Pros / It improved our test computer’s performance by 11.94 percent.
Cons / It decreased web-browsing performance by 1.06 percent.
Verdict / PC Mechanic improved our computer’s overall performance and was fairly easy to use, but it wasn’t the most powerful software we tested.
While most of the applications we reviewed are large tool suites, PC Mechanic – which shouldn’t be confused with System Mechanic – focuses solely on scanning your computer and fixing errors to improve and maintain performance. In our tests, it produced one of the best overall improvements, but it slowed the boot speed.
We tested each PC system utility application to evaluate its ability to diagnose, repair and optimize our test computer. We used PCMark 10 to benchmark the PC’s performance both before and after optimization, looking primarily at word and data processing, graphics processing, web-browsing speed and video chat quality. Additionally, we measured the improvement to boot speed and the diagnostic consistency.
After all our tests, PC Mechanic improved our computer by an average of 11.94 percent, which makes it comparable to AVG PC TuneUp and brings it close to Glary Utilities Pro, our top pick. It boosted word- and data-processing performance by 6.99 percent, and it improved graphics processing by 4.81 percent. Web-browsing speed, however, decreased by 1.06 percent.
PC Mechanic’s biggest bragging point is its effect on boot speed. Our test computer’s startup time improved by 21.28 percent after the software ran. That doesn’t approach the 50 percent speedup of System Cleaner, but it’s still decent. Nonetheless, Windows’ built-in maintenance tools boosted our test machine’s startup speed by 42 percent.
The software’s PC cleaner tool freed up an average of 400 MB. That was fairly typical for the programs we tested, but it was still disappointing. We didn’t clear the cache or empty the recycle bin before running the tests, so the utility should have recovered a lot more storage.
PC Mechanic demonstrated great diagnostic consistency in our tests, so we awarded it an A for that metric. It wasn’t perfect, but it was consistent enough for us to determine it wasn’t falsely recognizing errors. With some system repair applications, you can scan and fix all the errors, and when you scan again, the software will find more errors to fix. You can scan repeatedly, and the programs will keep finding problems.
We gave PC Mechanic an A– for ease of use, meaning it’s one of the easiest applications for a novice to use. The interface is old school but effective. Each feature has a description of what it does, so you don’t run it unnecessarily.