Lavalys Everest Ultimate 5.3 Page: 1
Lavalys Everest Ultimate Edition v5.3
 
Today on Overclock3D we’re taking a look at the latest revision of Lavalys’ comprehensive hardware analysis software, Everest. In particular the new features available in Everest Ultimate Edition v5.3.
 
There are two main problems with any hardware analysis software. Firstly they are either overwhelmingly complex or frustratingly simple and secondly they are rarely updated to take advantage of, or even notice, the latest hardware. Everest dispenses with both of these issues by providing not only a fully featured set of hardware benchmarks and comparison tables, but also is updated so regularly that Lavalys support hardware that has yet to reach the marketplace.
 
Let’s firstly look at the many new features and supported hardware for those of you who already use this splendid package, and then we’ll move on to an overview for those of you who haven’t yet sampled this surprising piece of software.
 
 
What’s New
 
The first thing that you will notice is that Lavalys have wisely kept their simple to use interface and made most of the changes ‘under the hood’. Often companies overhaul their popular packages with needlessly flashy front-ends, so it’s good to see Lavalys sticking with their proven clear and easy to navigate interface that loads quickly and manages to display the exceptional amount of information available in a manner that is both clear and easy on the eye. Enhanced support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 ensure that no matter what your operating system is, it wont affect the accuracy of Everest's reporting tools.
 
 
Everest Main Screen
 
 
Processors
 
On the Intel side of the fence Everest now supports both the new i5, i7 and Xeon range of processors. This includes full processor information and accurate reading of everything you could need starting at the basic CPU name, speed and cache sizes, through to transistor counts, process information and thermal rating. The full list of newly supported Intel processors are those codenamed "Lynnfield", "Clarksfield". There is improved supported for Poulsbo US15W SCH based Intel Atom systems and preliminary benchmarks for the "Clarkdale" and "Arrandale" processors.
 
AMD have released a plethora of processors in recent times with a multitude of codenames, but regardless of if you own a Deneb X2 or a Hexcore Opteron, it will be detected properly.  The Lavalys list of newly supported AMD processors is "Shanghai", "Istanbul", "Callisto", "Deneb", "Heka", "Propus", "Rana", "Regor" and "Sargas". The comparison tables have even been updated to enable you to see at a glance how your system compares to the latest number crunching behemoth. In my case not well, so luckily the OC3D banner helps hide my shame.
 
 
How do you stack up to Hexcores?
 
 
Chipsets
 
With any new generation of processor there is a new generation of chipsets to go with them  Like the aforementioned processors, Lavalys were quick in getting chipset information for all the latest motherboard types including PCI Express device lists and SPD memory modules. The newly supported chipset list includes the AMD785G and AMD SR56. For Xeon and the new i5/i7 chips the Intel Ibex Peak 34xx, Intel P55. Everest also supports the Nvidia Ion, VIA VX8820, VX855 and VX875.
 
 
GPUs and DirectX 11
 
It can't have escaped anyones notice that the primary new element Windows 7 will bestow upon the technophiles amongst us is DirectX 11. Shader Model 5, Direct Compute (GPGPU) technology and easier multi-threaded implementation should mean that it's not the slight disappointment DirectX 10 was. Once again Lavalys are ahead of the rest by including DirectX 11 support into Everest v5.3. All the tables have been updated to include detection of the very latest devices including OpenGL 3.2 features and extensions.
 
So with the technical side out the way, what does that mean to us, the end user? Primarily it means that the current king of graphics cards, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 are fully supported within Everest. Lavalys have also included and expanded support with Nvidia for the GeForce GT230, 240, G105M and the two latest Quadro FX cards, the 1700M and 3700M.
 
I could tell you about the temperature monitoring and the comprehensive GPU information display, but a picture tells a thousand words. This screen shot is courtesy of Lavalys themselves as I haven't got a 58x0 installed in my system. 2 billion transistors and 5 billion pixel fill rate. Lovely.
 
GPU Screen
 
Lets move on to page 2 and look over the main features.


Lavalys Everest Ultimate 5.3 Page: 2
Everest Main Features
 
Now we've had a look at what is new within this latest update it's time to cover the many elements of Everest that new users will be unaware of and maybe highlight a few features that regular users have yet to discover. Naturally as this is a look at the new support for the very latest round of hardware then the following will be more of an overview. Luckily Everest is so simple to use and almost bomb-proof that even the neophyte could see what everything did without fear of getting lost or crashing the program.
 
So starting from the top of the menu and working downwards, we have the Computer menu. This contains general details about your hardware, power settings and, if any, the overclock. It also contains one of the two pages you'll probably look at most, second only to the Benchmark results, and that's the Sensor information. Temperatures, fan speeds and voltages all available both 'at a glance', automatically refreshed, and built in to a single package that can also benchmark. No longer do you need a screen full of applications when one covers nearly all you could need.
 
 Comprehensive sensor page
 
The Motherboard subsection provides full information about the various components in the main part of your system. CPU information covers specific hardware information, whilst CPUID lists the instruction sets, security features and power management features supported by each CPU. Also within this menu are details about the memory installed and it's current timings, along with timings also supported by your kit.
 
