Scroll down to win one of the three licenses of System Mechanic 10 (worth $39.95 each) that I am giving away
Last month, I reviewed TuneUp Utilities 2011, which is regarded as one of the best Windows system optimisation suites around. Today, I will take a look at System Mechanic 10, which is quite possibly TuneUp’s biggest challenger.
In terms of features there is a lot of overlap between System Mechanic and TuneUp Utilities. Like Tuneup, System Mechanic is a powerhouse with several dozen tools. All the standard tools like Registry Cleaner, Registry Defragmenter, Disk Defragmenter, Start-up Optimiser, Disk Cleaner, Broken Shortcut Remover, Disk Scanner and File Shredder are present in both these utilities. However, there are quite a few differences too.
System Mechanic has been designed to be suitable for both novices and experts. Inexperienced users can simply run a system analysis to identify the areas of concern. On the other hand, experts can go to the Toolbox section to manually exploit the various tools.
From the Problems section you can get an overview of the issues identified and fix them. Here’s what System Mechanic came up with after I ran a deep scan.
The first problem identified by System Mechanic was a false positive as Kaspersky Internet Security Suite includes a Firewall (Anti-Hacker). It’s surprising that System Mechanic failed to realise that, as even Windows Activity Centre can differentiate between Kaspersky Antivirus and Kaspersky Internet Security. Thankfully, the other advisories were more accurate.
The first tool I tried was the Security Vulnerability Scanner. It scans your system settings to identify potential weaklings that can be exploited by malwares. This includes checking hosts file and Windows file associations.
Next up I tried the Disk Defragmentation (Drive Accelerator) tool. This is one area where System Mechanic is head and shoulders ahead of TuneUp Utilities. Not only does it support boot time defragmentation (offline defragmentation) like Raxco Perfect Disk (and other commercial defragmentation tools), but it also has a unique Program Accelerator tool that realigns programs and their files on the hard disk to decrease launch time and increase performance.
Another unique features in System Mechanic is CRUDD (Commonly Redundant or Unnecessary Decelerators and Destabilisers). Don’t be fooled by the unnecessarily complicated name. This tool simply alerts you about overlapping applications (i.e. utilities that perform same/similar function) installed on your system. I didn’t find this to be particularly useful though, as pretty much every installed application on my system serves a specific purpose.
Unlike TuneUp Utilities, which relies on scheduled runs of the 1-click optimiser, System Mechanic uses ActiveCare to automatically monitor your system health, and apply fixes when your computer is idle.
Besides providing a gazillion of tools for repairing and optimising your system, iolo System Mechanic also includes some handy tools for generating reports about your system status. There is the System Information tool that jots down your hardware and software configuration. There is DriveSense to monitor your hard disk’s health (based on SMART). And, there is even a System Change Tracker to identify changes made by program installations and other activities.
On the whole, System Mechanic 10 is an extremely impressive package. Since my previous trust, it has improved vastly. Unlike TuneUp Utilities, it doesn’t aim at being a Swiss-army knife. It won’t help you change icons, install themes or modify your logon screen. However, when it comes to optimising and repairing Windows, System Mechanic is pretty darn exhaustive. In PCMag’s GeekBench benchmark, System Mechanic 10 returned the best results and succeeded in improving file copying speeds as well as Windows boot time significantly. In fact, System Mechanic 10 edged out others like TuneUp, and went on to win the Editor’s choice award.
Download System Mechanic (18.03 MB)
Platforms Supported: Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7(x86 and x64)
License: Shareware (30 days trial)
Cost: $39.95 /year
Version Reviewed: 10.0.0
Watch out for the automatic renewal option. Use this only if you are certain.
System Mechanic 10 License Giveaway
Iolo has generously agreed to sponsor 3 System Mechanic 10 Standard Licenses for my blog readers worth $119.85 (each license is worth $39.95). Here’s how you can win a license key of System Mechanic 10 for yourself:
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The contest will end on November 27, 2010 at 12:00 Noon IST.
The contest is over and the winners have been announced.