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Windows / System Information, Benchmarks, Stress Tests

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System information, benchmarks, and stress tests

All of the below are free (at least for personal use). I have used them and they are, as far as I can determine and at the time I used them, free of spyware, viruses, and annoying advertising (including nag screens); though some require registering with a valid email address. They have proven extremely useful to me, perhaps they can benefit you as well.

FreshDiagnose
FreshDiagnose scans your system and gives a complete report about your computer’s hardware and software. For example: mainboard information, video system information, PCI / AGP buses information, peripheral (keyboard, mouse, printer, etc.) information, Windows registry settings, and network information. FreshDiagnose can also (after free registration) test various aspects of your system performance (i.e. perform benchmarks), such as CPU, hard disk, video, CD/DVD ROM. It provides comparisons of the performance of your computer with 10 reference systems.
Belarc Advisor
The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.
SpeedFan
SpeedFan monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can access S.M.A.R.T. info for those hard disks (including SCSI disks) that support this feature and show hard disk temperatures too, if supported. SpeedFan can even change the FSB on some hardware (but this should be considered a bonus feature). At the lowest level, SpeedFan is a hardware monitor software that can access digital temperature sensors, but its main feature is that it can change fan speeds (depending on the capabilities of your sensor chip and your hardware) according to the temperatures inside your PC, thus reducing noise.
SP2004 Orthos Edition
Stress Prime 2004 claims to be a better GUI interface to the Prime95 Torture Test. The Orthos Edition is for dual-core/hyperthreaded CPUs.
HeavyLoad
HeavyLoad is intended to stress all resources of a PC (like CPU, RAM, harddisk, network, operating system, etc.) in order to test if it will run reliable under heavy load. This is useful for testing important NT file or database servers before using them productively, or just to check if your new PC might get too hot when used intensively. To stress your PC or server, HeavyLoad writes a large test-file to the temp folder, it allocates physical and virtual memory and it draws patterns in its window. (Ed. --- For me, version 2.1 is unstable when running the video test; I got this program expressly for the hard disk stressing, which it does fine. I have not tried the latest version.)

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There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

Henry David Thoreau
Resistance to Civil Government, 1849

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