Tuneup Utilities 2012 - Full Review





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Published on Feb 7, 2012

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Many tune-up options. Handy Optimization Status meter tracks the clean-up process. Made test system feel snappier. Features clearly-defined functions that are easy for the layman to understand.
Max three PC install limitation.
Bottom Line
This thorough PC cleaning and tune-up utility can give a worn or aged computer a second chance at life.

Is your PC not running as smoothly as it did when you first took it out of the box? A lethargic machine is oftentimes the result of a fragmented hard drive, an overabundance of junk files, and a Windows registry in disarray. If you'd like to put some pep in the step of your sluggish desktop or laptop, then check out TuneUp Utilities 2012 ($49.95 direct). This application is designed to improve computer performance by tossing junk files, uninstalling unneeded programs, defragmenting the hard drive, and much, much more. Overall, the software does a fine job of revitalizing a worn PC, but the license limitations keep it from reaching the heights of the Editors' Choice award-winning Iolo System Mechanic 10 ($49.95, 4.5 stars) .

Getting Started
Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP PCs, TuneUp Utilities 2012 requires just an Internet connection for activating the license and receiving updates. Unlike the Editors' Choice, the award-winning Iolo System Mechanic 10 ($49.95, 4.5 stars), which lets you install the software on any number of computers—a welcome feature in the age of the multi-PC household—TuneUp Utilities 2012 limits you to only three installs. The free Comodo System Cleaner (Free, 3.5 stars) also lets users install the software on an unlimited number of PCs.

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When you first fire up the program, you encounter a mostly blue-and-white tabbed interface that highlights five sections: Status & Recommendations, Optimize System, Gain Disk Space, Fix Problems, and Customize Windows. Each tab has several useful, clearly-defined functions that are easy for the layman to understand . The Status & Recommendations tab, which is the app's default screen, displays the number of problems found (under Fix Problems) and the Start 1-Click Maintenance button (under the Maintain System sub-head). At the bottom of the window is an Optimization Status band that fills as you complete the steps needed to whip your PC into shape. I found it a nice way to stay on top of the maintenance process.

The Cleanup Process and Other Tweaks
Clicking Start 1-Click Maintenance launches the system cleaner, which scanned my test bed and displayed thousands of registry problems, broken shortcuts, and other PC problems. Clicking the "Show Details" beneath each problem count took me to a new screen that described problems in everyday language. Clicking the Start 1-Click Maintenance button cleaned up the mess, eliminating all the previously listed problems.

I returned to the home screen after that task was completed, where I noticed that the Optimization Status bar was at 50 percent. Anxious to see it hit 100 percent, I began exploring TuneUp Utilities 2012's other options that freed up disk space and repaired a handful of problems. The application identified 41 programs that potentially should be disabled. I appreciated that TuneUp Utilities 2012 gave each program a star rating based on usefulness, so I had an idea of what to keep.

Performance Improvements
I tested PC TuneUp Utilities 2012's ability to reinvigorate a PC by performing three tests—running the Geekbench system performance tool, measuring boot times, and transferring a 1.1GB folder of mixed media to external storage—before and after running the software to compare the computer's potency. Each test was run three times and averaged. Before TuneUp Utilities 2011 scrubbed the system, the 2GHz Intel Core i7 X990 Style-Note notebook with 4GB of RAM, and an 80GB Intel SSD drive achieved a 5,903 Geekbench score, booted in 50.3 seconds, and transferred the 1.1GB folder in 40.5 seconds.

However, after using TuneUp Utilities 2012, the system saw improved performance. The GeekBench performance score rose to 6,045—higher than AVG PC TuneUp 2011's 6,009, Comodo System Cleaner's 5,991, and PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011's 5969, but less than Iolo System Mechanic 10.7's 6,064. The boot time decreased to just 37 seconds, which was swifter than all competing products. The file transfer speed dropped to 41.1 seconds—a few seconds faster than AVG PC TuneUp 2011's 43.3 second, and Comodo System Cleaner's 44.2 seconds, but a hair behind Iolo's System Mechanics 10.7's 40.8. The overall system performance was noticeably snappier. My Daily Newspapers : http://goo.gl/CUghq


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