Advanced SystemCare Free

March 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Free Utilities, Tweaks 

Advanced SystemCare Free 5 uses its powerful arsenal of optimization tools to keep your PC feeling fresh and clean. It also includes a couple of features that could help boost performance for either gaming or work purposes–your choice.

Advanced SystemCare’s Quick Care option includes the ability to clean your registry, perform a rudimentary malware scan, fix and remove broken shortcuts, delete junk files, and erase browsing tracks. It works in a flash, requires almost no user input, and to make things even easier, can be configured to run on system startup.

The Deep Care option, on the other hand, takes system care to another level. It performs all of the Quick Care items to a much deeper degree, plus it adds several other scans and fixes to its checklist, including disk defragmenting, a Windows vulnerability fix, and a system optimization with several presets. Understandably, this kind of deep digging can sometimes make a user nervous. Fortunately, the program’s log records all of its activities, letting you see how each affects your computer.

Scan times for the Quick Care and Deep Care options differ significantly, yet, both processes still seem blazingly fast. For instance, we completed a Deep Care scan in approximately 15 minutes, which is an impressively short time for a system-invasive program like this.

Brand-new to version 5 is the Active Boost function, which runs in the background and automatically improves PC performance by managing your system resources. We recommend enabling it, as it even keeps a log of all the active processes that it manages to speed up. Also important, Version 5 connects to the cloud in order to keep its database up to date.

As for Advanced SystemCare’s user interface, we were impressed, to say the least. The main dashboard is superclean, with nifty icons and intuitive navigation. Plus, there’s an unimposing smiley face always at the bottom of the screen, indicating your PC’s overall health. If you click the Status button next to the smiley, you can also get more detailed info from the system performance monitor.

One part of the program we recommend new users approach with extreme caution is the Turbo Boost, which can be set to optimize for either gaming or work purposes. It sounds fun, but you must first configure the tool by telling it which core system services to disable in order to accelerate your computer’s performance. Since the Turbo Boost section doesn’t spell out how disabling these services might affect your computer, we highly recommend doing your research before exploring. To its credit, though, Advanced SystemCare can create rescue points, so it’s not hard to undo changes if you end up making any mistakes.

One small problem we found was that some of the program’s options open in new windows, while others open in the same window. Those in the same window have convenient back-navigation buttons in the upper left; those in new windows are sometimes overlaid directly on top of the previous window and make it hard to see how to return to the previous screen. Also, we were a bit turned off by the cleverly disguised ad for Roboform Password Manager during installation. It looks a bit like a terms-of-service sheet, so be sure to read carefully before your instincts kick in and you automatically click Accept.

Overall, we love Advanced SystemCare’s toolset, performance, and convenience. Sure, we wish the program were more explicit about how it changes your computer, but we still think it’s an awesome all-in-one system utility, and we highly recommend downloading it.

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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Smart Defrag

March 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Free Utilities, Tweaks 

There are plenty of downloadable defrag utilities to choose from, but it’s hard to beat the ease of use and helpful extras in IOBit’s Smart Defrag.

With this utility you can quickly analyze your hard drive to check the level of defragmentation before committing to a scan. The interface shows you different colored blocks representing fragmented files, frequently used files, and more, with a helpful key to show what each colored block represents.

When you’re ready to pull the trigger, you can choose from a straight defragmentation (fastest), or have Smart Defrag perform either a fast or “deep” optimization after defragmentation. Our test machine has a rather full hard drive, so even using the fast optimization took close to 40 minutes. Depending on your hard drive and level of defragmentation, your mileage may vary.

In addition to the solid defragmentation tools, you can have Smart Defrag automatically defrag the files you use the most without significantly slowing down your system. Even while performing a full defragmention and optimization run, the program barely uses as much as 25MB of RAM, and with just the auto-defrag running continually, it uses about half that amount.

Smart Defrag offers a few extras, including a scheduler so you can set it up to only defrag during downtime on your computer. You can set it to run scans on bootup or even have the app shut down your computer when it’s done defragging selected hard drives or partitions.

It’s important to note that Smart Defrag is not as essential for those running Windows 7 because the OS defrags continually on it’s own. But if you run external drives connected to a Windows 7 computer, this utility will still come in handy for keeping them running smoothly.

