Reviews

Sandra 2003: What's new?

Version: 2003.1.9.26
Release date: November 7, 2002
Developer: SiSoftware


  Ahhh. Sandra! System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant, a name synonymous with benchmarking and performance testing everywhere.
  SiSoft has long been one of the most stable and highly respected names in testing software for a long time. The basic look and feel of the GUI is the same, and there are only a few more bells and whistles in the Standard version. Mostly it appears that the coding is updated to reflect system performance of newer and faster technologies. Its difficult at best to keep up with all the new developments as of late, and consequently you cant seem to get an accurate bench of faster hardware and software by yesterdays standards.
  This issue has been addressed by lots of benchmark companies of late, and is catching on as system performance streamlining gets more and more prevalent among just about everyone from gamers to web surfers.
  As you can see below, Sandra now supports several newer items.
Gauge overall system in a flash with the combined performance index wizard to quickly gauge overall system performance and compare and contrast upgrading options. The combined performance wizard is a great tool for analyzing your system against the latest and greatest that is available, without purchasing it first. This is a perfect way to judge any new upgrades to CPU and Motherboard/Chipset combinations.

Combined Performance Index Wizard


  Here are the two graphing options in the combined performance wizard. Linear above, and Logarithmic below.

Combined Performance Index Wizard


  The blue represents the referenced components, and the red is your current configuration as tested. Now you simply change the CPU and you see what kind of performance upgrade you will be looking at with your current Motherboard. Cool and simple. This wizard is relatively quick compared to running all tests one at a time.
Supports the latest technologies (AGP 3, Hyper-Threading), chipsets (Intel 7500, 845GL/GV/GE/PE; SiS 648, 655, 746; VIA KT400, P4X400), controllers (SiS 963; VIA 8233A/C, 8235/L), Clock generator ICs and devices on the market. These technologies will be standards soon if not already.
Detailed context sensitive help for Tips/Warnings/Errors. Detailed technical definitions. Way better than windows help.
Extensive reference results: over 50 different reference results from legacy to cutting edge systems. Can save you own and combine with your own results.
Burn-in wizard: Much improved monitoring options, can see in real-time the changes in system state as burn-in progresses. Can program terminate conditions in case of out-of-range conditions.
Cooling system information: Can estimate thermal resistance to determine the performance of the cooling system, thus ensuring proper cooling for the processor(s). How many programs do that!
Multi-platform: Both ANSI (for legacy systems) and Unicode (native for Windows 2000/XP/.Net) versions included in a single improved installer. However Windows 98 FE apparently is unsupported , even with MDAC 2.7.


The GOOD. All the above is added to the original interface and familiar tests you have come to know and embrace as the standard in performance testing. Great newer technology support.

The BAD. Little support for economy systems with lower priced chipsets and apparently Nforce2s , Which I would expect, will change shortly as nForce seems to be on the right track as far as AMD compatibility and performance. No updates currently available or scheduled until Q1 next year. Hmmmm, Very bad timing.
  • Ali Chipsets/SouthBridges: Unsupported due to lack of documentation/datasheets.
  • nVidia Chipsets/SouthBridges: Unsupported due to lack of documentation/datasheets.
  • ServerWorks Chipsets/SouthBridges: Unsupported due to lack of documentation/datasheets.

The Skinny. Great new improvements in coding and speed, as well as ease of use without changing the original interface and options. I personally was fine with the old Sandra and all her abilities. Some how Im going to convince myself that its time to upgrade as the reference systems get faster and better. What a great product, again!

Download Sandra 2003!

Douglas Hall
18.11.2002

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