Easy specs

See your system's state at a glance with Speccy.

Piriform's Speccy is a nifty little system information utility. Its mission is to collect and display more-detailed information about your hardware and its performance than is offered by Windows, even the latest versions. It shows the brand, model, version, driver, file, location, capacity, operating condition, and other data about your system's CPU, motherboard, RAM, graphics card, disk drives, optical drives, audio, peripherals, network, and operating system. It even displays the temperature of compatible hardware.

Speccy's sleek dialog, gray tones, and small but crisp and colorful icons give a modern look to the familiar Windows interface. The left-hand navigation window lists Summary, which gives a handy system overview, as well as CPU, RAM, and so on. Clicking anything calls up a more detailed view of the component's operating conditions and statistics. Speccy has few settings beyond language and temperature (Fahrenheit or Celsius). The Help file links to a product Web page, but it's more than adequate, and Speccy's about as easy to use as any program out there; it just shows you what's going on with your PC. Our favorite function by far is the temperature display. It accurately displayed sensor data from the CPU and two hard drives, offering reassuring proof that our disks and CPU were all operating well within their rated temperature range; the dual-core Pentium 4 in our testbed ran at a frosty 37 degrees C. It also displayed S.M.A.R.T. data from our hard disks. We also like the ability to save and reload system "Snapshots" as XML or text files, or even optional INI files.

Piriform's freeware has impressed us with its value, and Speccy fits the form. Though we've seen lots of system information utilities and even find the Windows feature useful, Speccy looks like a keeper.

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