Acronis Revs True Image
At a Glance
The new Acronis True Image 8 feels more like a maintenance release than a major upgrade over version 7. It does, however, boost the backup application's performance to levels comparable to those of Symantec's recently launched (and quite speedy) Norton Ghost 9.
Both programs create sector-by-sector snapshots of your hard drive for easy recovery after a system crash; but in tests conducted for our recent review of Ghost 9, it performed dramatically faster than True Image 7 did, producing smaller images. Like Ghost 9, True Image 8 skips the re-creatable swap and hibernation files, yielding similar speeds and even smaller image sizes.
In my informal tests, Ghost 9 imaged a 3.2GB partition in 1 minute, 25 seconds, generating a 1.4GB image file. My shipping copy of True Image 8 completed an image of the same file in 2 minutes, 42 seconds, but it produced a smaller, 1.2GB file. (True Image 7 took 5 minutes, 34 seconds, making a 2.5GB file.)
Though Ghost 9 is speedier at creating images, True Image 8 is much faster at booting from the recovery disc. In my tests, Ghost 9 took a whopping 2 minutes, 25 seconds to launch, while True Image 8 took only around 15 seconds.
New tweaks in True Image 8 enable you to verify images before restoring them; and like version 7, version 8 can create incremental backups.
True Image 8 enjoys some clear advantages over Ghost 9. It works with any version of Windows (Ghost 9 works only with XP and 2000), it doesn't depend on Microsoft's .Net framework the way its competitor does, and its full version is $20 less expensive.
The worst drawback of True Image 8: Owners of previous versions have to pay $30 for this decidedly minor upgrade.
That said, if you're looking for a solid-performing, reasonably priced drive-imaging application, Acronis's latest True Image is a good choice.
Acronis True Image 8
An affordable, full-featured imaging program; but it feels a bit like a maintenance patch.
List: $50 full, $30 upgrade
Current price (if available)