Learn Your PC's Inner Workings with PC Wizard

PC Wizard 2008 can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your PC's configuration and performance. Everything, that is, except how to fix it.

This free utility looks at your PC's hardware and software-and everything in between. It lets you see your system in as much or as little detail as you like. For example, you can simply scan a summarized list of all the hardware running on your system, or you can dig deeper and see the level of activity on each of your processor's cores, as well as the thermal temperature of the computer.

Its software analysis is equally as detailed: You can see which file extensions are associated with which programs, see an overview of all the security applications you have installed (and whether or not they're up to date), or check the state of your Web browser.

PC Wizard also helps you analyze your PC's performance. It will gauge the amount of system uptime, and provide detailed statistics on your restore points, shutdowns, and boot ups.

Its benchmarking tools will analyze the performance of your entire system, operating system, installed RAM, global memory, cache, audio playback, video playback, hard drive, optical drives, and more. Results are displayed in easy-to-read graphics that provide plenty of detail. What the program doesn't provide, though, is recommendations on how to fix any problems that appear.

PC Wizard is a dense, capable program that may be better suited for experienced PC users. It can help pinpoint problems with your PC, but it expects you to fix them yourself.

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