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, PCIe, ODBC Connections, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.
Native Unicode ports for 32-bit Windows (2000/XP/2003/Vista), 64-bit & x64 Windows (XP/2003/Vista) as well as Windows CE (Pocket PC 2002/2003/2003SE, Smart Phone 2002/2003/2003SE, CE .Net 4.20) are available.
General Sandra Information
Here are the version types, in line with industry standards:
- Sandra Lite (free for personal/educational use - no nag screens, time limit, etc.)
- Sandra Advanced (for OEMs)
- Sandra Professional (commercial)
- Sandra Engineer (commercially exploitabile)
- Sandra Enterprise (commercial)
- Sandra Legacy (home enthusiast)
List of SiSoftware Sandra Modules:
- System Summary
- Mainboard/Chipset/System Monitors Info
- CPU/BIOS Info
- APM & ACPI (Advanced Power Management) Info
- PCI(e), AGP, CardBus, PCMCIA bus and devices Info
- Video Information (monitor, card, video bios, caps, etc.)
- OpenGL Information
- DirectX (DirectDraw, Direct3D, DirectSound (3D), DirectMusic, DirectPlay, DirectInput) Info
- Keyboard Info
- Mouse Info
- Sound Card (wave, midi, aux, mix) Info
- MCI Devices (mpeg, avi, seq, vcr, video-disc, wave) Info
- Joystick Info
- Printers Info
- Windows Memory Info
- Windows Info
- Font (Raster, Vector, TrueType, OpenType) Information
- Modem/ISDN TA Information
- Network Information
- IP Network Information
- WinSock & Internet Security Information
- Drives Information (Removable Hard Disks, CD-ROM/DVD, RamDrives, etc.)
- Ports (Serial/Parallel) Info
- Remote Access Service Connections (Dial-Up, Internet)
- OLE objects/servers Info
- Processes (Tasks) & Threads Info
- Modules (DLL, DRV) Info
- Services & Device Drivers (SYS) Info
- SCSI Information
- ATA/ATAPI Information
- Data Sources Information
- CMOS/RTC Information
- Smart Card & SIM Card Information
- CPU Arithmetic Benchmark (MP/MT support)
- CPU Multi-Media Benchmark (including MMX, MMX Enh, 3DNow!, 3DNow! Enh, SSE(2)) (MP/MT support)
- File System (Removable, Hard Disks, Network, RamDrives) Benchmark
- Removable Storage/Flash Benchmark
- CD-ROM/DVD Benchmark
- Memory Bandwidth Benchmark (MP/MT support)
- Cache & Memory Bandwidth Benchmark (MP/MT support)
- Network/LAN Bandwidth Benchmark
- Internet/ISP Connection Benchmark
- Internet/ISP Peerage Benchmark
- Hardware Interrupts Usage
- DMA Channel Usage
- I/O Ports Usage
- Memory Range Usage
- Plug & Play Enumerator
- Hardware registry settings
- Environment settings
- Registered File Types
- Key Applications(web-browser, e-mail, news, anti-virus, firewall, etc.)
- Installed Applications
- Installed Programs
- Start Menu Applications
- On-disk Programs & Libraries
- Installed Web Packages(ActiveX, Java classes)
- System Event Logs
- Burn-in Wizard(test computer stability)
- Connect Wizard (connect to remote computers, PDAs, Smart Phones and other devices)
- Combined Performance Index Wizard (overall computer performance score)
- Create a Report Wizard (save, print, fax or e-mail in CIM (SMS/DMI), HTML, XML, RPT or TEXT format)
- Performance Tune-Up Wizard (tune-up computer)
- Environment Monitor Wizard (temperatures, voltages, fans, CPU power, cooling solution thermal resistance, etc.)
- WebUpdate Wizard for automatic version updating
Key features of Sandra 2014
- 3 native architectures support (x86, x64, ARM).
- Huge official hardware support through technology partners (Intel, AMD/ATI, SiS, VIA).
- 5 native virtualisation technologies support (Virtual PC 7, Virtual Server 2005, Hyper-V Server, VMware Server/ESX, VMware WorkStation/Player)
- 3 native GPGPU/GPAPU platforms support (OpenCL, DirectX Compute Shader, CUDA).
- 4 native Graphics platforms support (DirectX 11.x, DirectX 10.x, DirectX 9, OpenGL 2.0+).
