Buy the Numbers - 01 Aug 1996

The Windows NT Magazine Lab adopted the BAPCo SYSmark Windows NT benchmark test in January 1996 to provide a real-world evaluation of a workstation's performance in the office. SYSmark benchmarks are a composite linear score based on automated user routines in popular applications. A system receiving a 200 score is twice as fast as one with a 100. This benchmark uses both 32-bit and 16-bit apps (Microsoft's Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, and 16-bit PowerPoint, Welcom Software's Texim Project, and Orcad MaxEDA) scripted by Microsoft Test. For more information on the SYSmark benchmarks, visit

The baseline machine for comparison is a 100-MHz Pentium with 32MB of RAM, a 2MB Diamond Stealth 64 video card, a 1GB IDE hard drive, a 4X CD-ROM, and a 3Com Etherlink III network card. The total cost of the baseline machine is approximately $2950.

Graph A shows the overall SYSmark score for the systems. Graph B shows a price/performance, or miles per gallon, measure of SYSmarks per $1000. Graph C shows the individual scores for each application in the test. We run each application three times to account for irregularities among test runs. Graph D illustrates the script runtimes.

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