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SpeedUpMyPC
Page 2 - The Sections Continued
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: March 27, 2003
Category: Software
Options: Printable Version 12 pt Times New Roman 10 pt Times New Roman 12 pt Tahoma 10 pt Tahoma


The Memory section provides some very useful functionality. The Memory section monitors both RAM usage and page file usage with real time graphs (like the CPU section graphs). This section provides the Free RAM and Deep RAM Recovery functions. Both of these work well but, as expected, Deep RAM Recovery works better but much slower. To facilitate the use of the Free RAM functionality, SpeedUpMyPC provides an automatic RAM usage percentage limit to activate the function and quick keys to free RAM quickly. In addition, you can get warning messages about page file usage at a certain usage threshold as well, though I am not sure how much good that will do.

The Free RAM and Deep RAM Recovery work well, respectively. Free RAM recovers a minimal amount of RAM quickly. Deep RAM Recovery takes three passes and a lot of time but recovers a considerably larger amount of RAM. The some of the RAM Recovered with Deep RAM Recovery seems to be used again quickly, but a good portion still remains 'recovered.'

RAM Usage/Recovery.
RAM Usage/Recovery.

SpeedUpMyPC also provides an Internet category. This category offers internet and browser optimizations. It will also 'detect' your 'actual internet speed.' The actual performance gained here is difficult to determine. Eye balling it, I cannot detect a noticeable difference and benchmarking the internet connection does not yield anything really detectable outside a good margin of error. Both of the optimizations can be 'undone,' which is nice for those of you concerned about control over your OS.

Internet (Undetected)
Internet (Undetected)
Internet (Detected)
Internet (Detected)

The Startup section has the most noticeable measurable performance. Basically, you have two options here: run the Optimize Startup Settings function or check/uncheck applications that startup. There is lots of information available on this screen. If you have SpeedUpMyPC run at start up, one can view total start up times and start times for individual applications. Here is a graph of the time saved by optimizing the start up settings:

Optimize Startup Settings Results
Startup Time in Seconds
Pre-optimization
Post-optimization Boot 1
Post-optimization Boot 2
48
36
36
 |
0
 |
8.2
 |
16.4
 |
24.6
 |
32.8
 |
41
 |
49.2

Twelve seconds is a pretty nice improvement and should not go unnoticed. I have not noticed any programs lagging more on startup or in use as a result of using this optimization either. This might be due to the fact that the test PC utilizes an Athlon XP 2000+ with 1GB of RAM, but nonetheless, there is a marked performance increase.

Startup
Startup
Anti-Crash
Anti-Crash

Last but not least is the Anti-Crash section. What this section does is allow you to recover after a crash without rebooting. Basically, all you have here is the option to Run Crash Recovery. You can set quick keys to run the recovery and set different recovery options (two of them). Your recovery options are 'Terminate Suspicious Tasks' and 'Restart Windows Shell.' While I had this software Windows XP did not crash once; so, I did not have a chance to get a real feel for its functionality in a real field test. However, I did run the test with my computer in its regular state. Crash recovery consistently closed SETI@Home. For those of you who know about SETI@Home it constantly runs in the background using all your unused CPU cycles, which usually results in 100% CPU usage. Understandably, SpeedUpMyPC looks for software using high amounts of CPU resources and terminates them.

In addition to these sections of the program, the software provides quick links to updates, a help section (which loads a PDF), and an options dialog that allows you to disable/enable SpeedUpMyPC's load at startup and what type system tray icon, if any, to display. You are given an option to display a system try icon that shows resource bars. This is actually quite useful. It monitors your CPU, RAM, and network usage. One could, for instance, keep an eye on their RAM usage and run a Free RAM operation when usage gets too extreme. If that is not the case, it is just cool to have the status bars in your system tray.

Overall, this software does what it says it will, speed up your PC. It also offers additional functionality, like crash recovery. When you order SpeedUpMyPC from LIUtilities, the ESD version (download only) will run you $39.95 and the boxed version will run you $49.95. Currently, if you order the ESD version between March 24-31, 2003 you will get $10.00 off of that total. The value this software offers depends on you. If this product seems like a waste of money, obviously it is not for you. However, if you are trying to squeeze all the performance out of your Windows based PC, this software package offers just that.

This software is not exactly "jaw dropping" awesome, but it is solid and delivers what is promised and then some.

Final Score

4 out of 5 Weird Blue Faces


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