Developer: REALiX Corp.
HWiNFO a go-go for dodo's
This was a tough review to write, especially about this particular product. I kept having to look away from the review, and what I was writing because Kevin Harvick was battling Dale Jr. for the lead at Pocono…………………….
Okay okay, so I am a NASCAR fan, got a problem with that? Just because I'm a gear head doesn't mean I can't put more than three words together in a sentence, or think that you SPEAK into the mouse. If you want to know the truth, my review process is pretty simple. I am a typical end user. I am not going to flash up my reviews with technical terms [I am not really familiar with them anyhow!] or tech talk. I was a hardware freak before, and I am a hardware freak to this day. And that is the perfect segue………………………….
First off the bat, this is a fun little program, period. I don't care if it isn't fancy or flashy, or doesn't wash your car or walk your dog. This is the kind of program that system builders and hardware wire heads like me absolutely slobber over. It's like an X-ray of the computer you put it on. It can be very fun and entertaining to look into the secret places and inner workings of your little box, to find out information that can be useful and informative, or just to see what serial number is electronically stamped on your proc.
After a nice and relatively clean install, I opened HWiNFO and checked out the applet. It was a nice, clean and easily readable applet window, and not jumbled up with a bunch of buttons and confusing information. Just five simple dropdown menus, along with five icons make this toolbar relatively uncluttered. As a man once said “Uncluttered toolbars are cool.” Don't quote me on that.
After poking around the left column, and seeing the interesting and fun info pop up, I decided to work my way through the dropdowns and see what kind of info this program would entitle me to. I wanted to see if this thing was going to blow up my skirt, or just simply blow. There was a system summary menu, which was neatly arranged in a 4 tab, showing system summary, processor, memory and ATA drives. Yawn. It's nice to have, okay, I will give you that much. Interestingly, you could also create reports and save them to your hard drive, and that was kind of cool. Still……….yawn.
THEN……….I came to the next dropdown. BENCHMARKING. Now, isn't that what it's all about? Hardcore wire heads like myself will sit in awe of a Mad Onion test for an hour or better, poring over the info like flies on a piece of poo. We will look for a way to improve our vid score to a decent and respectable 20000 or some nonsense like that. So, with a critical eye, I punched up the Benchmarking tab and gave it a whirl. Okay, not bad. It was a simple comparison type benchmark. There was not a lot of information that could be gleaned from the CPU benchmark. Basically, it would only give you the score that it scored in relation to other chips. What would have made it more interesting is if they would have actually had some different categories of tests, such as “Office” or “Gaming” or otherwise. That way the chip could be ran in a specific way to handle the differences in how information is processed. Also, there was no benchmarking for the video card, or the modem, or any other add in or card. What's up with that? I know it's a small program, but are you telling me that this is it?? This is nice first step diag tool or just-for-kicks program, but it lacks the horsepower to really interest anyone higher than the casual user on the computer food chain.
The woes of this program are few, but glaring enough to make it as run-of-the-mill as a Karen's powertool or any number of “free” programs that are circling in the miasmic vortex of digital outer space. My main question is: Where is all the benchmarking goodies to REALLY make this thing FLY?? It would have been cool to get permission from say Mad Onion to have a link in the applet to get access to their website, and their benchmarking materials. Or, have a link to their own web page and have benchmarks THERE. Speaking of the web site……… The web site had very little information on it, and was extremely buggy. The contact info link did not work, and the mailing list link was broke.
So…………what did I think of HWiNFO? Honestly? As a user? Objectively? Well, in all, the product is sound, I will give it that. It didn't crash, gack up my computer or cause anything to go haywire. So it seems at least the code is good. As a user, if I was wanting general info, and using that info as a tool to diagnose or to effect repair or searching for problems, it is adequate for such simple tasks. The information is laid out smartly and simply. It gives a lot more info than some other programs. I ran this program on several computers and was pleased with the info I got. As a matter of fact, in the first instance of running this prog on my computer, I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that one of the “Corsair” RAM modules I bought several months ago, was actually some cheapo knockoff, and were not true “Corsair” RAM. Guess that was some info I could do without, kinda sorta.
Objectively, HWiNFO is a good program for beginners and general repairers and dabblers. If you are a hardcore End-user or a big time wire head or disk head, go get Norton's or some other product. This is simply not a high octane ass-kicking Llama whipper. Mr. Developer, you did well for the general public, but with as much potential as this product MIGHT HAVE, you will have to get out the big guns to blow my skirt up. Bottom line………….webratt gives it a weak 6.
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