Overall, if you want a quick and solid defrag utility to make your computer run more smoothly, with added options for scheduling and other extras, you should definitely download this program. Both beginner and advanced users will have no trouble operating this solid utility.

Disk fragmentation is generally main cause of slow and unstable computer performance. Smart Defrag helps defragment your hard drive efficiently. Smart Defrag not only defragments computer deeply but optimizes disk performance. With ‘install it and forget it’ feature, Smart Defrag works automatically and quietly in the background on your PC, keeping your hard disk running at its speediest. Smart Defrag is completely free for home, organization, and business.

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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WinMend Auto Shutdown

February 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Free Utilities, Tweaks 

WinMend Auto Shutdown is a free tool that will shut down your Windows PC at a scheduled time. It can also place your PC in hibernation or standby mode, or log you off when it’s unattended. You can use Scheduled Tasks to do all that in Windows, but it’s a complex and time-consuming process. That’s where Auto Shutdown shines: it’s easy enough for anyone to use.

WinMend Auto Shutdown normally runs in the background; clicking the program’s system tray icon let us show the main view as well as restart or shut down our PC immediately. The program’s brightly colored interface is efficiently configured for the task, with a brief description of what it does and a current date and time display above sections labeled Task and Time. In Task, check boxes let us select Shut down, Log off, Sleep, and Hibernate commands. The Time section offered selections for Daily operation, with a spinner for hours, minutes, and seconds; Specified date and time, which adds a scrolling pop-up calendar view; and From now, which counts down in hours and minutes. We started by selecting Shut down and Daily and setting the time for a minute later. After a minute, a 30-second countdown popped up with an eye-catching flasher icon and a Cancel button; in 30 seconds and following a few more notifications, our PC shut itself down. We ran the process again, only this time we clicked Cancel, which ended the countdown and prompted us to verify the command. The other commands worked equally well. The main interface has two extra tabs, Our Products and About Us; the former listed shareware and freeware products, and the latter linked to the developer via Web and e-mail.

If you don’t like using the Windows Task Scheduler but want to schedule an automatic shutdown or other system commands, WinMend’s free tool can do the deed for you: all you have to do is tell it when and how.

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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Infinite USB Memory

January 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Operating Systems, Rss Feeds, Tweaks 

Dubai based start-up Infinitec prepares to launch the world’s first “Infinite” USB Memory (IUM), and before the name gets you excited, it’s a wireless USB device that works by allowing access to data using an ad hoc stream from your Windows-based PC.
Originally unveiled at CES in January, the IUM is set to launch on March 1. Preordering is available and is, according to CEO Ahmad Zahran, building quite a demand, “After five minutes we started to get sales. This happened at 1am … and since then we’ve got more than I expected.”
Going for a little under US$ 130, some are finding some of the features to be quite bland, (sharing between PCs and the like), but the reason I would part with my money is for the support this little gadget has with gaming consoles such as the XBOX 360 and PS3. Some other features include the capability to stream content directly to an HDTV or Blu-ray player.

If you really want to understand how it works and what you can do with it check out this video the marketing people from Infinitec prepared:


The more I think about the IUM, the more I think, “What are the security implications of such a device?”, or “You could probably send someone a gift laptop with the hard drive pre-shared using IUM and if it’s good software, the user won’t realize a thing”. But hey, it’s probably just my skeleton-riddled closet that’s doing the talking. I mean, does anyone really keep confidential data on their laptops?

Glary Utilities

September 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Free Utilities, Operating Systems, Tweaks 

This powerful application offers extensive utilities to improve your system’s performance and protect your privacy. Glary Utilities’ well-organized interface allows users to easily choose from several tools. It cleans unwanted junk files and removes invalid and broken shortcuts, freeing up valuable disk space.

Its Registry cleaner allows you to scan, remove, and back up faulty Registry entries. You also can wipe out online and Windows traces, although Internet Explorer is the only browser in which this function is supported. To improve the speed of your computer, Glary Utilities offers tools to manage start-up programs and memory optimization. Privacy-conscious users will certainly appreciate its inclusion of a government-standard file shredder to securely delete data.

