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A new version of SiSoft Sandra is released yearly, and the 2011 build was made available recently. As usual, the full SiSoft Sandra software is a paid program – but a free Lite version, which doesn’t seem very lite at all, is also available. Let’s take a look at what the latest version has to offer.
PC Benchmarks Galore
Computer benchmarks are often used by hardware reviewers as a standardized way of determining performance. However, benchmarks can be handy for everyone. They give you a way to determine how your computer’s performance measures up to others. This can point out areas where you need to upgrade, or can give you definitive proof that a certain component is not working right.
SiSoft Sandra 2011 Lite has thrown in a number of new PC benchmarks including GPGPU Cryptology, Media Transcoding, and Blu-Ray. The later two are arguably the most interesting for most users, and media transcoding in particular is a great benchmark to have. It’s common to convert videos from one format to another, usually in order to port them over to a smartphone, but sometimes for other purposes.
The new version of the software makes continued improvements to SiSoft Sandra’s excellent hardware comparison results. Most benchmark software will only give you one result – the result from your own computer. This is useful, but you have to find and compare the result to others manually. SiSoft Sandra, however, provides a huge library of hardware benchmarks. This information will provide you with an instant comparison between the hardware you have and other comparable components. The continued refinement of this feature in SiSoft Sandra 2011 makes choosing a hardware upgrade easier than ever before.
Computer Information Station
Another function that SiSoft Sandra 2011 Lite continues to serve is that of gathering information about your computer. This is a problem that usually evident until you actually try to find out certain information exclusively through Windows. What chipset does your motherboard use? What is the clock speed of your RAM? What builds of Microsoft .NET Framework do you have installed?
SiSoft Sandra 2011 Lite lays out this information in the Hardware and Software sections. There doesn’t seem to be anything of great importance that escapes the grasp of SiSoft Sandra 2011, and the information provided rivals my personal favorite PC information software, PC Wizard 2010. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some users prefer SiSoft Sandra 2011 for this purpose. It is generally a more intuitive program thanks to large, clearly labeled icons.
Another useful section of the program is Tools. In this part of SiSoft Sandra 2011 Lite you’ll find a few broad utilities including a burn-in test that can be used to see how your hardware manages under heavy usage. The report tool is also handy. This lets you create a text log of a computer’s current specifications, which can be reviewed at a later date. Logging this sort of information is handy if you’re trying to resolve issues on a computer that you don’t always have access to.
I think that SiSoft Sandra 2011 Lite is a must-have download for computer enthusiasts. It can handle a wide variety of benchmarking and PC information needs, and the comparison tools are incredibly helpful if you’re looking to upgrade your computer’s hardware.