Review: PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011

Utility software ought to make a computer work faster or more reliably. So I expected improvements from installing PC Tools Performance Toolkit 2011.

While the software helped my machine take three steps forward, it also took two steps back. The overall boost isn’t worth the effort of the software’s NZ$60 asking price.

PC Tools Performance Toolkit promises to improve a Windows computer’s performance by clearing out registry junk and unneeded programs.

Improved performance

It did this. After an hour or so of using the software my machine had a little more disc space, ran slightly better and booted 10 seconds faster. No dramatic improvements, just less waiting.

On the negative side, it killed Windows 7 search and wiped all my Firefox history. Neither would have been a terrible thing, if the software warned me these things were about to happen.

It didn’t, Performance Toolkit automatically made choices I wouldn’t have made. Sure, it may have given me an option to review and reject its tweaks, but on the first pass it came up with hundreds of things it said needed fixing.

Even after a couple of weeks it consistently finds things it wants to change – obscure system things I don’t understand. I’ve run the software more than ten times. Each time it checks my computer’s system health and gives it a dire diagnosis before moving in for some radical doctoring. You’d think these things would all be fixed by now.

PC Tools verdict

I’m not saying Performance Toolkit is rubbish, it made a difference the first time I ran it. But most of its tweaks are unnecessary and do little to make noticeable improvements. If you worry about your PC’s performance buy extra Ram or more disk – both are better investments.