One Click A Day For PC Maintenance, Keeps Any PC Problems Away. With millions of worldwide users, the first-rank & free Glary Utilities is an indispensable friend for your PC, with its 100% safe, thorough & quick cleaning and worry-free restoration. Glary Utilities is a freeware with registry and disk cleaning, privacy protection, performance accelerator and amazing multifunctional tools. It can fix dogged registry errors, wipe off clutters, optimize internet speed, safeguard confidential files and maintain maximum performance. It is designed for both novice and professionals. User-friendly interface shows clear & detailed directions.

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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Overclock your Computer

January 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Tweaks 
There are two schools of thought as to why you can, or would even want to overclock most CPUs and GPUs. One of them takes the peace, love and understanding route, namely that the manufacturing process is never 100 per cent reliable, so not every chip that rolls off the same production line is born equal. Those with the most lustrous coats and shiniest eyes (bred on Pedigree, presumably) are ready to be high-end components, but those with a bit of a squint and a runny nose may have a funny turn if they exert themselves too much.

Hence, some chips are slapped with a lower official clockspeed and sold for less groats than their beefier brethren. The potential for their intended glory remains, however. Overclocking techniques can unlock at least some of that potential, albeit at the risk of frying the chip completely.

The tinfoil hat/Angry Internet Men theory is based on the same concept but chucks in a bit of paranoia. In this scenario, every same-series processor is born equal, but The Man artificially neuters most of them and slaps different badges on what are fundamentally the same chips. Overclocking, then, is simply a way of taking back what’s rightfully yours.

The truth likely lies somewhere between the two. Mass production certainly makes more financial sense than dozens of separate lines, and it’s true that a low-end CPU or GPU can be made to punch far above its weight, but their stability isn’t as guaranteed as a chip that’s officially able to run at a higher speed. No manufacturer wants to deal with a steady trickle of returned parts, after all. But it does mean home overclocking is almost always productive – and seemingly more so with every new hardware generation.

It’s also increasingly easy. The earliest overclocking on the 4 to 10MHz 8088-based CPUs of 1983, involved desoldering a clock crystal from the motherboard and replacing it with a third-party one, with only partially successful results. Ouch. Still, the precedent was set: a dedicated guy-at-home could exceed his chip’s official spec. IBM, then very much the top dog of PC land, wasn’t entirely happy about this, so follow-up hardware included hard-wired overclock blocks.

More soldering this time of a BIOS chip, managed to get around this. By 1986 IBM’s stranglehold had been broken, resulting in a raft of ‘clone’ systems – and a wealth of choice. Intel’s 286 and 386 processors became the de facto standard chips, and bus speed and voltage controls began to shift from physical switches and jumpers to BIOS options and settings.

It was the 486 that really changed everything however. It’s telling that this was the chip most prevalent during the era that birthed the first-person shooter as we know it: 1993’s Doom very much popularized performance PCs for gaming driving system upgrades in the same way a Half-Life 2 or Crysis does these days. At the same time, the 486 introduced two concepts absolutely crucial to overclocking both then and now. Firstly, it popularized split product lines; no longer was it a matter of buying simply a processor, but rather which processor. The 486SX and DX offered some serious performance differential, and notably the SXs were hobbled/failed DXs, giving rise to the ongoing practice of assigning different speeds and names to what were the same chip. For a while too, the 25MHz SXes could be overclocked to 33MHz by adjusting a jumper on the motherboard; something less salubrious retailers took full advantage of. Secondly, it introduced the multiplier: performing more clocks per every one mustered by the system’s front side bus. The 486’s 2x multiplier thus effectively doubled the bus frequency. This was something overclockers would make the best of for successive processor generations – bumping up the multiplier was the simplest and often most effective way of increasing CPU speed. Nowadays (since the Pentium II, in fact), the multiplier is locked to prevent this, save for high-end chips, such as Intel’s Extreme Edition series. For a while, there were complicated ways of defeating the multiplier lock: soldering on a PCB for earlier chips, third-party add-ons and the infamous practice of drawing a line onto certain AMD CPUs with a pencil. No CPU manufacturer’s likely to make that mistake again.

