PCMark 7 Results, Continued
We expected to see some of the most variance within the PCMark suite here, as gaming storage throughput might be the most sensitive to impacts from background file scanning. Not so. Only GFI and Microsoft show any real influence on scores, and even then the improvement is minimal. Once more, we see AV not hindering system performance.
Perhaps this is our most damning data point. Top to bottom, we see a roughly 12% impact against DirectX 9 performance across the board. No AV product does better than another at preventing this. It seems to be an inherent liability baked into the background scanning process.
Still image manipulation performance? Zero impact from AV presence. Nothing to see here...move along.
Importing photos is another place where we expected to separate the wheat from the chaff, as this would keep AV scanning constantly busy watching incoming files for malicious bad apples in our barrels of photo files. Yet again, there’s not much variability. GFI and Microsoft tie for delivering the best storage performance. And strangely, our clean configuration shows the worst performance of the bunch, lagging the leaders by about 10 percent. So AV is good for storage and bad for graphics? Weird.
Finally, some data that matches our presuppositions. The clean configuration shows the highest Web page browsing speed, which makes sense as the results are totally unscanned. GFI seems to spend the most cycles on page element analysis, bringing up the back of our fairly tight-knit pack. Microsoft comes the closest to native speed, although, given AV-C’s detection results, we have to wonder if this is because Security Essentials isn’t doing as thorough of a job.
The data decryption side of Web browsing tends to lean more heavily on CPU performance, so we would expect to see AV apps with higher CPU utilization resulting in lower scores here. It’s possible that such an effect is seen here, but with the groups laggard (Symantec) turning in a score only 3% below native speed, we’d call this a non-issue. The preliminary conclusion would be that AV is not affecting CPU performance.
Finally, we have Windows Defender performance. Defender guards against spyware. It’s a free download and a fairly necessary one if you’re only going to run a basic, free AV app. This time, Kaspersky falls behind while all other AV products show a fair performance gain over our clean baseline, led by AVG and GFI.