Thursday, October 1, 2009

Using Winsat.exe in Windows Server 2008 as a performance benchmarking tool

"Microsoft has the Windows System Assessment Tool (Winsat) available for download that can assess a computer’s ability to run Windows Vista. This tool provides a wealth of information on you hardware’s horsepower, plus it’s scriptable. It’s designed to run under Windows Vista, but can be run under Windows Server 2008 as well. Here’s how to do it.
1. Dowload the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor utility

2. Use Universal Extractor’s (uniextract) MSI method to extract the files from the .msi package

3. Copy winsat.exe to the c:\windows\system32 directory on the Windows 2008 server

4. Open an elevated command prompt and change to the c:\windows\system32 directory. There’s many different hardware components you can benchmark, but the following example benchmarks sequential reads on drive C:

winsat disk -seq -read -drive c

See the Technet command reference for Winsat for details on all tests winsat can perform, such as:

winsat dwmAssesses the ability of a system to display the Aero desktop effects.
winsat d3dAssesses the ability of a system to run Direct 3D applications, such as games.
winsat memAssesses system memory bandwidth by simulating large memory to memory buffer copies.
winsat diskAssesses the performance of disk drives.
winsat cpuAssesses the performance of the CPU(s).
winsat mediaAssesses the performance of video encoding and decoding (playback) using the Direct Show framework.
winsat mfmediaAssesses the performance of video decoding (playback) using the Media Foundation framework.
winsat featuresEnumerates relevant system information.
winsat formalRuns a set of pre-defined assessments and saves the data in an XML fil"

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