At SiSoftware from version to version we focus four key areas of software development to make sure we give our users the best software experience. Quite simply our four drivers are:
1. Inclusion of new technologies that ensure our tools remain current.
2. Increased hardware and software support for existing modules.
3. Improving the user interface to make it a richer easier user experience.
4. Filling gaps in the product line in response to our customers' needs.
Looking at these in more detail:
1. It would have hardly been possible in the last few months to have not noticed the release of Windows 7. SiSoftware has been developing against both the betas and release candidate of Windows 7 to ensure compatibility even before the launch of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.
Over the last year, we have seen a huge growth in server consolidation and virtualisation: SiSoftware has responded to this by including support for not just one but five (5) different virtualisation technologies. These are:
* Windows Virtual PC 7 (Windows XP Mode)
* Microsoft Virtual Server 2005/R2
* Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008/R2
* VMware Server
* VMware WorkStation/Player
2. Since last year much new hardware has been released and the SiSoftware team continue to work on including support for new hardware as well as software in the latest version. There are always too many items, but to name a few:
* ATI GPUs: Radeon HD 5800, 5700 series
* AMD CPUs: Athlon Neo, Six (6)/Eight (8)/Twelve (12)-Core Opteron 4100, 6100 server
* Intel CPUs: Core i5/i7 desktop/mobile, Xeon Nehalem-EX server
* nVidia GPUs: GT215, GT216, GT218 series
* VIA CPUs: Nano 3000 series
* Hardware monitoring: Analog Devices (ADT), SMSC, Winbond/Nuovoton
Those running Windows 7 and Windows Vista will notice improved graphics and GPGPU support, including DirectX 11 Compute Shader/DirectCompute, OpenCL (GPU and CPU), as well as OpenGL graphics. In addition, Windows 7 users will also benefit from sensor information (GPS, temperature, brightness, voltage and fan), (multi)-touch, native support for SSD drives and SideShow devices.
With each release, we continue to add support and compatibility for the latest hardware, architectures and operating systems, and this is no exception. SiSoftware continues to work with hardware vendors to ensure the best support for new emerging hardware. Below is a quote we would like to share with you:
"As ATI Stream technology grows in popularity with software developers, SiSoftware's Sandra 2010 benchmark is an increasingly important tool for evaluating GPU compute performance," said Eric Demers, chief technology officer, graphics products, AMD. "As the only provider of DirectX 11 GPUs today, AMD welcomes SiSoftware's support for that popular application programming interface in Sandra 2010."
3. Sandra 2010 has been updated to use the new Windows 7 Windows User Experience (UX) guidelines, including Aero, for a richer, cleaner look and feel. However, all users will benefit from the improved usability and navigation in this version.
4. Responding to customers' needs to have a rapid portable version of Sandra (that does not need installing), we have expanded our offerings for Sandra Engineer Portable; it is now available on a branded USB (flash) drive, offering all the features of the previous CD based product, plus writable storage to save your valuable reports: you only need carry one thing in your pocket.
* Graphics (GPGPU) Processing: Benchmark the graphics performance of the graphics processors (GPGPUs). Such operations are used by specialised software, e.g. scientific software, image manipulation, video decoders/encoders, games that make GPU performance pretty important.
* Graphics (GPGPU) Bandwidth: Benchmark the bandwidth of the memory of the graphics processors (GPGPUs) and the bandwidth of the bus that connects them to your computer. The speed at which the data can be sent to the GPGPUs, internally processed and the results sent back is as important as the processing power of the GPGPUs.
* Video (GFX) Rendering: Benchmark the graphics performance of the video adapters (GFXs). Shows how your graphics processors handle rendering in comparison to other typical graphics processors. Such operations are used by all graphics software, image manipulation, video decoders/encoders, games and modern operating systems.
* Video (GFX) Memory: Benchmark the bandwidth of the memory of the video adapters (GFXs) and the bandwidth of the bus that connects them to your computer.
* Cryptographic Performance: Benchmark the cryptographic performance of modern processors that support hardware cryptographic engines. The most common algorithms, AES (AES128, AES256) for encryption/decryption and SHA (SHA1, SHA256) for hashing are supported.
s well as adding support for virtualisation, the other change we have all noticed is the blurring between the home and workplace; as a result we have added three (3) new lifestyle modules, making seven (7) new modules in total:
New modules (7)
* Virtual Computers: detailed information about the guest VMs running on your host (Virtual PC 7, Virtual Server 2005, Hyper-V Server, VMware Server, VMware WorkStation/Player)
* Environment Sensors: detailed information about the GPS, RFID, accelerator, temperature, etc. sensors
* Pen and Touch: detailed information about the (multi)-touch and pen interfaces.
* Information Devices: detailed information about the SideShow devices.
* Scanners and Cameras: detailed information about the imaging devices.
* Media Players: detailed information about the video (e.g. MP4) and audtio (e.g. MP3) players.
* Portable devices: detailed information about the PDA, Smartphone or other portable devices.
Updated Modules (6)
* GPGPU Processing: Support for OpenCL (ATI, nVidia) for both GPUs and CPUs, DirectX 11 Compute Shader/DirectCompute.
* GPGPU Bandwidth: Support for OpenCL (ATI, nVidia) for both GPUs and CPUs, DirectX 11 Compute Shader/DirectCompute.
* Video Rendering: Support for DirectX 11/SM5.0 and OpenGL 2.0 and later.
* Video Memory: Support for DirectX 11/SM5.0 and OpenGL 2.0 and later.
* CPU Multi-Media Performance: Support for Intel AVX instruction set.
* Cryptographic Performance: Support for Intel AES instruction set.
* 4 native architectures support (x86, x64/AMD64/EM64T, IA64/Itanium2, ARM).
* 5 native virtualisation technologies support (Virtual PC 7, Virtual Server 2005, Hyper-V Server, VMware Server, VMware WorkStation/Player)
* 5 native GPGPU platforms support (AMD OpenCL1, AMD CAL/STREAM, nVidia OpenCL1, nVidia CUDA, DirectX 11 Compute Shader/DirectCompute).
* 4 native Graphics platforms support (DirectX 9, DirectX 10/10.1, DirectX 11, OpenGL 2.0).
* Huge official hardware support through technology partners (Intel, AMD/ATI, SiS, VIA).
* 6 language versions (English, German3, French3, Italian3, Russian3, Japanese3) in a single installer.
* Enhanced Sandra Lite version