Re: Popular benchmarking tools?
3DMark (various versions) -- probably most popular so easiest to compare results (although, there is some debate about how well it translates to actual game play)
SuperPI -- cpu type benchmark but memory settings also have an effect (the first few rounds are pretty quick and this can also be a good test for overclocking -- stability -- when running the longer ones)
Doom 3 timedemo -- good opengl benchmark
Fear built-in benchmark -- recent, plus this game heats up my computer more than most so it's also a good check for stability
Fraps -- for monitoring framerates in any game and for taking screenshots (it also has a benchmark function)
Benchemall -- lets you benchmark a bunch of popular games with various settings pretty easily