Josh Phillips wrote a helpful post a few weeks ago about WinSAT in build 5048. WinSAT is a great new feature in Windows Vista which basically integrates benchmarking into the OS. It allows applications to query the operating system for performance metrics relating to various system components, such as the CPU, GPU or hard disk. The results are cached for quick subsequent queries by other apps, but Vista will automatically run new benchmarks if the hardware significantly changes. A more detailed description is available at ExtremeTech.
Being unable to find any updated info on WinSAT in Beta 1, I decided to do some digging myself. While eventually there may be a graphical interface, WinSAT benchmarks can only be performed from the command line currently.
There are five major test types, which can be performed by running WinSAT from the command line, with any one of the following arguments:
dwm: Displays the image show below, then prints the benchmark to the console when the window is closed.
d3d:Displays the image show below, then prints the benchmark to the console when the window is closed. This option will likely generate some actual 3D rendering in future builds.
cpu: This test requires the use of one of the following arguments:
mem: This test supports an optional -v argument for verbose output.
disk: This test supports several arguments, which Josh aptly described as follows:
-n [x]: Required, defines what physical disk should be assessed where ‘x’
is the physical disk number.
-seq or -ran: Required, only one should be specified at a time. Controls whether
or not the sequential or random IO performance will be assessed.
-read or - write: Required, only one should be specified at a time. Controls whether or not the read or write performance will be assessed.
Example: WinSAT DISK -n 0 -ran -read
It would be interesting to see how much the scores these tests produce actually vary from system to system using the current build. My desktop contains a 3.4 GHz P4 w/ HT, 1 GB dual-channel PC-4200, PCI-E GeForce 6600 GT 128MB, and 120GB 7200 SATA drives in RAID 0 + 1, and produced the following scores:
DWM Assessment Results: Effective FPS: 520.089
D3D Assessment Results: Effective FPS: 739.732
System Memory Bandwidth : 4412331247.60269 B/s
CPU Encryption Assessment Results: 134272010.92651 B/s
CPU Compression Assessment Results: 168085750.95565 B/s
Anyone else care to comment with your scores, or info on any additional WinSAT commands?