Review: iolo’s System Mechanic 14

Recently, iolo technologies released the newest version of its award winning PC tune-up software: the System Mechanic 14. iolo technologies has long been a market leader in the PC tune-up segment. According to research data published by NPD, its System Mechanic software is the highest selling product of its kind in the US, with a market share of around 66%.

iolo’s latest offering, the System Mechanic 14, improves on what its predecessor, System Mechanic 12, had to offer in several ways. It introduces new features like LiveBoost, which dramatically improves a device’s performance and helps maximize its battery life. System Mechanic works with all devices capable of running Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Having a PC tune-up software is something of a necessity these days. PCs get cluttered surprisingly quickly and begin to slow down as time goes by. Sometimes, they can take twice as long to boot. These factors, aside from being major annoyances, also hamper productivity at work or home. System Mechanic is a tune-up utility that can solve these problems and make PCs – even the oldest ones- run as fast as they did on the day they were bought.

The Installation

Users can get a free trial version (30 days) of System Mechanic 14 at iolo.com. Installing the software is a pretty straightforward process that takes a few minutes, depending on the PC.

Once the software has been installed, users are required to run a quick system analysis scan before they can access the other features of the software. Upon scanning, System Mechanic displays a list of problems plaguing the PC as well as its overall health. Users can get more information about these problems by clicking on the View Problems option or choose to repair them all by clicking the Repair All option. Some of the issues the tool checks for include Windows core data conflicts, registry errors, system clutter, resource intensive start up programs, security vulnerabilities and memory levels.

System Mechanic’s unique feature is, apart from providing information about problems, it also explains exactly why they slow down your system.

Run-a-health-check-for-your-PC
Run a health check for your PC

After the problems have been repaired – a process that takes a few minutes at the most- System Mechanic generates a detailed list of the repairs it undertook. It also gives users the option to rollback repairs if anything were to go wrong.

Comprehensive-summary-of-actions-taken
Comprehensive summary of actions taken

Repairing the problems significantly speeds up load times, makes multi-tasking easier and helps the computer run much more smoothly in general. System Mechanic also optimizes the internet connection, providing a noticeable increase in download speeds.

While the surface scan takes about 1-2 minutes, users also can opt for the Deep Analysis scan. This is a much more comprehensive scan that checks the computer thoroughly for all kinds of errors. The scan can take up to 7 minutes, depending on the system in question.

The Features

Once the quick scan is done with, users can access the other features of the program. System Mechanic 14 has a friendly, no frills user interface. All the features of the programs are listed neatly in the comprehensive menu to the left of the screen.

Intuitive-user-interface
Intuitive user interface

Some of the noteworthy features users have access to in System Mechanic 14 include ActiveCare, Toolbox and LiveBoost.

Active Care: ActiveCare is a program that runs automatically in the background- optimizing the PC, detecting problems and repairing them. The utility only runs when system resources aren’t being utilized for other tasks. The program will free up unused memory, defragment the registry and optimize the system drive as well as the startup configuration. It will also automatically repair broken shortcuts, a broken internet connection and Windows conflicts and registry problems.

Toolbox: The Toolbox section of program includes a host of features targeted at helping users maximize performance, perform diagnostics and ensure their privacy is being protected. This is an advanced tool meant for those who want to get the most out of their system in every way possible.

Swiss-knife-of-system-utilities
Swiss-knife of system utilities

LiveBoost: LiveBoost is a powerful new feature that has been added to System Mechanic 14. The tool runs separately from System Mechanic – switching off System Mechanic will not switch LiveBoost off. LiveBoost helps optimize and speed-up a PC in real time. It configures the device to run at peak efficiency, enabling users to get the most out of the hardware at hand. Users are given a choice of several modes, suitable for different resource-intensive tasks like gaming, video editing, internet browsing and office productivity.

Live boost has four buttons, with corresponding features, that can be turned on and off. The OptiCore feature will prevent background programs from hogging system resources, the RamJet feature will release memory reserved for programs that are no longer running, AccelWrite will automatically optimize file storage and IdelDown will reduce powerconsumption when the computer is idle. The RamJet and OptiCore tools also generate notifications (can be turned off) when they prevent problems and optimize the computer.

Great-features-to-boost-performance
Great features to boost performance

LiveBoost can also put devices in Endurance mode. This mode maximizes the battery life by making the device use as little power as possible – perfect for laptops constantly low on juice. Apart from using LiveBoost to improve performance and saving power, users can also keep track of the current RAM and CPU usage through the Dashboard section of the tool.

The Price

System Mechanic 14 retails at $39.95 for the standard version and $59.95 for the Pro version. The Pro version includes added features like an anti-virus and anti-spyware program termed System Shield, an advanced data removal utility to erase a hard drive called DriveScrubber and online backup support. For both versions, users get access to customer care support. Also, there are no restrictions on the number of PCs System Mechanic can be installed on, provided they are not being used for business purposes.

The Verdict

System Mechanic 14 significantly improves PC health and provides a noticeable boost in speed and performance. All in all, the newest version of System Mechanic remains a worthwhile investment, which can be used to breathe new life into even the oldest, most sluggish of PCs.

Featured Image : Rami via Flickr

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