Around this time, RAM overclocking became more common place, as memory speeds were ratified, and with that came more tweaking of the front-side bus to compensate for the locked multipliers. Overclocking shifted further towards the BIOS and away from jumpers, which in turn led to overclocking software.

The first was 1998’s SoftFSB, which enabled bus-tweaking from within Windows for the first time. With the Pentium III era came aftermarket coolers, as processors now chucked out so much heat that a standard cooling block and fan wasn’t enough to cope with an overclocked chip. And so it continued, overclocking largely becoming easier and more common place with each processor generation. This leads us to the Core 2 chips of today, and Intel’s current terrifyingly unassailable dominance of the CPU market. Generally drawing as little as half the power of the Pentium 4s that preceded them, most of the range offers a vast amount of overclocking headroom, to the point that a low-end Core 2 Duo can almost go toe-to-toe with the top of the line.

So how’s it done? Key to processor overclocking is the front side bus (FSB). In the very simplest terms, this is the connection between the CPU and the rest of the PC, and its speed defines the processor’s speed to a significant extent. Intel CPUs final speed is the FSB times the multiplier – so if you’ve got an FSB of 266MHz and a multiplier of 9, your chip will run at approximately 2.4GHz. While the multiplier is usually locked – though some chips let you at least lower it, to conserve power and reduce heat – the FSB isn’t. Bump up the FSB and you bump up the chip. In our example taking the bus to 290MHz gives us a 2.6GHz processor. This is no random example, incidentally, it’s what we run the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 in one of our office test systems at, giving it a healthy 200MHz boost that makes a noticeable difference in CPU-intesive games and hi-def video re-encodes.

What stops us from going higher? Not a lot in the case of this particular chip. We’re playing it safe for desktop work, cos we’re in a particularly sweaty office. When we’re playing around with high-end tasks, we can have it running stably at over 33GHz (with an FSB of 370 or so) on a decentish, third-party air cooler. That’s more or less trading blows with the best Intel has to offer on a $200 chip. But while going to 280MHz on the FSB took a BIOS tweak, a reboot and Microsoft BOB’s your uncle, going much higher does involve more fuss.

First up, when our Q6600 is at 33GHz, it’s also running at nearly 70°C when under maximum load (and around 50°C when idling). It’s perfectly stable, but it could damage it in the long run, and on top of that the fan is making enough noise to wake the deaf pensioner in the next street over. Watercooling, a fancier air-cooler or even just a spot of dust-cleaning will bring the heat down, but there can come a point where that stuff becomes more expensive and hassle than simply buying a better processor.

Hurdle the second is the motherboard. Pushing up the FSB doesn’t affect only the CPU, but also the motherboard and, in many cases, the RAM and PCI-e slot to boot. In our case, we’re using a motherboard that supports a monstrously high FSB. When shopping for a motherboard, its max FSB will usually be referred to as four times the actual speed, due to the way the processor actually fetches data. So when we’ve got the FSB set to 266MHz, in effect that’s 1,066MHz. When it’s up to 372MHz, we need a motherboard that’s happy at nearly 1,500MHz. That simply isn’t a given, especially on cheaper boards, so shop carefully. As well as that, if you’ve got a board with a stingy BIOS, you may not be able to alter RAM and PCI timings independently of the FSB, which can lead to those falling over. Ours does, and for our mighty near-Gigahertz Q6600 overclock, we have to lower the RAM’s clock speed a little to compensate for the strain put on it by the raised FSB – we have it sitting pretty at 893MHz. It could comfortably go higher, but the real-world benefits (as opposed to the willy-waving benefits, which are a different matter entirely) would be so miniscule that it’s simply not worth placing the extra pressure on the RAM.

Similarly, while faster and, most likely, more expensive RAM will cope better at their stock speeds with a massive FSB, the pay-off is often so minor that value RAM, running at a lower clock-speed may well be enough to make your overclocking masterplan hugely successful. Even the best memory will net you something in the region of just a five per cent performance boost – worth having if every little helps, but it’s the FSB that makes the big difference. And for that, the motherboard is critical.

