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SiSoft Sandra 2010 Professional review

SiSoft Sandra 2010 Professional
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £39
inc VAT

Good as ever, but the new features in this version feel like a fairly minor revision on the last version.

When you’re troubleshooting PC hardware, you have to know what you’re dealing with. Getting it ‘just about’ right isn’t good enough. That’s where SiSoft Sandra comes. Sandra is a diagnostics program that interrogates the hardware in your PC, right down to the last chipset component, so that you know exactly what’s what.

This can be invaluable when you’re trying to hunt down the right driver or identify an incompatibility that’s killing your system performance. As well as telling you exactly what your hardware is, Sandra also comes with benchmarks for all your PC’s important components. Not only do the benchmarks test the performance of each component, they also tell you how the performance you’re getting compares to that of similar devices. This makes it easier to see if a particularly component is underperforming.

There are several new modules in this 2010 edition. Some are fairly niche, for instance modules providing information on environmental sensors and Windows Sideshow devices. The modules providing information on scanners , cameras and media players, will have a much broader appeal.

Users of the business instead of the home edition also have a module that provides information about Virtual Computers installed on the PC: it would have been nice to see this in the home version, too, as many home users are using free virtualisation software to run multiple operating systems. Also new in this version is support for Open CL GPGPU tests, the computing language that nVidia and ATI use to allow non-graphics programmes to run on their graphics processors to improve performance, such as video editing applications.

For anyone involved in PC diagnostics, Sandra 2010 is as indispensible a tool as all the previous versions of the program. It’s easy to use and gives you the information you need in seconds, rather than the hours it can take to check out the system manually and figure what all your various components are. That said, most of the changes seem niche and unlikely to excite most people. If you’re happy with the 2009 version, there’s no need to upgrade. If you don’t have any PC diagnostics software and your computer has a problem, buy SiSoft Sandra 2010, it will almost certainly save you hours of head-scratching.


Price £39
Rating ****

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