Unbeknownst to the TGH readership, my current gaming set-up is by far the worst of our PC agnostic writers despite me practically leading the bunch. A choppy 4GB of DDR2 (Yes, DDR2) memory and an older, yet incredibly popular, Core2Quad Q6600 processor means the standard fetch and carry operations of my PC is not at its finest for the modern age. It’s because of that sad fast that while software like Tune-Up Utilities, which promises to speed up your dusty old machine, do pop into your mind when you’re bored waiting for Windows Explorer to stop with the micro freezes. For years though the urge has never been great enough. My computer has never run so ridiculously slow to really benefit greatly from such software; but I’ve always thought the idea was something grand.
Tune-Up Utilities 2013 is, as you have probably guessed, the newest version of the popular PC maintenance software. It’s been going for years and has constantly proven popular among even completely free alternative programs. Aside from the intrusive and irritating ‘Buy now’ overlays on trial copies of the software while still within the testing period, Tune-Up Utilities 2013 does what it says, and reasonably well at that.
Where some people have a separate piece of software to say… clean and defragment their PC’s registry, defragment their hard drive, or just locate all those useless little files clogging up the space of their hard drive, Tune-Up Utilities 2013 packs them all into one well presented package with a simple ‘1-Touch Maintenance’ button proving to be all that stands in your way between the accumulated errors of years of computer use, and a machine that may possibly rival that of a fresh install without losing anything important or having to drag them out of that damned ‘Windows.Old’ folder.
In one fell swoop (and around 10 minutes of your patience) this program will search your clotted registry for entries left behind from that trial download of Norton Antivirus that you regret so deeply now, determine whether a defragmentation of the system registry or any associated hard drives is necessary, which shortcuts relate to nothing, destroy whatever data your browsers are clutching onto and tell you which programs needn’t be booted up at launch. All of the speedy diagnostics will usually wield a hefty sum of errors upon their run-through, at least the first time anyway, and should be cleaned out and ready for normal use again with a minute – unless a defragmentation run is in order. Running it side-by-side with a popular free program of the same vein proved that TuneUp Utilities 2013 was able to find a lot more than it’s competitors; And they’re not false positives either as you can literally scroll through all the returned errors and nod your head in approval.
Outside of its signature ’1-click maintenance’ TuneUp Utilities 2013 boasts an impressive array of new features. You’re certainly not limited to the ’1-Click’ system and can instead opt to clean your drives from the ‘Clean Up computer’ tab within the program’s rather cleanly presented dashboard. This way you can be more specific as to what files are purged from the disk, or just use it as a way to look at all the mess it finds in a little more detail.
And after you’re done tweaking your PC back to its former glory, you can even click the ‘Customize Windows’ tab to change the entire Windows theme away from the now traditional Aero style and into something completely fresh from the user submitted themes available through their website. If that’s a bit too drastic, then maybe changed the background of your PC’s lock-screen is more up your alley.
By gandering back to the dashboard following a routine check-up you should notice the handy ‘Optimization Status’ portion laid out along the bottom. The easy to understand graphics will attempt to convey just how much of the program’s potential you’ve actually used with obviously the full 100% meaning Tune-Up has done everything within it’s power and your computer couldn’t possibly get any speedier outside of expensive hardware upgrades which, to be fair, coming from a PC user you probably should consider anyway. But I also understand how hard it is to convince general users to upgrade their kit.
Take a look to the left side and you’ll notice the even more handy ‘PC Optimization mode’; a fully button-controlled way to switch your machine into high performance mode to blitz through tasks or gaming, and a nice ‘Economy’ mode to make cool your machine down into a less powerful pur. Good for a laptop away from a plug socket or maybe a PC that’s humming a tad too at 4am.
While I’m still a solid believer in cleaning your computer manually often enough to avoid needed software like this, TuneUp Utilities 2013 seems to have convinced me to at least understand that this isn’t always possible. It’s like trying to carry a heavy table back to your car; it’s possible, but you should probably still ask for help. Causal PC users will most likely notice a huge difference should they “Tune-Up” their machines for the first time since the purchase of their silicone number cruncher, but hardcore PC users are not going to see much of a benefit in the long run.
Features – 5/5: Tune-Up packs a lot of features to keep things running steadily. Even after that it offers the ability to tweak how your copy of Windows looks. It’s nice to have something outside of it’s selling point.
Value – 2/5: In a world where the price of software is dropping rapidly, £29.99 is better spent on a memory upgrade instead. It would yield a faster system in return anyway.
Usability - 4/5: The user interface is as simple as ever. Lots of detail and potential in a small window.
Need: - 3/5: This gets an above average score due to the ratio between casual and hardcore PC users. More people will get a use out of this than not.
Final Score: 3.5/5