Feeds

PC tune-up software: does it really work?

Part Two: Windows Vista

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Round-up Installing tune-up and registry fixing software was hit and miss when we tested on a five-year-old Windows XP laptop. Faster Microsoft Office and Windows boot-up times were possible with some software packages, but occasionally performance took a dive and a similarly priced Ram upgrade thrashed the rest of the field.

PC speed-up software

Some of the services Avanquest Fix-it Utilities 9 offers to disable can speed up performance

This time - in the second of our three-part investigation; we'll be looking at Windows 7 in due course - we’ve tested the same five tune-up applications on a newer, faster computer. There's a caveat: this computer runs Vista. That makes start-up time much slower than on the old XP laptop and the potential benefit of tune-up software greater.

The five applications on test explicitly say – in their advertising – that they will speed up your computer or, more carefully, they are “designed” to speed up your computer. Again, we’ve added a Ram upgrade into the mix to try and gauge where your money is best spent: hardware or software. The upgrade costs £30 and doubles the basic 2GB Ram to 4GB - although it's only 3.5GB in practice, due to the 32-bit Windows limitation - and is a similar price to the applications on test.

The test system is an 18-month-old reviewers PC running Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit. It includes an Intel Q9450 quad core processor, 2GB of 800MHz DDR 2 Ram, a 320GB Seagate 7200rpm hard drive, an AMD ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB graphics card all plugged into an Intel X38 motherboard.

A freshly installed copy of Vista takes under 90 seconds to boot-up on this PC, but after a year’s use and many program installs - and removals - it doesn’t feel particularly nippy any more. In fact, Vista SP2 takes over three minutes to boot up. Ubuntu Linux, in comparison, only takes 41 seconds.

PC speed-up software

Using Desktop Maestro V3.0’s Minimal Services setting reduced performance and made our PC ugly, ugly, ugly
Click for a full-size screenshot

An application that could speed up this computer is, in theory, a nice alternative to reinstalling Vista, which would add a day or two of reinstalling programs, configuring settings, and backing up and restoring files.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.