Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Performance Toolkit from PC Tools used to be known as Desktop Maestro. This PC system utilities application isn’t a complete redo of its predecessor as much as it’s an evolution. The interface looks nearly the same and a lot of its features carried over, but this incarnation is better. Performance Toolkit’s interface and features load quicker than Desktop Maestro’s did, and the application as a whole is a lot more effective. We’re glad PC Tools decided to spruce up an ineffective dinosaur and turn it into a promising system optimization tool.
Performance Toolkit’s Optimize Your System feature lets you set the priority for processes that are currently running on your system. You can also use this feature to end these processes. Additionally, it lists your system’s specifications and helps you figure out how much hard drive space you’re using and how much is available. We thought the information provided in the Drives/Space and System Information tab was helpful, but it could easily be accessed elsewhere.
In the Maintain tab of these PC system utilities, you’ll find an option to get a Health Report for your system. This report analyzes your system to see how it’s performing in the areas of registry, privacy and disk health. If your rating is low in any of these areas, you can access the features to remedy the problem through this report. Your system should do fine if you keep your registry repaired and defragmented, run and document history cleared, free space wiped, hard drive repaired and defragmented and your startup settings optimized. And this tool helps you do all of that in one place.
Performance Toolkit PC system utilities also has features for managing your Windows services and startup items. For Windows services, we would recommend using the Tuneup your Services feature in the Optimize tab. When you’re editing startup items, proceed with caution. Your operating system may require the use of some startup items to function properly, so it’s better to know the purpose of each one before you start disabling them.
Performance Toolkit’s Registry Cleaner effectively scans through your registry in moments, bringing you only the most pressing registry errors. Its Clean Your Disks feature combines the functionality of two features: it serves as a junk file finder and it also has a privacy traces eraser that makes sure your activity on the internet and in Windows can’t be tracked. If you have files you want permanently deleted, click Shred Your Files in the Optimize tab. This feature deletes selected files and writes over the free space they once occupied.
Sometimes removing hard drive clutter and repairing registry errors can’t do the trick. Performance Toolkit’s disk repair feature can repair errors on your hard disk while analyzing the integrity of your hard disk and drive partition table. It can also repair your hard disk Master Boot Record.
Performance Toolkit PC system utilities can roll back any repairs it has made if they’re compromising your system’s performance. This application also has a feature for recovering important files you accidentally deleted.
Defragmenting your registry with Performance Toolkit can pose some challenges. The application gets the job done in this area, but it does it at the expense of your ability to do anything else in the process. This is the only feature within the application that hogs a lot of system resources while it's running.
Performance Toolkit’s Services Optimizer lets you choose features versus speed. You can have the application enable just the core services, or it can enable all core services and a selection of other services. The option you should choose depends on whether you want to have a balance between features and speed or strip Windows down so it operates quickly as possible. This feature looks at each service closely and tells you if it was able to change or optimize that service. Some services can’t be optimized or changed because other services depend on them. If you notice a negative effect in your system’s performance after using this feature, you can reverse its changes.
Performance Toolkit’s CPU optimization feature can be found when you click on Optimize your System in the Optimize tab. This feature performs a series of undefined system tweaks to regain some of your CPU’s power. However, in our testing we didn’t notice any movement on the memory side of the scale, even after several attempts.
We liked the power Performance Toolkit’s disk defragmentation feature exerts. It can optimize your disks and boot settings and perform real-time defragmentation. You can schedule defragmentation of your disks and look at a history of the feature’s previous actions.
Performance Toolkit has an easy-to-navigate interface and its features are easy to understand. Plus, the program as a whole runs very smoothly. When you’re optimizing your system, you don’t want to have to wait for your computer to get the job done. You will want it to scan and fix your system in the blink of an eye. Performance Toolkit, for the most part, achieves this ideal.
Performance Toolkit has ditched the ineffective aspects of its predecessor, Desktop Maestro, to become one of the more promising PC system utilities. Its features are fast and easy to use. This application is a user-friendly option for anyone who’s experiencing the frustration of dealing with a computer that’s performing sluggishly.
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