SiSoftware has released the latest version of its flagship system information and benchmarking utility, Sandra 2012.
Upgrades to this kind of tool are normally rather dull, just adding support for this CPU, that graphics card, and various other items of hardware. But Sandra 2012 is different, being packed with genuinely worthwhile improvements and additions.
The commercial version, for instance, now supports the grandly-named Device Performance Certification. Essentially this looks at your measured device performance to make sure it’s consistent, and matches up with other Sandra users who have the same hardware (within expected confidence intervals, anyway). If there are problems then you’ll now be warned that your results are atypical, which could mean some other factor is affecting your device performance (driver problems or antivirus tools, say).
Benchmarking tweaks see a more thorough check for APUs (CPU+GPU) and multiple GPGUs, while a new memory access pattern option should deliver more reliable memory latency testing.
If that’s a little too low-level for you, then you might prefer the new Overall benchmark, which provides a single figure for your overall computer performance. There’s no new testing here, though, it’s simply based on a weighted average of several existing benchmarks: (Native) CPU Arithmetic/Multi-Media; .Net/Java Arithmetic/Multi Media; Memory Bandwidth; File System/Disks, and General Processing/Bandwidth.
And the program is clearly preparing for the arrival of Windows 8, with an extended .NET benchmark which can assess .NET CLR performance, and a new Metro style interface for Windows 8 users. (Although if you hate Metro, don’t worry, it’s more about the look of the program than any real change of functionality.)
It’s a significant upgrade, and well worth a look for anyone interested in benchmarks; downloads are available now.