Keep your PC running in peak condition with SiSoftware Sandra 2013

sisoftwareLet’s face it.  The economy really stinks.  With economic conditions so lousy, it’s not surprising that PC sales are down. The best way to save money from a computing standpoint is to keep your computer running well. One of the best ways is to have a good diagnostic program like SiSoftware Sandra 2013. It’s a diagnostic utility for Windows.

SiSoftware Sandra is a 32- and 64-bit Windows system analyzer.   It includes benchmarking, testing and listing modules. It tries to go beyond other utilities to show you more of what is really going on under the hood so you draw comparisons at both a high and low-level in a single product. You can get information about the CPU, GPGPU, chipset, video adapter (GPU), ports, printers, sound card, memory, network.  You can even get information on Windows, .NET and Java internal components installed on your machine.

SIS-01

SiSoftware Sandra has a great deal to offer.  The free version is good, but the paid versions offer more. The biggest problem it has is that it’s very technical, and most computer users, aren’t.  However, if you have a little bit of computer aptitude, you can learn a lot about your PC; and you can learn what to check when things start misbehaving.

If you can, create reports when things are running well.  When you begin having problems with your PC, you can use the “known good” information and compare it to the current, not so good information. It may help you figure out what’s broken.  However, you’re going to likely need to get smart about your PC’s components before you can take full advantage of the app.

download SiSoftware Sandra 2013

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Discover all of the devices connected to your computer with Speccy

What’s the first thing you do when you buy a new computer…well, besides turn it on, of course? You check out all of the specs and components of course! Some of the best fun can be in discovering just how powerful your new computer is. That’s why I like applications like Speccy. It’s a system utility for Windows.

Speccy gives you detailed statistics on every piece of hardware in your computer. You get detailed info on your CPU, Motherboard, RAM, graphics cards, hard disks, optical drives, audio support, etc. Additionally Speccy tells you the operating temperatures of your different components, so you can easily see if you’ve got a heat problem.

While Speccy may seem like an application for system administrators and power users, it’s easily usable by everyone. If you need to add more memory to your system, for example, you can check how many memory slots your computer has and what memory is already installed. Then you can go out and buy the right type of memory to add on or replace what you’ve already got.

If you’re going to be selling your PC, you can use Speccy to quickly list out the components. If you’re buying a PC, you can use Speccy to check that the computer has what the label says it has.

Speccy is a decent application; and the cost is definitely right. While the app is free, a system information app is something that you won’t use every day. However, it does a very good job for what it does. If you need to find out what components you have in your PC, Speccy is a great app to do that.

Download Speccy

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Get detailed information about your computer hardware with CPU-Z

Troubleshooting PC issues isn’t always easy. Hardware issues… Software issues… Issues with software and peripherals… sometimes it’s difficult to know which end of your PC is giving you grief. This is one of the reasons why I like CPU-Z. It’s a hardware detection tool for Windows.

CPU-Z is freeware that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system. It gives you the name and number of your CPU, its core stepping and process information, package information, core voltage information, as well as information on instructions sets and cache information.

When it comes to your motherboard, you get vendor, model and revision; BIOS model and date, Chipset (Northbridge and Southbridge) and sensor; as well as the Graphic interface and amount of memory. Speaking of memory, when it comes to the RAM installed in your system, you’ll also get the specifics of frequency and timings, Module(s) specification using SPD (Serial Presence Detect), as well as vendor, serial number, and a timings table.

Getting detailed information on your hardware can be very important if you’re trying to troubleshoot your PC or if you’ve purchased a PC third hand, and need to find out what’s installed in it so you can safely modify or upgrade it. CPU-Z is a great little utility for providing you specific information on your PC’s components. If you’re running a virtual machine, though, don’t look to get too much information from it. I tried and was unable to get it to give me much more information other than the type of processor I had.

Download CPU-Z

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Everest the complete auditing tool

Everest is a system information utility and auditing tool designed for home users. The product has been around for some time and development on it stopped several years ago. The product is effectively discontinued. However, do not be discouraged by this: it has useful functionality.

Everest can analyze and present through a helpful ‘windowsy’ hierarchical file interface information about your pc. This includes computer, motherboard, display, multimedia, storage, network, DirectX and devices. It will collect a good amount of information, and is a useful way of finding out what is available on a PC, for example, it detects hard drive controllers.

This information can be output to local disk, network share, e-mail or ADO database connections in text, CSV, HTML or XML formats. It has a ‘Favourites’ tab to which you can add those things you are most interest in. It is also useful if you need to benchmark one PC with another – it enables the collection and comparison of data such as memory reads, writes, latency.

If you are persistent enough to be able to stay in control in the face of unexpected error messages you may get some benefit from this tool. It has grown up and pay for siblings (now at FinalWire Ltd) which will do everything Everest does and more, and are up to date with new drivers, devices etc., however the point is that Everest Home is free. It is a good starting point for collecting PC information and is worth an initial look.

download Everest

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What’s actually inside this box we call computer?

So many people have actually no idea about what’s inside their computer. I mean, they have general knowledge about motherboards, CPUs, hard drives and so on. It’s the technical info I’m referring to.

Now, that’s not a bad thing, but sometimes we may need accurate data regarding our hardware or even software in terms of revisions, versions, release dates, you name it.

When in need of info as such, one can use Auslogics System Information. This free application can save you the trouble of opening a computer case and sweeping for serial numbers or so. Just install and run it and you’ll get all the data regarding your precious PC.

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