Feeds

PC tune-up software: does it really work?

Part One: Windows XP

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Iolo’s System Mechanic 9, which costs $49 (£29), caused us some real headaches in this respect, because its one-click solution disabled MSN and Snagit, which we re-enabled for a fair test. Another option in System Mechanic 9 is its EnergyBooster option. With this enabled, boot-up times were cut by a further seven seconds compared with the result in the graph. It achieved this by pointing out services we didn’t use, including Fast User Switching. So, while you may use Fast User Switching, it may find something else you don’t use and offer to turn that off instead.

PC speed-up software

Disaster strikes for Fix-it Utilities, with a significant hit on performance
Longer bars are better

The most effective way of increasing performance with these software packages is disabling unused start-up applications, which gave us an 18-second improvement compared to the results we’ve presented in the graphs. You can remove many of these services manually, but these applications make it much easier, and Iolo’s service-remove tool was the best of the bunch in this respect.

Avanquest’s Fix-it Utilities 9, which costs £29.35, was the only application that changed the page file from Windows default of 764MB to 1024MB and it freed up an extra 17MB of memory. Both its start-up time and Office 2007 performances were bottom of the field and it really affected Counter-Strike: Source’s frame rate badly.

Fix-it Utilities 9 offers different profiles for you to chose – Office, Gamer or Security (who wants to choose between security and anything else, eh?) – but there was no noticeable performance difference between them. When we went one step further and enabled the Menu Display Optimizer and Icon Cache Size Increase options, performance in Office 2007 and start-up times sank a further eight and 11 seconds, respectively, compared with the one-click optimisation results presented in the graphs.

PC speed-up software

It would appear the applications do some good after all, at least in freeing up Ram

Fix-it Utilities 9 does have a very good start-up editor plus Virus and Spyware protection, a permanent file shredder and a very slick interface but, all in all, it appeared to slow down our laptop, not speed it up.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.