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Once the final version of Windows DreamScene was launched, we wanted to make some tests to check it's impact on the overall system performance. Like many other applications that deliver eye candy, we were expecting to see some decrease in performance. So, we selected a few applications for testing the impact on performance and made some tests on two computers.
How we tested?
The applications we used for benchmarking are the following: 7Zip v4.42, Windows Media Player 11, SuperPI 1.5, 3DMark 2006 and PCMark 2005.
The SuperPI and PCMark05 tests were run on a Intel Core2Duo @2.16 Ghz, 2 GB of RAM @ 667Mhz, ATI x1650PRO 512MB DDR2, Western Digital 2500KS HDD. The other tests were run on a AMD Athlon64 3800+, 2GB of RAM and a GeForce6 GT 128MB DDR2 video card.
First, we archived a file with the size of 231 MB using 7Zip v4.42. As you can see from the graph below, the difference is about 5% (14 seconds).
Afterwards, we ripped an audio CD using Windows Media Player 11. When DreamScene was turned on, the ripping process took only 3 seconds longer (less than 1% difference).
Next, we downloaded the latest version of SuperPI and ran the default test. When DreamScene was turned off, the test was finished in 27.22 seconds. When we turned it on, it took 27.82 seconds to finish. This means only a 2% difference.
After SuperPI, we ran 3DMark 2006 and PCMark 2005. In 3DMark 2006, the performance difference was null. We have run the test 3 times and always we had the same results. So, in this case the performance impact is null.
However, in PCMark 2005 we have noticed a slight performance decrease of 4,8%. Then, we took 7Zip and used it for another test. We ran the included benchmark using a 4MB dictionary size and registered the results. As you can see for yourself, the difference in was 7,7%.
While using Windows DreamScene we have not observed any major difference in system responsiveness and performance. As you can also see from the results of our tests, DreamScene has very little impact. The differences vary from 0% to 7.7%, which is not that big. It seems that, if you are running applications in full-screen mode, DreamScene is paused and the performance is not affected. A more noticeable impact can be observed when you are using applications which do not run in full-screen mode and which use both your processor and hard disk intensively. For normal activities such as browsing the internet, using office applications, playing music & movies, DreamScene can be turned on without lowering too much the responsiveness and performance.