Top Utilities to Optimize your System
Optimizing a computer to improve performance while keeping the system stable is something that I really like to do.
The first thing that I do when I get a new computer is to get rid of useless software -- programs that I don't use or require -- and take a look at system settings to find ways to improve them.
The following list offers links to excellent freeware utilities that can be used to optimize and test your operating system. The list is divided into the categories benchmarking and hardware tweaks.
Benchmarking tools can be used to test the system before and after applying a tweak while the hardware tweak category links to programs that aid you in changing settings in the system related to hardware: think overclocking, adjusting features and such things.
Please feel free to add any utility that you are using or would recommend.
Note: New versions of benchmark programs may be out.
- 3D Mark 06 Basic Edition - This tool is clearly aimed at gamers and provides some stunning visuals during the tests. You need to have excellent hardware to be able to enjoy the tests though.
- Cinebench - Tests mainly the cpu and OpenGL capabilities of a computer and available for Windows and Macintosh.
- HD Tune - A program that is benchmarking your hard drives and offering a way to compare results online.
- PC Mark 05 Basic - Another utility from the makers of 3D Mark with a focus on the complete system and not only gaming performance.
- Prime 95 - Prime 95 is an extremely popular freeware used by overclockers world wide. It can be used to make sure that your system runs stable after tuning for instance the RAM settings.
- Sandra Lite - Sandra Lite tests the whole system and offers a way to compare the results with those from other users.
- SPMark Basic - Testing the Java performance of your operating system.
- What CPU - CPU Benchmark, CPU MHz and CPU type identifier.
- Atitool - a utility for overclocking Ati graphic adapters.
- Atuner - A program to tweak settings on Radeon, Geforce and Quadro graphic adapters.
- Fast Defrag - I was not sure if I should add this link because I personally do not like Ram cleaners.
- NiBiTor - if you want to change the bios of your Nvidia graphics adapter you should be taking a look at NiBiTor.
- Notebook Hardware Control - Utility that aids you in reducing the power consumption of your notebook plus more.
- Rivatuner - I'm using Rivatuner to reduce the speed of the fan of my Geforce 6600 GT card. It is almost silent in 2D mode and only speeds up when I play games. Works also with Radeon 8500+ cards.
- Speedfan - Manage system fan speeds with this utility and monitor temperature levels.