Before we hit the interview, a bit of introduction is in order. Sandra was one of the first popular benchmark suites, but it's evolved considerably over the past 14 years. While we tend to use it for straightforward CPU and memory tests, it's capable of much, much more—particularly when it comes to exploring specific aspects of CPU or GPU performance.
New in Sandra 2012 is the ability to generate a total system performance result calculated using a geometric mean to prevent outliers from skewing the data, a new benchmark result certification engine that allows users to verify that results for their systems match what they ought to be seeing, and the ability to run certain tests on the CPU, GPU, or APU in order to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison. The screenshot above is from the full version of the program, but all of the most useful benchmarks and hardware data is available in the free 'Lite' flavor as well.
The other major use for Sandra, particularly if you do a lot of tech support, is as a handy hardware identification tool / troubleshooter when working with folks who don't know much about their own equipment. While it isn't as focused as, say, MemTest86+, it can be invaluable for exploring a knotty problem.
After nearly fifteen years of work, you might think SiSoftware would have declared Sandra a finished product and moved on to other projects, but that's not the case at all. In our interview, Silasi discussed his long-term plans for the venerable software suite...