Iolo System Mechanic 10.5 is a comprehensive suite of tools such as disk defragmenter, system speed up, a registry cleaner, and much more—all designed to keep your PC in shape. It may not improve your frame rates, but it’s a very handy toolbox to help keep your gaming rig running smoothly.
A virtual toolbox
System Mechanic 10.5 features a broad range of programs all designed to optimize your PC’s performance. Core features include:
- Disk and memory defragmentation
- Registry Cleaning
- System Startup optimization
- Disk and system ‘cleanup’
- System security optimization
- …and quite a bit more
Truth be told, System Mechanic includes so many useful tools that it’s nearly impossible to list them all, but I’ll touch on some of its core features.
Above and beyond the core performance-optimization tools, System Mechanic also includes a broad range of utilities to help you diagnose, troubleshoot, and resolve PC problems. System Mechanic can even help you keep your drivers up to date with the Designated Drivers tool.
System Mechanic doesn’t provide anti-malware or Firewall services, although System Mechanic Pro does. The standard System Mechanic monitors Firewall and anti-malware services in the same fashion that Windows 7 does (i.e. it basically tells you if they are on or not).
Additional tools such as Privacy Cleaner and Incinerator enable you to securely delete (digitally “shred”) files, cookies, and similar content. NetSpeed Analyzer tests your internet connection speed and even helps optimize it by adjusting various settings typically a little harder to “reach” unless you like digging deeply into your system control panel, device manager, and/or editing your system’s registry.
And speaking of your registry, arguably one of the best tools included with System Mechanic is its Registry Optimizer/cleaner. Over time, the Windows registry can get cluttered with all kinds of crap left behind by programs you don’t need or use anymore, and uninstalling those programs doesn’t necessarily remove all the baggage. In addition, good (or free) registry cleaners are very difficult to come by, so if you’re going to pay for one, you might as well get one that comes with a fully-featured suite of tools.
Combined with the included Disk Optimizer and Program Accelerator tools, System Mechanic covers virtually every base for cleaning up your PC. There’s even an SSD Accelerator for folks running with SSD drives.
Topping it all off, System Mechanic includes its own desktop Gadget that basically monitors your system performance and health. It chiefly serves to remind you every now and again that you’re overdue to run some of the maintenance utilities. You can also put many or all of the maintenance tools on automatic so System Mechanic will work behind the scenes to keep everything running ship shape.
Another interesting feature System Mechanic has is that it maintains and regularly updates its own database(s) of system drivers, startup programs, processes, and other information to help it correctly identify nearly anything and everything in your system. In addition, it has an ‘Ask Google’ feature, so if it can’t identify a Process or driver (for example), you can simply click a link and it gets funneled to a Google search to help you identify it.
The impressive array of tools included with System Mechanic make it a tremendously useful program if you like a “one stop shopping” solution for PC optimization. Admittedly, as more of a tech/enthusiast, I would like to know a little more about what is going on under the hood. System Mechanic generally hides its “magic” behind wizards—great for the less technical, but it can make more technical enthusiasts a little… nervous. Or even suspicious that the software isn’t doing things how we would like them done.
Regardless, System Mechanic can do good things for any PC, and especially PCs long overdue for a good registry cleaning or a total overhaul. It won’t magically turn an ancient Windows XP system (or even a Windows 7 system) long overdue for a hard disk formatting and OS (operating system) re-installation into a fresh, snappy workstation again, but it can stave off the ‘flattening and re-installing’ process for a while longer and improve overall performance a shade or two.
I wish I could report that System Mechanic massively improved game speeds, frame rates, and cut boot times on my PCs by huge percentages, but I can’t—and odds are you won’t likely notice such massive improvements using it, particularly on more modern and relatively well-maintained PCs. On a 2+ year-old Windows 7 test system I did manage to shave a second or three off the boot time after a thorough cleaning/optimizing. But then again, I (like many enthusiasts) tend to keep my systems fairly well maintained—even the older ones—so your mileage may vary. I achieved slightly more pronounced results on an old and thoroughly abused Windows XP system, though nothing that miraculously transformed an old clunker into a speed demon again.
System Mechanic is an excellent suite of utilities and provides a nearly comprehensive toolset for PC maintenance, diagnostics, troubleshooting, and optimization. It may not be able to completely rescue a poorly maintained PC from performance hell, but it can still help improve its performance a bit and maybe stave off a hard disk formatting and OS (operating system) re-installation for a while. As maintenance tool, however, it provides an excellent suite of top-notch tools that can help you keep a PC from plunging into the hell of grinding hard disks and wait cusors.
System Mechanic also offers a lot of value for the $39.99 it costs to buy it because that covers 3 licenses/PC installations. If you’re one of those guys (or gals) tasked with being the “family tech support person”, consider a copy for those poor, beleaguered, and abused PCs being slowly tortured to death by your parents. System Mechanic might save you a few of those “family tech support” phone calls, which is nearly worth its weight in gold if you’ve ever had to try and talk your tech-phobic mother in law through troubleshooting…well, anything.