WinSAT: Vistas Built-in Benchmark

Show Reports: Windows Vista will feature its own built in benchmarks. WinSAT will determining whether or not your system can run the Aero interface, as well as give your PC a score. Prepare for the marketing deluge. (ExtremeTech)

Windows Vista will contain a Microsoft-embedded benchmark, known as WinSAT (Windows System Assessment Tool.) WinSAT serves several purposes:
  • Its a tool for OEM system providers to help enable them to meet Windows Vista logo requirements
  • WinSAT runs during the Vista setup procedure, to determine if the system is capable of running the Aero 3D user interface and compositing system.
  • Users can run it as a rough guide to performance of Vista on their system, as well use it for a system diagnostic

WinSAT ships in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. The 32-bit version will not run under 64-bit Vista. It will even run on Windows XP, though due to differences in the way the benchmarks run, the results arent really comparable.

WinSAT runs a suite of tests based on what Windows Vista does. For example, theres an encryption test using Vistas own AES encryption engine. Its important to understand that WinSAT is neither a synthetic benchmark, nor is it an application-based benchmark. It is a test of how Vista performs on specific hardware.

WinSAT consists of five different types of tests, which Microsoft dubs "assessments":

  • Graphics Assessment, which determines how well the system can run the Aero interface. This is mainly a measure of graphics memory bandwidth. The result from this assessment is used during Windows setup to determine whether Aero will be enabled by default.

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