In the highly competitive optimization software market, it is hard to stand up from the competition unless a software has something special or different to offer. TuneUp Utilities is one of the rare ones that is consistently rated as a top PC system utility software since releasing its first version on 1997. The new 2014 version comes with several new and improved features such as flight mode, duplicate finder, and improved disk cleaner.
So, what TuneUp Utilities 2014 really does? With over 30 optimization tools, it does pretty much everything you can think of to speed up your machine. Some of its key features include startup manager, uninstaller, disk defragmenter, disk cleaner, registry cleaner & defragmenter, duplicate file finder, PC power management tool, data shredder, file recovery tool, and more. You can find all of its features listed accordingly under “All Functions” tab in TuneUp Utilities 2014.
TuneUp Utilities 2014 divides all of its features into 4 main sections – Maintenance, PC Performance, PC Health, and Rescue Center, which you can see at its main dashboard:
Let’s go through each of its main functions one by one. When you click “Scan Now” under the Maintenance section, it launches TuneUp 1-Click Maintenance which helps to clean & defragment registry, remove broken shortcuts, clean up system and browsers, optimize system startup and shutdown, and defragment hard disk. By default, it will run automatically on every 3 usage days to keep your PC optimized.
Next, under the PC Performance section, TuneUp Utilities advises you on ways to increase you system performance, by analyzing your hardware, software, and system settings. On my first scan, TuneUp Utilities has detected 4 different ways to optimize my system performance. Since my laptop is well-optimized, I wasn’t expecting to see more warnings and recommendations. It first recommended me to use “High performance” power plan if I wish to run my laptop at full capacity. This is certainly a tweak that I am aware of, but not the next 3 recommendations, which are basically the same, but for 3 different browsers. It suggested me to specify the maximum number of simultaneous connections in order to maximize my connection speed.
The last two sections, PC Health and Rescue Center, are relatively simpler tools compare to the first two. PC Health detects any incorrect settings that negatively impacts your system health. This is definitely a helpful tool to remind or inform what you have possibly done wrong which may harm your system. Tuneup Utilities has identified four problems in my computer. All of them are pretty useful advises to keep my computer safe and healthy – it suggested me to turn on User Administrative Control (UAC), disable administrative shares, set a master password for Mozilla Firefox, and check my system drive for errors. Tuneup Utilities does a great job in explaining the effects of these problems and recommending solutions to fix them. A great feature to protect your PC from potential threats and issues in overall.
Lastly, Rescue Center is simply a system recovery and restore tool that allows you to undo any changes made by TuneUp Utilities, in case your computer isn’t working properly after making some changes on registry or system settings.
Apart from its four main functions, there are also some handy functions to further optimize your PC. You can run your computer at turbo mode to temporarily speed up your PC, or switch to economy mode to boost your battery life. Under the “Personalize” tab, there is a TuneUp System Control feature that allows you to modify frequently used Windows settings, and a TuneUp Styler that allows you to change the appearance of your Windows in minutes – definitely not a optimization tool though.
Live Optimization is another feature that I really like. It monitors your system by running in the background to detect and stop process or program that is hogging your CPU resources.
During my first few days of usage, TuneUp Live Optimization suggested me to disable Google Chrome to permanently reduce the PC load. I don’t quite understand why TuneUp mentioned Google Chrome as an inactive program while I’m still using it.
Nevertheless, clicking on the pop-up brings you to TuneUp Program Deactivator, where you can disable programs that hogs memory even when they are not in use. You can still use a disabled program, as its background service is started automatically when you launch the program, and is closed when the program not in use.
In overall, TuneUp Utilities 2014 has a comprehensive set of optimization features that covers a wide range of methods to accelerate your PC performance. It doesn’t just remove unnecessary files, defragment your hard disk, and fix your registries, TuneUp also pushes your PC to its limits by disabling unnecessary Windows services, providing tips and advises to optimize your system, and more.
The number of features in TuneUp Utilities alone is impressive enough. However, do they really help to boost your PC performance? To compare the system performance before and after using TuneUp Utilities 2014, I have measured and recorded my laptop’s boot time and benchmark scores before and after running TuneUp 1-Click Maintenance. Note that I’m using an old MSI CR430 laptop to conduct the test, so expect to see slow boot time and low (or pathetic) benchmark scores. Also, I just did my monthly system maintenance one day before the comparison test with CCleaner and Advanced SystemCare, therefore the performance difference may not be significant. Anyway, let’s have a look at the results.
Before running TuneUp 1-Click Maintenance
Laptop boot time – 58.404 seconds:
Processor arithmetic performance – 4.28 GOPS:
PassMark rating – 512.7:
After running TuneUp 1-Click Maintenance
Laptop boot time – 56.408 seconds (~2 seconds faster):
Processor arithmetic performance – 4.7 GOPS (0.42 higher):
PassMark rating – 551 (38.3 higher):
As you can see, my laptop’s startup time improved from 58.4 seconds to 56.4 seconds, whereas its processor arithmetic benchmark score increased from 4.28 GOPS to 4.7 GOPS and PassMark rating improved from 512.7 to 551. Although the improvements aren’t significant, the results are expected as there isn’t much room for improvement for an already optimized laptop. You will definitely experience more significant improvement if you seldom optimize or clean up your computer system.
Is TuneUp Utilities 2014 worth buying?
Although TuneUp Utilities 2014 boasts an impressive set of features, that is not the main reason why it is different from most of its competitors. TuneUp Utilities doesn’t just stuffs in some common PC utilities and tools which can be easily found for free, it consistently monitors and recommends tweaks and tricks that can improve your system performance and health, which are often unaware of or forgotten by most PC users.
Priced at $29.95, TuneUp Utilities 2014 is the ultimate solution to fully optimized your machine. Licence limitations are probably one of its rare shortcomings. If you are planning to use an optimization software on more than 3 computers, iolo System Mechanic ($20 off) may be a better choice for you.
Also, you can always download its free 15-day trial with unrestricted features to try out TuneUp Utilities 2014 for free before making your decision.