Our Download of the Day today is Sandra Lite 2011 (17.15).
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.
It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what's really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, and so on.
The latest version includes the following changes:
Changes in Version 2011 (17.15)
# New Benchmark: Media Transcode
- Measures the transcoding bandwidth converting media from one format to another.
* Why? Most devices cannot play video recorded by a camcorder. Such media would most likely require to be edited first and then to be transcoded (possibly transparently) when copied to a device for playback. With current high-definition media such an operation can be a lenghthy process, thus any performance improvements will save a lot of time.Using the new Media Foundation in Windows 7, we measure WMV (e.g. Movie Maker) > MP4/H264 and MP4/H264 (e.g. phone video) > MP4/H264 using various profiles (HD TV 720p, SD TV 480p, tablet, phone, etc.).The benchmark can compare the performance of hardware accelerated media transcoders (e.g. GPUs) with multi-threaded software (CPU) transcoders.
# New Benchmark: GPGPU Cryptography
- Measures the encryption, decryption and hashing bandwidth of GPGPUs
* Why? While modern CPUs include special instruction sets (Intel AES, VIA PadLock) to accelerate cryptographic operations, are they a match for modern GPGPUs? The benchmark uses the same workload as the CPU Cryptography benchmark allowing direct comparison of modern CPUs and GPGPUs of the most common algorithms in use today (AES256, AES128, SHA256, SHA1).OpenCL 1.x, DirectX 11 Compute Shader and CUDA3 3.x are supported. Multiple video cards are supported and CPUs can also be used in parallel in OpenCL. The benchmark allocates workload based on the respective processing power of GPGPUs and CPUs.
# New Benchmark: Blu-ray
- Measures the performance of Blu-ray optical drives
* Why? While Blu-ray won the high-definition war some time ago, it has finally become affordable for computer users as a replacement for DVD. We have thus added a brand new Blu-ray Test Disk to measure the performance of the latest drives on the market, adding to the existing DVD and CD Test Disks which are still required to measure DVD and CD disk performance.
- AVX/FMA instruction set support for future CPUs
- Processor Multi-Media, Processor Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth, Cache and Memory Benchmarks
* Using 256-bit register width (instead of 128-bit of SSE/2/3/4) yields further performance gains through greater parallelism in most algorithms. Combined with the increase in processor cores and threads we will soon have CPUs rivaling GPGPUs in performance.
# Measure each operation report min-max score as well as average
* Why? The maximum time an operation can take is just as important as the average time; if the measured performance varies greatly from test to test, the response time is not consistent and thus the performance unreliable. If a minimum performance is required, then a slower but consistent device would be preferable to a faster but inconsistent one.Using the submitted scores to the Ranker, we further measure the consistency of the performance of a device; we can also verify whether the measured performance falls between the range of performance expected for the tested device.
# Geometric mean for aggregate scores
* Why? When combining components of very different magnitudes, a geometric mean is more meaningful than an arithmetic one. This makes comparing the relative performance of very different devices much fairer, especially between platforms (e.g. desktop to mobile or to server).
# Ranker Engine: more useful
* Why? The Ranker provides additional reference results by aggregating submitted results from users - which are downloaded by Sandra automatically. We had over 200,000 submissions just for one benchmark in 2010 which allowed the generation of 1,000s of new results. The Ranker can also be searched for specific results.By creating an account, the Ranker automatically backs-up and restores user scores to any installation.
# Price Engine: very much useful
* Why? The Price engine enhances the experience by providing product pictures and additional specifications - as well as the the latest price. It allows the calculation of important metrics like Performance vs. Price and Capacity vs. Price (for storage media) which are extremely useful when making comparisons. All this is done automatically rather than manually searching for pricing on stores.
- Key features
* 3 native architectures support (x86, x64, ARM).
* 5 native virtualisation technologies support (Virtual PC 7, Virtual Server 2005, Hyper-V Server2, VMware Server2, VMware WorkStation/Player)
* 5 native GPGPU platforms support (OpenCL, DirectX 11 Compute Shader/DirectCompute, CUDA, STREAM1).
* 4 native Graphics platforms support (DirectX 11, DirectX 10/10.1, DirectX 9, OpenGL 2.0).
* Huge official hardware support through technology partners (Intel, AMD/ATI, SiS, VIA).
* 6 language versions (English, German3, French3, Italian3, Russian3, Japanese3) in a single installer.
* Enhanced Sandra Lite version (free for personal/educational use)
* Deprecated, will be removed in the next release.
* Enterprise versions only.
*Not available at publication, will be updated later on.