Measure your PC’s gaming performance with Catzilla

Is your PC up to playing the latest games? It’s not always easy to tell, but if you’re looking to find out then the Catzilla benchmark could give you some useful information.

Launch the program and it runs some in-depth OpenGL and DirectX tests, directly assessing your CPU and GPU speeds. That’s not quite as it dull as it sounds, though, because Catzilla does this by rendering real-time battle scenes of giant cats causing havoc across a city. (No, we’re not making this up.)

The process takes a few minutes to complete, but when it’s done the "Results" tab lists your scores for each of the various tests: Hardware, Physics, Fur, Fluid and Raymarch.

To put that in perspective, a "Top Benchmarks" table ranks your overall score against other Catzilla users (our test system came an unimpressive 618th).

Knowing that your PC has scored "11,375" doesn’t mean much, of course, so Catzilla also gives your system a badge, ranging from a one star "Kitty" (amazingly feeble) to a three star Catzilla (a total gaming powerhouse). Click Test > Check Game, choose a game from the list, and you’ll see the rating you need to run it properly. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 requires a one star Tiger, for instance, but our test system was a two star Tiger, so should be able to handle it without problems.

The program also lists some factors which might influence your system scores (graphics driver, virtual memory settings, memory load, and more), perhaps helping you to improve them.

If you like Catzilla then you can enable the 720p test by registering for free (click Upgrade > Register). There are also three commercial versions -- Basic, Advanced and Professional -- which enable higher resolution tests, give more performance recommendations and add further scoring options (you can record your scores, or send them to Facebook). Prices start at $1.49 and the Upgrade screen will tell you more.

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