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Finding the Right Performance Optimizer

Posted Thursday, May 5, 2005

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“Finding the Right Performance Optimizer”

By Kevin J. Vella

Uniblue Systems,


So, you’ve decided to fine-tune your PC by using a performance optimizer, but there are hundreds of products available on the market and to find a solution that fits your need can be daunting. In this week’s article, I will explain what performance optimizers are and how they work while suggesting what you should look for when choosing such a utility.


Performance optimizers are software utilities that allow you to ensure your PC is automatically optimized and its performance maximized. These tools should also allow you to keep your PC running at peak performance. When too many of your resources are being occupied unnecessarily or beyond certain levels that you have established, the software should warn you to take immediate action. Performance optimizers should automatically fine-tune all your resources: hardware (CPU and memory) and your system settings. This will help you enjoy a faster, cleaner and more stable environment that will greatly minimize slowdowns and crashes.


Performance optimizers dig into your hardware and free up valuable resources, remove system hogs that slow your computer down or cause it to crash. By looking at how your CPU is processing the information for all the tasks or processes at hand, these utilities determine the best configuration so that you can make the most of your computer. These tools also look at whether the tasks at hand are accounted for by legitimate programs. For example, some performance optimizers are able to recognize that the CPU is handling a process that is spyware and should enable you to automatically scan your system and remove such threats. When optimizing memory, performance optimizers look at how your computer is using RAM and how Windows is creating and operating page file (or virtual) memory. By optimizing RAM memory, these tools help your computer avoid creating virtual memory. Moreover, they can also minimize the size of your virtual memory file. Many performance optimizers, like SpeedUpMyPC, also have warning messages so that if your memory usage reaches a critical level, you could take remedial action. In some cases, these nifty utilities allow you to assign more CPU resources to any particular application that you are running, e.g. a game or a DVD. Performance optimizers use similar logic when optimizing your system settings – for example, they look at orphaned start-up programs bidding you to remove them. They also look for residuals of uninstalled or incorrectly removed programs to make your PC cleaner, safer, and, ultimately, more stable.


What should you look out for when choosing a performance optimizer? Ideally, the product will be robust and make efficiency gains in the way your CPU handles Windows and all your programs. You must also be able to monitor CPU, memory and hard drive usage to identify possible future bottlenecks and avoid annoying delays and crashes. The software must also optimize your RAM and page file memory while warning you should you be running out of resources. You should have an automatic way of making the most of your computer while minimizing the time it takes to boot. Registry files are also a source of slow-downs and crashes – you will have a faster PC by compacting your registry. Finally, the software must ensure that any harmful or unnecessary background processes such as spyware, adware, key-loggers and viruses do not slowdown your PC and jam its inner workings.


Many products on the market focus on a single aspect of your PC such as optimizing registry files or recovering memory. Although these are important functions and will enhance your computing experience, you will end up buying performance optimizers and using them in conjunction with the other products. My advice, at this stage, is to find a product that does most of the functions and then deepening your investment according to the problem you might have. Only when you feel that you cannot push your PC further should you consider upgrading hardware.

With all this background information, you do not need to google “speeding up my pc” or “performance optimizers”. I usually do three things when buying utilities: (a) find out how they work and what they are supposed to do; (b) see what my preferred tech forum newsletters have to say about them and their recommendations; and, finally (c) read the reviews on the recommended products. Luckily, this system has worked wonders for me and I have rarely thrown away good money on the software I have in my library.


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