 
Moving down we find the Operating System menu. This is a surprisingly handy collation of a multitude of information regarding your OS. The current processes running, including their home directory, the services running, with a much more useful explanation of what exactly those 20 svchosts actually are, the various DLLs installed and system drivers. Most of this information is available within the OS itself but by no means is it as simple to acquire and contained within a single application. For those of us who are hardcore users of their computer the UpTime log is particularly fascinating. My PC has been "up" for 85 days and 13 hours in six months. As a testament to the bulletproof nature of Windows 7 I've had 0 blue screens in that time. I'd love to see the figures for my old Vista system that seemed to BSOD every other day.
 
Up Time Screen
 
Move on to page 3 to take a look at Everests benchmarking suite.


Lavalys Everest Ultimate 5.3 Page: 3
Benchmarking
 
We all love a good benchmark. No hardware review is complete without a few graphs showing us how this latest piece of hardware will enable us to get another 30 frames in COD4. That's all well and good but has two major failings. Firstly if all you do is stick your PC on, headshot a few people and turn it off again that might be plenty, although a console would be cheaper and easier, but for those of us who use our PCs for the many tasks they excel at, be it surfing, image editing, multimedia activities or whatever, then we need to know how the whole subsystem works. Secondly these comparisons are usually made against very very similar recent hardware. This makes deciding if a full upgrade would be beneficial, difficult to say the least. How exactly does my DDR400 compare to some DDR3 in bandwidth tests? Without Everest it's all but impossible.
 
There are three main sections to the tests, memory, CPU and FPU. The memory tests cover read, write, copy and latency. The CPU tests use Queen (a chess puzzle), Photoworxx, Zlib and AES, whilst the FPU works its magic on Julia, SinJulia and Mandelbrot. Not only do we get a choice of outputs (plain text, HTML or MHTML) but Everest then shows where we appear in the list of other hardware. So if you want to compare your P200MMX to a i7 965, you can do.
 
It should be clear by now that I rate this suite very highly indeed. Trying to cover everything it's capable of in a short article is all but impossible and I'm sure that some of you are wondering if it really does supply all that I proclaim. So enough talk, more screen shots! On my very creaky old system (X2 4400, 2GB DDR400) the full suite of tests took 98.6 seconds to run. You can run individual tests too, the memory ones being particularly speedy, and I'm sure that those of you with more modern systems could see results in around a minute.
 
 
Here is a sample of the HTML output option, in this case showing Memory Write test. It's a great demonstration both of the amount of information available, the clear output and, on a personal note, how low latency can overcome slow speeds.
 
Memory Timings
 
Lastly here is a grab of the results within the Everest program itself. This time the CPU Photoworxx test and no laughing at the back at my miserable score. Although this does highlight my earlier observation that Everest gives you a clearer indication of where your system is lacking compared to other systems than anything else on the market.
 
 
 
System Comparisons
 
Finally, tucked away in the tools menu, about the only time you need to access the menu bar for anything, are five very useful tricks Lavalys have tucked into Everest's sleeves. All five open in pop-up windows that are as easy on the eye as the rest of the program. The Disk Benchmark does exactly what it proclaims. CPUID and CPU Cache tests give an output similar to that you'll find in CPU-Z. The Stress Test is great for seeing if the extra 400MB/s bandwidth you've managed to obtain comes at the cost of stability and finally the monitor calibration screens are something that many people overlook, but why have great image quality if your monitor is too bright and washed out? Once again Everest provides all your needs in one simple package.
 
Move on to the final page for my conclusion. 
 


Lavalys Everest Ultimate 5.3 Page: 4
Conclusion
 
Everest certainly provides every piece of information you could require and it's one of the main solutions to the problem I mentioned on page one, how do you produce a piece of software that is useful to both the first-timers and those who can work out memory dividers in their sleep?
 
The experts amongst us will find details of their CAS, RAS and voltages useful, along with the very speedy benchmark tests. It's one thing to follow the maxim that more must equal better, but to have hard bandwidth figures to back it up with is always nice. After all, what's the point in tweaking if we can't proudly display the results of our efforts?
 
Whereas those whose knowledge of their PC is limited to its colour will find simple to understand information about exactly which piece of hardware they have and, one of Everest's best features, links to the manufacturers website and where to get updates. Certainly anyone who's tried to help a PC-phobic friend out over the phone, or had to attempt to troubleshoot a generic PC, will greatly appreciate the ability to quickly find out the hardware they have installed without having to dig out the screwdriver and the midnight oil.
 
Comprehensive doesn't begin to cover this program. Fully featured with clear and understandable results is everything you could want from this type of software. Many companies could learn a thing or two from Lavalys in both the clear presentation, easy navigation and small 23MB RAM footprint.
 
At only $29.96 this is one of the best investments you can make. Lavalys' constant updates and new features ensure even those of the absolute cutting edge of technology are never left behind, whilst those with a more medium spec PC can see at a glance how an upgrade to a certain set of hardware would benefit them.
 
Everest Ultimate is available for fast download & purchase here, a trial version is also available for free!
 
 
The Good
- Constant updates for the latest hardware
- Features for both novice & expert
- Task bar temperature & voltage icon option
- Vista & Windows 7 side bar widgets available
- Small operating footprint
 
The Mediocre
- Nothing here
 
The Bad
- Not a sausage
 
 
 
 
We would like to thank Lavalys for the opportunity to review their software. Please Discuss further in ourforums.