Antivirus software performance is something that came up in an IRC channel I'm in, and I thought it'd be interesting to see a good benchmark of various antivirus products, across various versions of Windows, and various basic hardware platforms (doesn't have to be exhaustive, but a single core Atom with 1 gig of RAM, a few mid-range models, and some high-end stuff, to see how it's all affected, in gaming, and in other real-world workloads.
This isn't really something that i'm too interested in actually. Microsoft Security Essentials works great and doesn't hog a bunch of resources. I feel like it is should be default for most people, at least on consumer desktops/notebooks.
Except, there's actually a debate as far as what's faster, which is why I thought I'd post this up.
I could give it a shot on one or two pieces of hardware, and one or two OSes, but I couldn't do an exhaustive comparison. (Then again, for the purposes of the discussion in that channel, just doing it on my netbook with XP would be enough. There's a program that's having timing issues on the Standard 2009 Netbook Platform of 1.6 GHz Atom, 1 GiB RAM, i945, and 160 GB HDD when MSE's on-access scan is enabled, but works fine with it disabled.)
The preponderance of freeware antivirus suites (e.g. AVG) means the market is uniquely free, so the best ones should be recommended more often and rank the highest on google. A combination of two that don't conflict--I use AVG and MBAM--equal or exceed digital money pits like McAfee and Symantec/Norton. Technical benchmarks seem unnecessary and will be out of date too fast to be useful. Helpful benchmarks are more support-oriented; specifically, how often is the program's database updated?