PCMark05 & 3DMark05
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark05. We incorporated PCMark05 into our benchmark suite soon after its release, and have found it to be even more robust in terms of test features than its predecessor. That said, the CPU and Memory test modules we use for comparison are very similar to the 04 version of the test suite. For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got a couple of quotes directly from Futuremark that explain exactly what these tests do, and how they work.
"The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. The CPU Test Suite also includes multithreading: two of the test scenarios are run multithreaded; the other including two simultaneous tests and the other running four tests simultaneously. The remaining six tests are run single threaded. Operations include, File Compression/Decompression, Encryption/Decryption, Image Decompression, and Audio Compression" - Courtesy FutureMark Corp.
In a field of systems using single-core processors, the Shuttle SD36G5M reigns supreme as it turns in the highest overall score of the group. Without question, the Shuttle system is more than capable of handling nearly any application you could throw at it. Should you opt to take advantage of the system's support for dual-core processors, performance will be even higher.
3DMark05's built-in CPU test is a multi-threaded "gaming related" DirectX metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between similarly equipped systems. Using a variety of gaming scenarios, a raw score is created to give a subjective analysis of how capable the system's hardware truly is.
Armed with a 128MB GeForce 6600, the Shuttle system narrowly missed winning yet another benchmark. Coming within four points of the overall winner, the SD36G5M has certainly proven its merit as a high performance platform. Should you wish to use the system primarily for games, you'll be able to install any high performance graphics card so long as the heatsink assembly is a single slot design due to the placement of the PCI-E x16 slot.