compared to windows 7 and i have personally discovered this.

DaveBG said,
I bet this was made to show how fast windows 8 is when in reality it sucks compared to windows 7 and i have personally discovered this.

Are you saying that Windows 8 is slower for you than Windows 7? I hate Windows 8 with a passion (just look at my post history), but one thing I haven't seen is it being slower than 7. I don't really think it is faster than 7 either (at least not MY install of 7). If you turn off the same services that are off by default in 8, then 7 is almost as fast.

has no practical benefit for hardware manufacturers or PC gamers since it only serves to create a false score that does not reflect actual performance
Because we all know companies don't want higher scores right? Remember Samsung overclocking their phones when it detects certain benchmark apps?

what about when your rigs goes to power saving mode?
its common practice to reduce the CPU clock when Windows enter sleep mode.,
and of course to increase the CPU clock again when wake up ...

all those change are done in software.

The issue only appears when you change the base clock after boot. Power saving features that alter the CPU clock only screw around with the voltage and multiplier. They're not going to touch the base clock at all. If that particular clock ever changes, it will only be because you changed it yourself with the intention of altering it.

Torolol said,
what about when your rigs goes to power saving mode?
its common practice to reduce the CPU clock when Windows enter sleep mode.,
and of course to increase the CPU clock again when wake up ...

all those change are done in software.

As Windows 8 defaults to 'balanced' power saving mode that uses the CPUs power saving features, this would be a bigger problem as everyone would see this happening all the time and this isn't the case.

This takes specific steps to create this clock offset bug scenario, so it isn't just happening all the time for everybody.

So it only goes for over/underclocking but how about scaling? My 8150 went from 1.6 to 3.5 all the time depending on workloads, even more not all cores did at once but just some, doesnt that confuse RTC in Windows 8?

I believe clock scaling with various workloads only work through changing the multiplier, not the base clock, so you should be unaffected.

Well the simplest overclock also works by only messing around with multipliers without having to mess with voltage etc.

I think Im missing something from the story. But you might be right.

I cant play online games on win8 with my laptop which has i5 480 that has turbo boost or something...

Now it explains everything, games freezes up every minute for over a second for me while I play .... that's a game trying to go into sync

Zaic said,
I cant play online games on win8 with my laptop which has i5 480 that has turbo boost or something...

Now it explains everything, games freezes up every minute for over a second for me while I play .... that's a game trying to go into sync

As the article states, it is only if you change the base clock of the CPU. This requires YOU to change it at a low level, nothing changes in normal operation. Your symptoms sound like either a buggy game, or more likely (particularly if you are in a minority experiencing problems) buggy drivers. Try updating your drivers.

Zaic said,
I cant play online games on win8 with my laptop which has i5 480 that has turbo boost or something...

Now it explains everything, games freezes up every minute for over a second for me while I play .... that's a game trying to go into sync

Dynamic CPU speeds should be irrelevant as virtually every modern CPU supports various performance modes which are enabled by default.

I would suggest you have a more serious issue that could be a network driver or something less easy to track like your network connection dropping packets and a lot of jitter.

(You can run a background ping test to see if it coordinates with the stutter in the game. It could also be a problem with the game itself, and gamer forums are a good place to find tips for the game.)

From article:
" the steps required to exploit this issue are quite unusual and could not be happened upon by accident."

But all it takes, is to overclock or underclock your system, I don't think that's unusual.

bigmehdi said,
From article:
" the steps required to exploit this issue are quite unusual and could not be happened upon by accident."

But all it takes, is to overclock or underclock your system, I don't think that's unusual.

It isn't 'that' simple. Simply overclocking 'normally' does not affect the results.

like the other poster said if you do it the right way there is no issue "PC systems that have their CPU overclocked from the BIOS are unaffected by this issue"

Juan Rodriguez said,
like the other poster said if you do it the right way there is no issue "PC systems that have their CPU overclocked from the BIOS are unaffected by this issue"

... only the problems is that today there are many overclocking tools that are windows apps and every modern motherboard comes with such on the CD in the box...