Performance Test November 2020
Impact of Business Security Software on System Performance
|Test Period||November 2020|
|Online with cloud connectivity|
|False Alarm Test included|
This report is an excerpt of the Business Security Test 2020 (August – November). For more details, please click here.
We want to make clear that the results in this report are intended only to give an indication of the impact on system performance (mainly by the real-time/on-access components) of the business security products in these specific tests. Users are encouraged to try out the software on their own PC’s and see how it performs on their own systems.
We have tested the product that each manufacturer submits for the protection tests in the Business Main Test Series. Please note that the results in this report apply only to the specific product versions listed above (i.e. to the exact version numbers and to 64-bit systems). Also, keep in mind that different vendors offer different (and differing numbers of) features in their products.
The following activities/tests were performed under an up-to-date Windows 10 64-Bit system:
- File copying
- Archiving / unarchiving
- Installing / uninstalling applications
- Launching applications
- Downloading files
- Browsing Websites
- PC Mark 10 Professional Testing Suite
The tests were performed on an Intel Core i7 CPU system with 8GB of RAM and SSD system drives. We consider this machine configuration as “high-end”. The performance tests were done on a clean Windows 10 1909 64-Bit system (English) and then with the installed business security client software. The tests were done with an active Internet connection to allow for the real-world impact of cloud services/features. Care was taken to minimize other factors that could influence the measurements and/or comparability of the systems. Optimizing processes/fingerprinting used by the products were also considered – this means that the results represent the impact on a system which has already been operated by the user for a while. The tests were repeated several times (with and without fingerprinting) in order to get mean values and filter out measurement errors. After each run, the workstation was reverted to the previously created system image and rebooted six times. We simulated various file operations that a computer user would execute: copying different types of clean files from one place to another, archiving and unarchiving files, downloading files from the Internet and launching applications (opening documents). We believe that increasing the number of iterations increases our statistical precision. This is especially true for performance testing, as some noise is always present on real machines. We perform each test multiple times and provide the median as result. We also used a third-party, industry-recognized performance testing suite (PC Mark 10 Professional) to measure the system impact during real-world product usage. We used the predefined PC Mark 10 Extended test. Readers are invited to evaluate the various products themselves, to see what impact they have on their systems (due to e.g. software conflicts and/or user preferences, as well as different system configurations that may lead to varying results).
We use around 5GB of data consisting of various file types and sizes (pictures, movies, audio files, MS Office documents, PDF documents, business applications/executables, archives, etc.).
File copying: We copied a set of various common file types from one physical hard disk to another physical hard disk. Some anti-virus products ignore some types of files by design/default (e.g. based on their file type), or use fingerprinting technologies, which may skip already scanned files in order to increase the speed.
Archiving and unarchiving: Archives are commonly used for file storage, and the impact of anti-virus software on the time taken to create new archives or to unarchive files from existing archives may be of interest for most users. We archived a set of different file types that are commonly found on home and office workstations.
Installing/uninstalling applications: We installed several common applications with the silent install mode, then uninstalled them and measured how long it took. We did not consider fingerprinting, because usually an application is installed only once.
Launching applications: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and PDF documents are very common. We opened and then later closed various documents in Microsoft Office and in Adobe Acrobat Reader. The time taken for the viewer or editor application to launch was measured. Although we list the results for the first opening and the subsequent openings, we consider the subsequent openings more important, as normally this operation is done several times by users, and optimization of the anti-virus products take place, minimizing their impact on the systems.
Downloading files: Common files are downloaded from a local server and public webserver.
Browsing Websites: Common websites are opened with Google Chrome. The time to completely load and display the website was measured. We only measure the time to navigate to the website when an instance of the browser is already started.
These specific test results show the impact on system performance that a security product has, compared to the other tested security products. The reported data just gives an indication and is not necessarily applicable in all circumstances, as too many factors can play an additional part. The testers defined the categories Slow, Mediocre, Fast and Very Fast by consulting statistical methods and taking into consideration what would be noticed from the user’s perspective, or compared to the impact of the other security products. If some products are faster/slower than others in a single subtest, this is reflected in the results.
Overview of single AV-C performance scores
|Vendor||File copying||Archiving /
| Installing /
|Launching Applications||Downloading Files||Browsing Webites|
|First Run||Subsequent Run||First Run||Subsequent Run|
PC Mark Tests
In order to provide an industry-recognized performance test, we used the PC Mark 10 Professional Edition testing suite. Users using PC Mark 10 benchmark should take care to minimize all external factors that could affect the testing suite, and strictly follow at least the suggestions documented inside the PC Mark manual, to get consistent and valid/useful results. Furthermore, the tests should be repeated several times to verify them. For more information about the various consumer scenarios tests included in PC Mark, please read the whitepaper on their website.
“No security software” is tested on a baseline system without any security software installed, which scores 100 points in the PC Mark 10 benchmark.
Baseline system: Intel Core i7 machine with 8GB RAM and SSD drive
Users should weight the various subtests according to their needs. We applied a scoring system to sum up the various results. Please note that for the File Copying and Launching Applications subtests, we noted separately the results for the first run and for subsequent runs. For the AV-C score, we took the rounded mean values of first and subsequent runs for File Copying, whilst for Launching Applications we considered only the subsequent runs. “Very fast” gets 15 points, “fast” gets 10 points, “mediocre” gets 5 points and “slow” gets 0 points. This leads to the following results:
|AVC Score||PC Mark Score||Impact Score|
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