Thirdly, there’s the matter of voltage. The faster your chip runs, the more power it needs to feed it. As the FSB goes up, you’ll find your motherboard’s North Bridge and your RAM also get hungrier.

Unfortunately, your hardware will automatically report its revised power requirements, so trial and miserable error are required to find the sweet spot. Volt tweaking is a fiddly and danger-fraught business.

Some overclocking-friendly motherboards can automatically adjust voltages for you, but are understandably conservative about it, so for the really big overclocks you’ll need to set them yourself. This needs to be done by the tiniest increments possible, establishing reboot-by-reboot how many volts your embiggened CPU needs; as low as possible, essentially, as firing too many into it can fry it. Establish in advance what your chip’s out-of-the-box volts are and, through a mix of common sense and googling, decide on a number you’re not going to risk going higher than. We pushed our Q6600 from 13 to 1.4V, which is a fairly big increase as volt modding goes. It’s not just a matter of the so-called vCore either – as you go for the big overclocks, you’ll find you’re having to play with the arcane likes of CPU PLL and FSB termination voltage. Again, so long as you raise stuff in tiny increments the risk of killing your chip, RAM or motherboard is fairly minimal.

It’s a different matter with AMD processors, which for a while now have had an onboard memory controller, which allows the chip to communicate more directly with the RAM, which in turn means there isn’t an FSB as such. Instead, you’re overclocking something known as the HyperTransport bus, which is achieved in more or less the same way, but can require lowering the NT’s own multiplier to retain stability when you bump the speed. If you’ve gone for one of the recent AMD Phenom Black Editions, you’ll find it comes with the multiplier unlocked, which makes overclocking an easier affair.

By contrast, overclocking a graphics card is dead simple. As a more self-contained piece of hardware, there’s none of this confusing multiplier or FSB business; just overclocking the card itself, finding the right speeds for both the GPU and the card’s onboard memory. Free software – some of it official NVIDIA/ATI driver plug-ins – will do the trick from within Windows, and built-in safety cut-offs and stability tests make it incredibly hard to damage the card, though of course you are going beyond the warranty. It’s also grown a little more complicated of late in that you may need to overclock the shader clock as well as the GPU and RAM for the best boosts. In the case of NVIDIA cards, it used to be that this was twinned to the GPU speed, meaning a raise in one had a synchronous effect on the other, but for a little while now they’ve been able to be altered independently. So if you hit the speed ceiling on the GPU, it may yet be possible to eke more performance out of the card by pushing the shader clock a little further.

While the present situation is that you can overclock everything and be pretty confident it’ll work, the future of the form is harder to call. One thing seems sure: it’s not a dirty little nerdy secret anymore, but an increasingly common practice, most especially with Core 2 chips. There’s a vast aftermarket cooler industry to support it, and even cheap motherboards can handle a bit of a free boost. If anything overclocking will become easier, with more and better applications to achieve it within Windows, rather than from the BIOS, and possibly more in the way of automatic volt-modding. But much depends on the future of desktop processing. There’s a big war brewing between Intel and NVIDIA as to whether the CPU or the GPU will be the major element in the PC of the near-future.

Intel are pushing ray-tracing using a multi-core CPU to render game graphics, while NVIDIA’s CUDA enables its recent GeForce cards to perform parallel processing, such as video encoding and in-game physics, far faster than a CPU could manage. If either of these bed in, overclocking will need to take them into account. At the same time, the slow move to ever-more cores potentially reduces the need for conventional overclocking, as raw clock speed continues to be a lesser concern to multi-threading and, in the case of 3D cards, the number of stream processors and texture units. That’s hardly going to stop anyone from trying it, of course. Even when its effects are minimal, overclocking’s always going to be a sure-fire way of making a system feel like its yours rather than simply a collection of mass-produced parts.

Modding the case is one thing, but what makes a PC is its performance. When you’ve painstakingly tweaked that performance into something that suits your own purposes, and it’s become something that feels like you’ve gone far beyond what you paid for it, the system will feel more unique than all the green neon tubing in the world could ever hope to achieve.

Article Autor:Sandra Prior To learn more , check out the http://usacomputers.rr.nu site.

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