PC Tune Up 2011
Pc Tuneup 2011
If your PC isn't booting, opening windows, or launching applications as fast as it did when you purchased it, chances are your system is in dire need of a tune up. Registry issues and traces of uninstalled programs that weren't completely removed can bring your PC to the knees, but fortunately utility suites such as AVG PC Tuneup 2011 can clean up the muck. PC Tuneup 2011 is a potent collection of utilities including real-time hard drive monitoring, disk defragger, disk and registry cleaner, Internet connection optimization, and more. The program ($29.99 direct, per year for one license) produces obvious, positive results courtesy of its deep system scan and repair, but it's pricey in comparison to other clean-up utilities, especially when you add extra licenses.
System Requirements and Interface
Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP PCs, AVG PC Tuneup 2011 requires just 50MB of disk space, 64MB of RAM, and an Internet connection for downloading and registering the software. Once installed, the software takes you to an open, airy home screen with lots of white space where you're prompted to run a Scan, Scan and Repair, Scan, Repair, and Sleep, or Scan, Repair, and Shutdown. A handy "Back" button lets you return to a previous screen, a small but useful feature that Comodo System CleanerThe Clean Up Process
AVG PC Tuneup 2011 repaired 961 files out of a whopping 2,705 detected problems. That's a more than the 2,515 that Comodo System Cleaner found on the same machine after it had been cloned and restored, but the difference can be attributed to differing views on what constitutes an error. All but eight of these files were removed/repaired.
Beneath these numbers appeared a sentence in red lettering stating that there were some files that might be locked on my PC that couldn't be removed automatically—use of Advanced Tools was in order. Clicking Advanced Tools presented nine options: Disk Maintenance, Registry Maintenance, Free Up Space, System Status, Software Control, Privacy, System Tweaks, Speed Up Internet, and Disaster Recovery. Each of these have at least two to four clean-up options. I put these tools into play, but those eight files remained.
Overall, running the individual utilities under the Advanced Tools umbrella proved an effective second sweep as it found and deleted thousands of other registry files (there were a few, however, that could not be deleted). I found that I could even disable Windows 7's Aero effects.
I appreciated the thoroughness of the Advanced Tools which caters to tweakers, but I would've liked it even better if more of its abilities were offered by default in a one-click scan that would let more users benefit.
I tested AVG PC Tuneup 2011 's ability to clean up a PC by performing three tests—running the Geekbench system performance tool, measuring boot times, and transferring a 1.1GB folder of mixed media to external storage—before and after running the software to compare the computer's potency. Before AVG PC Tuneup 2011 scrubbed the system, the 2-GHz Intel Core i7 X990 Style-Note notebook with 4GB of RAM, and 80GB Intel SSD booted achieved a 5,903 Geekbench score, booted in 50.3 seconds, and transferred the 1.1GB folder in 40.5 seconds.
After using AVG PC Tuneup 2011, the system saw improved performance for the most part: The GeekBench score rose to 6,009, which was better than Comodo System Cleaner's 5,991, and PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011's 5,969 (4 stars,$39.95), but behind Iolo System Mechanic 10's 6,003. The boot time decreased to 43.1 seconds; 3 seconds faster than PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011, and 5.1 second faster than Comodo System Cleaner, but a hair behind Iolo System Mechanic 10's 42 seconds. The file transfer speed actually ticked up a few notches to 43.3 seconds, which was a hair faster than the same machine cleaned by Comodo System Cleaner's 44.2 seconds, but slower than PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011's 39.3 seconds and Iolo System Mechanic 10's 40.2 seconds. Each test was run three times and averaged.
What's not captured by the numbers was the PC's overall snappiness, which was reminiscent of a freshly out-of-the-box computer. Windows and menus opening lightning fast—neither Comodo System Cleaner nor PC Tool Performance Toolkit yielded a PC that felt quite as swift, despite offering improved system performance. Iolo System Mechanic 10, however, offered similar peppiness. AVG PC Tuneup 2011 also has a System Advisor gives you performance enhancing tips like activating Windows' Super Fetch and disabling the Remote Registry service. AVG PC Tuneup 2011 also has a System Advisor gives you performance enhancing tips like activating Windows' Super Fetch and disabling the Remote Registry service.
There are many options to explore such as AVG Task Manager and AVG Startup Manager. The former let me monitor the system and kill processes that were hampering the overall system; the latter let me cherry pick which programs I wanted to run at the PC's startup, but some of the file names listed (like Cache Side Caching UI, and FileSystem) sound vital. If you don't know if these files are key, you may not want to touch most of the files this utility can modify. Another useful tools is Resource Usage, which identifies the most demanding programs.
Should You Use AVG PC Tuneup 2011?
AVG PC Tuneup 2011 did a good job of increasing our testbed's overall performance in a very obvious way, despite the few seconds added on to the time taken to transfer a 1.1GB folder.
My one major complaint with AVG's suite is that, like PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011, it offers installation limitations feel dated in the age of the multi-PC household. One of the reasons I like Iolo System Mechanic 10 so much (besides the excellent system performance that it brought to my well-used laptop) is the freedom it brings. You can install Iolo software on an as many computers as you'd like. AVG's suite is also relatively expensive—$29.99 grants you the right to install the software on one computer (the $39.99 Iolo System Mechanic 10 gives you unlimited installs, and PC Tools Performance Tool Kit 2011 gives you three licenses for $39.95). If you want to install it on three computers, it'll cost $44.99 for a one-year subscription ($5 more than Iolo System Mechanic 10), which jumps to $66.99 for a two-year subscription.
Despite these minor pricing gripes, AVG's suite is a worthy purchase, and a recommended download. Short of wiping your machine and reinstalling everything from scratch, it's a fine way to restore your PC's performance to a nearly out-of-box state.
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