Originally planned for May 3 release, Futuremark delayed the long awaited system benchmark to this Thursday, May 12, 2011. According to Oliver "Ollie" Baltuch, president of Futuremark Corporation, the company decided to delay the launch due to last-minute fixes and tweaks in order to ensure stability of performance results.

Given that the last PCMark worked on Windows Vista alone (runs on Windows 7 too), don’t be too surprised to hear that the only OS that can run PCMark 7 is – Microsoft Windows 7, of course. Futuremark decided for such move in order to ensure complete system optimization across the board – regardless of what hardware you run, Windows 7 should yield apples-to-apples results.

The benchmark is consisted out of 25 tests divided into seven tests:

  • PCMark Test measures overall system performance and returns an official PCMark score
  • Computation test focuses on computation performance of the system (CPU, GPGPU)
  • Creativity Test measures performance in creativity scenarios involving images and video
  • Entertainment Test measures system performance in entertainment, media and gaming scenarios
  • Lightweight Test measures the capabilities of entry level systems unable to run the full PCMark test
  • Productivity Test measures system performance scenarios using the Internet and office applications
  • Storage test isolates the performance of the PC’s storage system

As it usually goes with Futuremark releases, there are several versions of the program available. PCMark 7 Basic Edition is completely free and allows you unlimited amount of PCMark results. PCMark 7 Professional Edition will run for $29.95 and enables you to run all the tests in the benchmark. If you’re a manufacturer or intend to run PCMark 7 in commercial purposes, you need to license PCMark 7 Professional Edition which will set you back for $995.

The art for the boxed version of PCMark 7 is featured below:

PCMark 7 PC Performance Analysis Retail DVD Box Art. Picture Credit: Futuremark