Benchmarking Site Bans Windows 8 Results Over Broken Real Time Clock

Paul Lilly

Faulty clock to blame

The world's most popular benchmarking and overclocking website is no longer accepting scores from PCs running Windows 8. Furthermore, HWBOT made the decision to invalidate all previous scores from Windows 8 systems. The reason? HWBot cites a flaw in Windows 8's real-time clock (RTC). In addition to making sure your computer displays the correct time, benchmarking applications also use the RTC.

"As the result of weekend-time research, the HWBOT staff has decided to invalidate all benchmark records established with the Windows 8 operating system. Due to severe validity problems with the Windows8 real time clock ('RTC'), benchmarks results achieved with Windows 8 cannot be trusted," HWBOT said . "The main problem lies with the RTC being affected when over- or underclocking under the operating system. The operating system uses the RTC as reference clock, and benchmarks use it to reference (benchmark) time."

The RTC provides a baseline for benchmarks, letting software know when a particular benchmark started and finished. HWBOT didn't provide too many technical details and itself is still sorting through it all, but at present, the site claims that if you change your CPU's base clock frequency in software, it can affect Windows 8's ability to keep accurate time, thereby throwing off benchmarking results.

These aren't minor miscalculations, either. According to HWBOT's testing, underclocking the base frequency by 6 percent can throw off the clock by 18 seconds after just 5 minutes have elapsed.

"Since this is all very new to the stall, we are still looking into the consequences and possible solutions for this problem," HWBOT said.

Follow Paul on Google+ , Twitter , and Facebook

Around the web