System Mechanic 8.5
System Mechanic 8.5 is more than just a disk and registry cleanup tool.
- One-touch optimisation, lots of tweaking possibilities
- DriveSense works only with storage that's not part of a RAID array or virtualised
The focus on utility and choice makes System Mechanic 8.5 useful, and it presents itself in a way that's as clutter-free as you wish. If you want one-touch optimisation, this is your path to happiness. But if you can't keep yourself from tweaking everything that's tweakable, you'll be a very happy geek. System Mechanic remains the best bang for the buck, even at its full price. Norton Utilities pales by comparison.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
System Mechanic 8.5 is more than just a disk and registry cleanup tool. It aims to tune your entire system for peak performance. It will let you optimise just about everything else on your system.
System Mechanic 8.5 uses a dashboard that offers a high-level view of your overall system health. The test system, with its years of debris, was rated as being in fair condition, a reasonable assessment.
If you prefer fit-and-forget, you can tell System Mechanic 8.5 to take over and clear up the problems it finds. Or, you can control each detail and tell it exactly what you want optimised.
When defragging, in addition to viewing the level of fragmentation in a graphic, you can also choose to see a report that gives you a better view of the graphical representation, and a list of fragmented files and the extent to which they suffer fragmentation. With System Mechanic 8.5 you can choose not to defragment some files if you wish.
System Mechanic 8.5 also gives you control over what the package does automatically. Its ActiveCare function lets you select each function you want done automatically. For most users, this is a valuable choice. And because you can decide how much you want it to do, it's also a real time-saver.
There are some areas in which System Mechanic 8.5 duplicates what's in Windows. The System Details feature gives you the same information you can get from Windows.
Registry Tools performs the same tasks as other products, but not in the same way. We had it perform a registry cleaning, and it found about 850 of the 1,200 or so problems that Norton Utilities had found. We cleaned and ran it again, and it found another 350, making the total number about the same after two tries.
There are functions that only System Mechanic 8.5 could perform, such as memory defragmentation. It also claims to optimise your network connection. While it doesn't explain how this is accomplished, System Mechanic did report that our internet connection was able to deliver about 25Mbit/sec, which isn't bad, since our link delivers only 6Mbit/sec.
However, there is one area where System Mechanic 8.5 shows its limitations. System Mechanic includes a utility called DriveSense that reports on the health of your disk drives, warning of impending failure. But it works only with storage that's not part of a RAID array or virtualised in any way. In this test, it was unable to perform this function on the terabyte RAID 1 array in the test system, although when the original EIDE drive was attached, it worked fine.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Synology DiskStation DS215j NAS device
- 2 Fitbit Charge wireless activity tracker
- 3 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 4 B&O BeoPlay A2 portable Bluetooth speaker
- 5 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Alibaba calls Chinese regulatory report unfair, as customer numbers grow
- Office for Android now widely available, with new Outlook apps in tow
- AllSeen IoT group acts to head off patent wars
- The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, January 29
- Intel wants to banish cables, connectors with new Broadwell chips
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.