Top Utilities to Optimize your System

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 15, 2007
Updated • Nov 8, 2017

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.

Hardware Tweaks:

  • 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.
Top Utilities to Optimize your System
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Top Utilities to Optimize your System
The guide lists benchmark and hardware programs for Windows that you may use to test and optimize the operating system with.
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  1. syahid ali said on July 17, 2007 at 10:46 am

    agreed with @3, iobit smart defrag is a better alternative to windows slow defrag.

  2. Tim said on July 16, 2007 at 11:10 am

    As a long time user I am always frustrated by Windows running progressively more slowly until after two years it becomes unbearable and a complete OS and applications reinstall is required. I have tried dozens of recommended tools and never, not once, has one resulted in a performance improvement on the PC. The one and only MANUAL tweak that yielded benefits was by deleting the hardware hive and having to reinstall all the drivers. I would like to see a performance utility that allows management of this aspect of a PC.

  3. gnome said on July 16, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Well CCleaner does help quite bit too…

  4. Roman ShaRP said on July 16, 2007 at 9:00 am

    How about JkDefrag or any other defragmenter?
    Autoruns – ultimate startup manager?
    Pagedefrag from same team?
    Why not famous Cacheman?

    And – big question – isn’t it better to speak about _classes_ of software then about specific programs?

    There are very many tweakers, optimizers, diagnostic tools – and tastes for them are differ. People can choose particular tool only because of it good look or specific hardware binding – as video tweakers for cards from Nvidia/Ati you talking about.

    But I think people better use some program of _video_tweaker_class_ or some defragmenter anyway.

    Being a “software counselor” for my friends and forum folks for many years, I find class systematic approach to software very useful. Don’t give a man specific software – give him or her choice, and teach them choosing ;)

    Something like Snapfiles do – if you look to , you can in few minutes {or, possibly, hours, if you want to read more about programs of particular class} discover, what is different software for, and why one may need it.

  5. Martin said on July 15, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Most of the tools are not permanently in memory. If you don’t see a reason to use them don’t, it is that easy.

  6. African Boy said on July 15, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Another set of tools that will consume my processor and memory?

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