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.
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.
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.