I read a cross-comparison of system clean-up programs, recently, and the gist of the article was that you can't bring an old computer back from the dead by running a clean-up tool on it and that you're better off saving your money towards a new computer. Obviously, software isn't magic and computer technology is advancing constantly, so you can't run a program and bestow new powers on your PC... (That's what hardware is for...) However, there are a lot of things that can slow down your PC that can
be resolved with software... fragmented hard drives, overflowing Internet cache, redundant programs... unnecessary services running in the background... There are too many things to easily remember them, much less to address them.
System Mechanic 10 offers a wide selection of tools to address these problems. As you would expect, there's the ability to defragment your drives. That's so common it's even built into Windows. System Mechanic 10, however, goes above and beyond just defragmenting your hard drives. The DriveAccelerator feature does what you'd expect, but sports a disc-shaped graph that represents the status of your hard-drive, doing a good job of helping you to visualize the condition your hard drive is in and how much work remains to be done at a glance. Additionally, the DriveAccelerator features configurable Boot-Time Defragmentation, allowing you to specify files that you want to be re-evaluated and, if need be, defragmented, each time you reboot your machine. There's even a Right-Click Defragmentation feature that will allow you to kick off a defrag on a specified file from Windows Explorer, simply by right-clicking on the file and selecting the action from the list.
The Program Accelerator goes beyond merely aligning files into consecutive blocks of memory, by taking into consideration what files are used in conjunction with each other, allowing the program to re-align a game's related files so that they are highly optimized for use with each other, not merely defragged. For those gamers with solid state hard-drives, System Mechanic 10 has a special defragging routine just for you; since SSD hard-drives don't have moving parts and aren't laid-out the way that platter-based hard-drives are, the typical old defragging process isn't optimal for SSD drives. This need is addressed by the SSD Accelerator.
System Mechanic 10 also offers the ability to defrag your computer's RAM, in order to clean up unnecessarily locked-up memory and to improve system speed and stability.
There are also several different things that System Mechanic 10 can do to optimize your Windows registry. The Registry Compactor can defragment and compact your registry and remove invalid entries. And, of course, it backs up your registry before starting, in case anything should go wrong. Further, you can set up ActiveCare to regularly monitor, maintain and backup your registry, to keep Windows happily moving along.
The CRUDD Remover is an interesting feature, that actually seeks to help you reduce the number of programs on your machine by pointing out groups of programs that do the same thing. Do you really need five browsers? Did you even realize you still have Quicktime player installed? This feature will group similar applications by category, and let you choose whether you want to pare some of them out or not.
One feature is called the "NetBooster(R)" and is supposed to tune your PC's settings so you get the best speed you can support, given your hardware and Internet access. It asks a couple of questions pertaining to your Internet access, then changes some settings for you. After a reboot, you're good to go. I had my doubts about this feature, as I've not really had any luck with Internet optimizers in the past, but I gave it a shot anyway. Prior to optimizing my settings, I was getting average download speeds that were ranging in the 4-5.75 Mbps. After optimizing, I would routinely get over 6 Mbps, and observed a maximum download speed of 17.97 Mbps, with a ping of 23-27 ms, and an upload speed of 5.24 Mbps. I tested this same feature on a couple other PCs around the house and found similar positive results on those as well, and although the 17.97 Mbps result was not matched by the other PCs, it improved all three of the machines I tested with.
Of course, gamers will be interested in less-cluttered drives and faster Internet access speeds, but there's more tools, still, that will be of interest to gamers. The Designated Drivers feature will automatically search for the latest Windows-approved drivers for your hardware, from graphics cards to gaming mice, and will install them for you, to let you take full advantage of your gaming rig's hardware. And, when things go awry, there's the System Troubleshooter to help you recover from an unstable drive or system.
As far as the results on actual gameplay, System Mechanic 10 couldn't have come at a better time. I have reviewed a few PC games lately, mostly MMORPGs, and with all of the updates, fragmentation was one problem, but I'd been having issues with my computer, where I'd come back after not using it for a while and it would be extremely sluggish, to the point of being non-functional. On a couple of occasions, I had to simply power it down because I couldn't get it to shut-down properly. I ran just about everything in System Mechanic 10 on my system and, afterward, my computer hasn't had in issue like that since. Mind you, the day that I did most of the maintenance to my machine, System Mechanic 10 kept my computer busy with just maintenance for about eight hours, with the various cleaning tools and defrag and scanning for hard-drive errors and running scandisk. System Mechanic 10 can do a lot for you, but it's going to take time to optimize a hard-drive, and the larger the drive, the longer it's going to take.