15 Replies Latest reply: May 16, 2011 10:16 AM by RjL190365 RSS

    My favorite tools

    Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

      Everybody has their own set of favorite tools, but often one is searching for even better ones. I made this overview not to tell you what to use, but what my personal favorites are. I invite you to share your experiences so that we may 'define'  a required set of tools to make your system more stable and performing even better. I have divided the tools into several categories, so you may find useful ones rather easily. It is in no way complete, there are many more tools available, but these are my favorites.

       

      Hardware Monitoring

       

      CPU-Z: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php for monitoring clockspeed and memory timings

       

      PSU Calculator Pro: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp for showing PSU requirements, including the ageing of PSU's

       

      HWMonitor: http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php for monitoring voltages, fan speed and temperatures

       

      Speedfan: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php for monitoring voltages, fan speed and temperatures

       

      Both HWMonitor and Speedfan are advised, because they show some different measurements, especially on the voltages. Both suppliers have been informed on the discrepancy between their programs and hopefully will act on them

       

      Disk Optimization

       

      Perfect Disk 10: http://www.perfectdisk.com/ for disk defragging

       

      Diskeeper: http://www.diskeeper.com/diskeeper/home/diskeeper.aspx for disk defragging

       

      Tweaking & Cleaning

       

      CCleaner: http://www.ccleaner.com/ for cleaning up temp files, cookies, registry and managing startup programs

       

      1Click PC Fix: http://www.ccleaner.com/ for serious registry cleaning

       

      PerfectSpeed PC Optimizer: http://www.perfectdisk.com/products/home-perfectspeed/learn-more for managing registry clean up, defragging and finding duplicates

       

      SysInternals: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx for optimizing or debugging purposes on-the-fly, most notably with Process Eplorer, Process Monitor and Autoruns, but also a lot of other usefull utilities are included.

       

      TweakNow PowerPack: http://www.tweaknow.com/powerPack.html for registry tweaking and general maintenance

       

      Screen capture

       

      SnagIt: http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp for screen captures

       

      Benchmarking & Testing

       

      Cinebench R10: http://www.maxon.net/index.php?id=162&L=0 for measuring video performance

       

      HDTach: http://www.maxon.net/index.php?id=162&L=0 for measuring disk performance

       

      PassMark: http://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm for measuring overall performance

       

      PPBM4: http://ppbm4.com/ for measuring Premiere Pro CS4 performance

       

      File Management

       

      Beyond Compare: http://www.scootersoftware.com/ for file management, copying and finding duplicates

       

      Treesize Professional: http://www.jam-software.com/treesize/ for disk space management

       

      Total Commander: http://www.ghisler.com/ for generic file management

       

      Capture

       

      Scenalyzer: http://www.scenalyzer.com/main.html for capturing SD material

       

      HDVSplit: http://strony.aster.pl/paviko/hdvsplit.htm for capturing HDV material

       

      CD & DVD Tools

       

      Easy CD-DA Extractor: http://www.poikosoft.com/ for audio ripping, conversion and disk creation

       

      PowerDVD: http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd/overview_en_US.html for playing DVD and BRD's

       

      Nero: http://www.nero.com/enu/nero9-introduction.html for duplicating disks on multiple burners simultaneously

       

      Install tools

       

      nLite: http://www.nliteos.com/ for creating slipstreamed installation disks for XP

       

      vLite: http://www.vlite.net/ for creating slipstreamed installation disks for Vista

       

      Video tools

       

      GSpot: http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ for identifying the codec in use

       

      Media Info: http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en for identifying the codec in use

       

      Lagarith: http://lags.leetcode.net/codec.html a visually lossless codec

       

      HuffYuv: http://neuron2.net/www.math.berkeley.edu/benrg/huffyuv.html another visually lossless codec

       

      Bitrate calculator: http://dvd-hq.info/bitrate_calculator.php?PHPSESSID=6501b6b2b31f4c4a295bc8c2ba1e6f57#Calcu lator

       

      I hope we can extend on this list with your suggestions, so in the end we may have a good list of tools that people can consult when they are looking for specific utilities. It is not my initial intention to include specific tools like ripping software, plug-ins to PR and the like, but only the more generic tools. Hence no mention of MainConcept, Morgan and the like.