Feeds

PC tune-up software: does it really work?

Part Two: Windows Vista

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Conclusion

PC Tools told us the market for these “utility tools” has suffered a slight decline in recent years, due to basic tools being increasingly bundled with operating systems. The value of premium tools can be difficult to see, since we found the one-button optimisation wizards and registry fixing functions didn’t improvement performance significantly - at least, not without affecting functionality.

PC speed-up software

We experienced two crashes when testing with TuneUp in Vista, and none with the other apps

You will, however, get a boost by using the more detailed tools to switch off unused services and forgotten programs, although this is one way of reducing functionality. When we were testing the apps on Windows XP, we found we could shave a good 18 seconds off our startup time with every tune-up application on test by laboriously turning off unused programs and services, but with Vista this improved by 44 seconds after we selected 14 programs and services that we weren’t using any more, or had never used.

Meddling with the registry and Windows services is a tricky game, with Desktop Maestro in particular coming a cropper several times by pushing performance in the wrong direction. The other applications represent less of a risk and, besides, you can always restore an old registry if things go wrong.

Ultimately, we can say if you’re trying to reduce your Windows start-up time, extra Ram will help if you don’t have a lot - 512MB, say - while tune-up applications may help you find more performance if you have 2GB or more. ®

Verdict: Windows Vista Apps

Tune-up Utilities 2009
Rating 65%
Price £30
More Info Tune-up

CCleaner
Rating 65%
Price Free
More Info CCleaner

PC Tools Desktop Maestro 3
Rating 40%
Price £40
More Info PC Tools

Avanquest Fix-it Utilities 9
Rating 40%
Price £30
More Info Avanquest

Iolo System Mechanic 9
Rating 40%
Price £30
More Info Iolo

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.