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[Windows] CPU problems? PCBoost wants to help “increase the speed of your computer”

2013-09-26_232008 [1]One of the reasons why your computer may be running slow is because of your CPU. If you have an underpowered or overutilized CPU, then your computer will be unresponsive. Are you in such a situation? Then PGWARE PCBoost wants to help. Let’s see if it is worth your time.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

PCBoost is program that, according to the developer, helps “instantly increase the speed of your computer. Applications such as games, video production and photo editors are immediately faster.”

Pros

Cons

Discussion

2013-09-27_003156 [2]PCBoost sounds like a complicated program but, in reality, it is actually fairly simple. PCBoost does two things to help “increase the speed of your computer”:

So, does this actually increase the speed of your computer and programs? Eh.

First of all, you should note PCBoost will have little to no effect if you have no CPU use issues. Both the features of PCBoost only do something when there are programs or processes fighting for CPU time; increasing the priority of the foreground process to high does something only if that program has to fight for CPU with other programs and processes and same goes for pinging Windows CPU scheduler. If you always have free CPU (i.e. your CPU is not fully utilized), then PCBoost is literally useless for you.

Secondly, despite what the developer claims, PCBoost does not make anything “faster”. Rather, PCBoost helps ensure the program you are actively use (the active window, foreground process) gets the most CPU processing power possible. In other words, PCBoost tries to make sure your active program doesn’t run slower. It may sound like a small difference but it is a significant difference: the speed of your computer is determined by your hardware specifications (e.g. CPU speed, amount of RAM, etc.) and the only way to make your computer faster is to modify the physical hardware such as with overclocking, which PCBoost doesn’t do.

That said, boosting the CPU priority of the foreground process is an age-old trick to ensure your active program gets the most possible CPU processing power. (It is actually a feature built directly into Windows — PCBoost just automates it.) The trick is time-tested and is accepted as a way to help boost performance in situations where you have multiple running programs/processes and all of them want CPU time; in such situations, the programs/processes with the higher priority get more CPU time and thus perform better. Although this is a very simple trick to help manage CPU, this part of PCBoost works. I’m not as convinced of PCBoost’s other feature.

Windows is built to work with multi-core CPU usage; it knows how to handle which processing core to send processes to. I’m not convinced PGWARE — the developer of PCBoost — is smarter than Microsoft; I’d much rather leave it to Windows to decide which core to send my foreground process to rather than let PCBoost force Windows CPU scheduler to use the least used core every two minutes. And before you geeks say “but Ashraf, modifying processor affinity is a well-known and accepted trick“, let me remind you this feature isn’t really optimizing processor affinity; it is something similar, but different. Something different that hasn’t convinced me that it is better.

Conclusion and download link

PCBoost has not convinced me that it is a worthwhile program. First of all, with only two features (and one of them being a very simple one), it doesn’t do very much to help alleviate CPU clog and overuse when compared to programs like Process Lasso [3] and Process Tamer [4]. And of what it does do, half of the functionality is dubious. You are more than welcome to give this program a try but I not going to recommend it.

Rather, if you have CPU usage issues, give Process Lasso [3] (which has Free and Pro versions) or Process Tamer [4] (freeware) a try. They apply different methods than PCBoost to try to reign in rogue CPU usage to ensure the best performance possible; methods which I feel are a bit more useful than what PCBoost does. If you don’t have CPU usage issues (e.g. you have a modern, fast computer)… then why are you reading this review?

Price: $14.99

Version reviewed: 4.9.23.2013

Supported OS: Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download size: 4.8 MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/45 [5]

Is it portable? No

PGWARE PCBoost homepage [6]