Whilst it is usually possible to get a rough idea of how well a computer will operate by simply looking at the system specification sheet, this doesn’t always give a true reflection of the machines performance.For that reason, those that want to get an accurate idea of the speed of their computer will often run a piece of benchmarking software.

Benchmark programs work by testing performance characteristics of individual sections of your computer; for example the number of calculations per second of your processor, the access time of your memory and the number of polygons per second that your graphics card can draw.The results can then be used to produce an individual score for each component along with an overall score for the entire system; such results can be helpful for those who want to identify weak spots in their computer and work on improving them.Fortunately this week I learned of apiece of software called PC Wizard which allows you to do just that.

The software itself can be downloaded free of charge from – Fortunately it is only a couple of megabytes in size and so should only take a few minutes to download an install.The program is classified as freeware so isn’t in any way restricted and they don’t generate any revenue by exposing you to advertising.

The primary function of PC Wizard is simply to identify system components – this is surprisingly useful if you’re looking to update a particular driver or gain support for a particular building block within your computer.On a conventional PC the only truly accurate other way has been simply to take the side off and have a look however this technique falls flat on its face when we are dealing with laptops.Whilst Windows Device manager will give me a limited amount of information regarding the hardware inside my laptop I’d much prefer a piece of software rather than a screwdriver to find out specifics.

Our main interest with this software is the benchmark section so if you click on this icon you will be given the options to test every conceivable area of your system including the processor, main memory, hard drive and video card.By comparing these readings against the benchmark systems already provided by the software you should be able to get a good idea of what areas of your system are letting you down.

For your own peace of mind, if you are considering a system upgrade then try running a test like this before and after the upgrade takes place so that you can see how much of a difference you’ve made. Likewise, if you want to experiment with playing around with things like BIOS settings and your Operating System then run these tests at all stages so you can see whether your alterations have had a positive or detrimental effect.I have in the past talked about removing software nasties from your computer such as wasteful applications that stay resident in memory and for your own interest it would have been appropriate to use PC Wizard before and after to ensure that my tips had indeed been beneficial.

Any of the data you collect can be easily exported to a universal file format so should ever need the support of a PC helpdesk then sending the file along to them will provide an immediate and accurate impression of your machine without you having to do any legwork.

For those that need it, PC Wizard is a small, free and easy to use piece of software which can be extremely beneficial.Of course, not all software I recommend in Click is useful to everybody so if you have no intentions of tweaking your machine or performing any upgrades you’re probably best skipping this particular recommendation.

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.