This is a question we’ve never dared to ask before—our flagship product, TuneUp Utilities, has been known to significantly improve PC performance and has won a fair share of awards for doing so. However, we’ve read some negative comments and heard some say that our software actually slows down PCs. We were shocked to hear about this, and wanted to set the record straight. In this blog post, we’ll prove how little PC performance is affected after installing TuneUp Utilities 2011.
Understanding our test methods
To give you the most accurate results possible, we performed a series of benchmark tests on the very same machine we used for our antivirus – PC performance benchmark series. We also followed the same set of tests starting off with some boot-time analysis, conducting a resource check, testing program startups, and ending with a series of synthetic benchmarks to measure the impact of TuneUp Utilities 2011.
It’s important to know that we simply installed TuneUp Utilities. We didn’t perform any optimization tasks, such as using the 1-Click-Maintenance, TuneUp Program Deactivator, or Turbo Mode. We even skipped the initial analysis. The only thing that is running is TuneUp Utilities’ tray icon and the background service that is responsible for the Live Optimization part of our product.
Timecode 00:00:00 – Scenario starts/boot performance
Overall, the PC’s boot time wasn’t negatively impacted. XPerf showed that the total boot time increased by one second on every test we performed, but both Skype and Live Messenger started just a couple of seconds earlier.
This is due to TuneUp Live Optimization giving the programs a decent priority and performance boost during the start-up process. All in all, it became clear that our developers ensured that all of the processes and services TuneUp Utilities loads are as lean as possible.
Timecode 00:10:00 – Checking resource
Let’s take a look at the resource utilization of TuneUp Utilities. On the machine we used for our tests, the TuneUp tray icon took up about 1–2 MB of RAM while the background service ate up as little as 6 MB. Even on a system with 1 GB or less of RAM, this wouldn’t be noticeable at all. Besides, these processes did not take up a lot of processor utilization. Overall, they rarely produced more than 3–4% of CPU time—most of the time, they were idling at exactly 0%.
We compared these numbers with a handful of other test machines and got very similar results. On a 64-bit machine, the tray icon also needed 1–2 MB, and the service produced more than 9 MB of memory usage, which is due to the increased amount of memory space needed in a 64-bit environment.
Compared to many other background applications, TuneUp Utilities didn’t produce a whole lot of background noise. In all honesty, if we didn’t look at Task Manager, we wouldn’t have even known it was there at all.
Timecode 00:11:30 – Starting a browser
Let’s move on—Google Chrome was the first, real benchmark we ran. The start-up time of Google’s browser wasn’t affected at all after we installed TuneUp Utilities. It fully appeared in no more than 2 seconds—quite a good result!
Timecode 00:12:30 – Launching Outlook
Since we start and close Outlook on a daily (and sometimes even an hourly basis), we needed the program to launch quickly. The time it took from double-clicking the Outlook 2010 shortcut to actually seeing the very first e-mail in our inbox was exactly five seconds. That didn’t change with TuneUp Utilities installed and running in the background.
Timecode 00:14:30 – Opening PhotoImpact
Nice! Good to see that Live Optimization did its job—the TuneUp Utilities feature shaved a couple of seconds off loading an 8 MB photo in PhotoImpact and applying the filter (which puts a huge load on the CPU and GPU).
If you like to edit photos, installing TuneUp Utilities and not performing any of the optimization tasks will improve your workflow.
Timecode 00:16:30 – Opening PowerDirector
Interestingly, installing TuneUp Utilities didn’t have any impact when it came to opening up a PowerDirector project and converting an HD clip into SD format. We expect this too drastically change—for the better—when all of the software’s optimization features are being used.
Timecode 00:19:30 – Converting MP3 files
Again, we’re repeating ourselves here—there was no significant impact on performance. Upon each test run, iTunes needed four seconds less to convert a large (220 MB) MP3 file into AAC with TuneUp Utilities installed. TuneUp Live Optimization wasn’t able to achieve much since the iTunes decoding process already had full priority, and there was next to no interference from background processes that could have slowed down the conversion.
Timecode 00:30:30 – Copying large filee
We didn’t expect much here either. Since neither the small footprint of TuneUp Utilities nor its Live Optimization have anything to do with network performance or file operations, it took us exactly 50 seconds to transfer our large test file from one PC to another.
Timecode 00:35:00 – Extracting large Files
This is where TuneUp Live Optimization was able to speed things up. It helped complete the extraction process two seconds faster. This is not a revolutionary result but quite impressive given the fact that we just performed an installation. This also proves yet again that we did not experience a drop in performance on our test system.
Timecode 00:38:00 –Cinebench
Cinebench relies very heavily on the CPU and the GPU. If TuneUp Utilities had any negative impact on these hardware components, it would certainly show up in this test. The result: it did not have any affect—if you ignore the 0.01 FPS increase in graphics performance, you won’t notice a difference in terms of performance.
Timecode 00:47:00 –PCMark
In order to give you comparable results, we still used the good old PCMark Vantage and not the recently released PCMark 7 (which we’ll use in future blog posts). This synthetic benchmark showed some increase in both its gaming and productivity score which is probably due to the fact that it runs several tasks at once. Thanks to TuneUp Live Optimization, some of these tasks ran just a bit faster than before.
TuneUp Utilities has no negative effect on performance
We pride ourselves on communicating with our readers and customers openly and honestly. We made sure that these benchmarks were 100% correct—and if there were any PC performance problems following the installation of TuneUp Utilities, the benchmarks would clearly have shown them.
As our passion is optimizing performance, stability, and offering users a hassle-free PC experience, we invite you to try all of these benchmarks on your own PC and see for yourself. Take a machine which doesn’t have TuneUp Utilities installed on it and perform the tests. To make sure you get the most accurate results possible, repeat the tests at least three times each. What did you find? We’re pretty sure your results will be similar to ours or in many cases even better!