We should preface the following CPU and game benchmarks by saying we really don't expect security software to have an effect on them. Anti-virus software typically activates on the creation, opening, closing, or emailing of files, and none of the following tasks are focused on any of these activities. Regardless, we make no assumptions and perform the following tests to check our theory.
We start things off with a synthetic CPU benchmark to see whether or not these products will cause performance differences compared to a computer without any security software installed. As you can see, the presence of this software appears to cause no tangible impact on raw processing performance.
Now let’s see what happens in a real-world encoding application.
Encoding a video with the Xvid codec definitely stresses the processor—in fact, it stresses the whole platform. Nevertheless, there’s no real performance difference to see here.
We benchmarked Crysis to see if any of these security software products would affect game performance. Happily, it does not appear to have any impact whatsoever.