- 9 language versions (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional, Simplified), Russian) in a single installer.
- Enhanced Sandra Lite (Eval) version (free for personal/educational use, evaluation for other uses)
What's New in This Version:
- CD/DVD/BD-ROM fix
- Fix for some drives that would fail benchmarking. Note that it is recommended that you use a pressed test CD/DVD/BD for testing.
- CPU Scientific Benchmarking optimisation
- SGEMM / DGEMM - AVX/FMA code-path optimised
- SFFT / DFFT - SSE2 and AVX/FMA code-paths optimised
- SGEMM / DGEMM - AVX/FMA code-path optimised
- GP (GPU/APU) Scientific Benchmarking optimisation
- SGEMM / DGEMM - work-group optimisation for CUDA & OpenCL
- SFFT / DFFT - work-group optimisation for CUDA & OpenCL
What's New in Previous Version:
nV "Maxwell" GPU preliminary support
- Mainly detection for SMM 5.0 GPUs.
- Platform: Still based on CUDA SDK 5.5 RTM; cannot move to SDK 6.0 RC as Sandra would then require CUDA 6.0 video drivers for all cards - and those are thin on the ground.
- Issues: some OpenCL benchmarks may still not work; since we don't have a card ourselves, we've no idea what the problem is. Could be due to driver returning too high work-group sizes that fail.
- SHA hashing: check out the scores in "GPGPU Crypto" benchmarks, this thing does far better than "Kepler" (perhaps due to far more registers per SMM/SMX). Enough to beat AMD? Only you know ;))
- Memory latencies: "in-page random" in "GPGPU Memory Latency" benchmarks for both Global & Texture memories, TLBs seem to have improved a lot; also huge L2 reduces memory pressure.
Slowed-down the colour palette cycling in Video benchmarks (DirectX / OpenGL) to prevent possible epileptic fit due to possible flashing / rapidly changing image on the latest video cards. Please ensure you use this version if you are using those benchmarks!
- Modern video cards have become very fast even with complex pixel shaders; cycling was added to ensure each frame is different and thus re-computed; however, this meant modern graphics cards cycle too fast through the entire palette making the image "flash" which may be problematic for some people.
New CPU benchmarks: Quad-Precision floating-point (FP128)
- Since x64 and its deprecation of FPU ISA, we "lost" the legacy 80-bit precision and been "stuck" with SSE/AVX double/FP64. While for most applications single/FP32 is sufficient - for complex scientific, financial workloads the loss of intermediate computation precision can become significant.
- IEEE has recently standardised quad/FP128 which now can appear in future FPU SIMD units, which makes sense as we move to 512-bit SIMD which can can 4 128-bit quad-precision floating point values.
- For now, we have to use software emulation using double/FP64. This can be accelerated using SIMD (i.e. SSE/AVX) in some cases - however complex functions (e.g. cos/sin, log/exp, sqrt, etc.) are somewhat problematic.
- Emulated using double-precision (FP64) where available.
- Ready to compare to future native FP128 precision support, i.e. future SIMD ISA.
New GP benchmarks: Quad-Precision floating-point (FP128)
- While GPUs have "recently" gained double/FP64 support, they are may gain gain quad/FP128 support sooner than FPUs - which does make sense as even modern wide vectorised FPUs cannot match GPGPU floating-point computational power.
- We will naturally first see native support through extensions (like AMD's FP64) before final standardisation.
- For now we use either double/FP64 emulation (similar to FP64 emulation through single/FP32) and also single/FP32 as a fallback which works under limited value range.
- Emulated using double-precision (FP64) where available.
- Emulated using single-precision (FP32) otherwise but extremely slow.
- Ready to compare to future native FP128 precision support, i.e. future GPGPUs.
Updated GP benchmark: Scientific Analysis OpenCL
- Previously only CUDA version was enabled on all cards.
- 3 common algorithms: GEMM (matrix multiply), FFT (fast Fourier transform), N-Body simulation enabled for OpenCL
- FFT forward and FFT inverse included. Improved FFT performance by pre-computing transcendentals.
What's New in Sandra 2014:
Broad Operating System Support All current OS versions supported: Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP
- Enhanced for Windows 8 / Server 2012 Desktop mode using the latest API.
- New theme for Windows 8 / Server 2012 and its brand new look (ex-Metro).
- Full support for Windows 7, Vista and XP as well as Server 2008/R2 and Server 2003/R2.
