Synthetic testing is not a massively important aspect of a system review, but we feel it rounds out the overall analysis to give a specific overview of key strengths and weaknesses. Before we get into the real world testing we gave the system a run through in SiSoft Sandra. We will compare against several other systems we reviewed in the past, the AMD based Dell Zino HD and the Intel Atom based ASrock ION3D.
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.
Sandra is a (girl) name of Greek origin that means “defender”, “helper of mankind”. We think that’s quite fitting.
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, etc.
Native ports for all major operating systems are available:
- Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x86)
- Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x64)
- Windows 2003/R2, 2008/R2* (IA64)
- Windows Mobile 5.x (ARM CE 5.01)
- Windows Mobile 6.x (ARM CE 5.02)
All major technologies are supported and taken advantage of:
- SMP – Multi-Processor
- MC – Multi-Core
- SMT/HT – Hyper-Threading
- MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX, FMA – Multi-Media instructions
- GPGPU, DirectX, OpenGL – Graphics
- NUMA – Non-Uniform Memory Access
- AMD64/EM64T/x64 – 64-bit extensions to x86
- IA64 – Intel* Itanium 64-bit
Performance is strong, especially for this target sector. The Intel Core i3 processors deliver plenty of punch for the modest asking price. Memory bandwidth isn’t quite as good as the AMD Zino HD we reviewed last month.