SpeedUpMyPC 1.16 $29.95 LIUtilities www.liutilities.com Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Want a faster PC but aren't ready to buy a new one? Consider SpeedUpMyPC; it aims to make your Windows 9x/2000/ XP computer as zippy as possible.
The app lets you monitor and tweak CPU and memory usage, Internet activity, and startup apps. It's easy to use but sacrifices information. For example, it doesn't explain often enough what it's doing behind the scenes, which could make some users uneasy.
A CPU window lets you monitor the processor usage over time on two scrolling line graphs. You can assign CPU priority to a certain app and make a background app less of a priority. These features are handy, but you can only specify one app for each priority level.
A Memory window shows the amount of physical memory used over time and the amount of paging that occurs. Free RAM and Deep RAM Recovery buttons attempt to recover memory allocated to apps that's not being used. You can also set SUMPC to automatically free RAM when physical memory usage exceeds a certain limit. Windows does this, but this feature might suit those without RAM to spare.
The Internet window tests your bandwidth and then optimizes your networking and browser settings for your connection. The documentation is vague about what changes are actually made, but it implies they work best for users with modem connections.
The Startup screen shows lists of recent startup times for your PC and auto-started apps, including how long each takes during the boot process. You can manually disable programs if you know what they are, but SUMPC doesn't provide much help in explaining what they are. Pressing the Optimize button lets the program choose which programs to disable. Power users might not want to give up that control.
Will SUMPC actually speed up your PC? It can, though you might not notice a dramatic difference unless your PC has a slow processor, limited memory, or a slow Internet connection.
Reprinted with permission from Computer Power User magazine.