- Updated hardware support for both current and future hardware (AMD "Trinity", "Vishera"; Intel "Haswell")
New driver/firmware notification Keep up-to-date with the latest enhancements for your computer
Sandra checks for updated firmware/BIOS or device drivers for all components/peripherals and provides the user with download information [commercial versions only]:
- System BIOS update
- Video Card BIOS update, driver update (including DirectX, OpenGL, OpenCL and CUDA)
- Disk (Hard Disk, Optical Drive or SSD) firmware update
- CPU microcode update
- USB device firmware update, driver update
- Printer firmware update, driver update
- Network device (e.g. router, wireless access point) firmware update
Updated Device Performance Certification Certify the validity and quality of your benchmarks results [Commercial versions]
Device Performance Certification validates whether the benchmark result (score) you have obtained upon benchmarking your device is valid (i.e. the device you tested is performing correctly) and how it compares to the scores obtained by other users when testing the same device.
By aggregating the results submitted for each device and performing statistical analysis (e.g. computing mean/average, standard deviation, etc.) we can use statistical tools to work out whether the score is within the expected range (confidence intervals).
Based on the variability of scores you can determine whether the performance of your device is consistent or varies significantly from test to test.
New GP (GPU/APU/CPU) Cache/Memory Latency benchmark 4 memory types, 3 access patterns, 2 interfaces
Benchmark all the different memories (global, constant, shared/local, private) of modern GPGPUs using the 3 access patterns (in-page random, full random, sequential/linear) in OpenCL and CUDA. See the differences between modern GPGPU architectures from AMD and nVidia or APU architectures from AMD and Intel.
We have published an article on the cache/memory latencies of current GPGPU architectures: GP GPU/APU Cache and Memory Latencies.
New GP (GPU/APU/CPU) Cache Bandwidth benchmark 4 memory types, 2 interfaces
Benchmark all the different memories (global, constant, shared/local, private) of modern GPGPUs and measure L1, L2 and L3 cache bandwidths in OpenCL and CUDA. See the differences between modern GPGPU architectures from AMD and nVidia or APU architectures from AMD and Intel.
We have published an article on the cache bandwidths of current GPGPU architectures: GP GPU/APU Cache and Memory Bandwidths.
Updated Overall Score for complete system performance evaluation 12 benchmarks to fully evaluate computer performance
While each benchmark measures the performance of a specific device (CPU, Memory, (GP)GPU, Storage, etc.), there is a real need for a benchmark to evaluate the overall computer performance: this new benchmark is a weighted average of the individual scores of the existing benchmarks:
- Native CPU Arithmetic, Cryptographic [new] and Multi-Media (SIMD): measures native processor performance
- .Net/Java Arithmetic, Cryptographic [new] and Multi-Media (vectorised): measures software virtual machine performance (e.g. for .Net WPF/Silverlight/METRO applications)
- Memory and Cache Bandwidth and Latency [new]: measures memory and caches performanc
- File System/Storage Bandwidth and I/O [new]: measures storage performance
- General Processing GP(GPU/APU) Arithmetic, Cryptographic and Bandwidth: measures GPGPU/GPAPU performance
Memory Latency: code/instruction cache latencies 2 memory types, 3 access patterns
Modern processors have dedicated cache sub-systems (e.g. L1I, L2I) to handle code/instructions that, while just as important as data caches, are not assessed by most benchmarks.
Sandra 2013 adds a brand new benchmark using its 3 dedicated access patterns ("in-page" thus avoiding "out-of-page" latencies, "full random" and "linear/sequential") to fully test code caches performance.
We have published an article on the cache latencies of current CPU architectures: Measuring Cache and Memory Latency (access patters, paging and TLBs).
Brand new style for Windows 8
Windows 8 has its own style (ex-Metro) that it shares with Windows Phone 7/8. Love it or hate it, it is here to stay. We have also provided Windows 7, Vista and XP users with an updated, modern style:
- Sandra 2013 - Metro style (Windows 8)
- Sandra 2013 - Aero/Metallic style (Windows 7, Vista, XP)
Price Engine: invaluable
Why? The Price engine enhances the user's experience by providing product pictures and additional specifications - as well as the the latest price. It enables the calculation of important metrics like Performance vs. Price and Capacity vs. Price (for storage media) which are extremely useful when making comparisons. All this is done automatically rather than manually searching for pricing, a great time saver.