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Free alternatives to Everest

…as in free beer, not free speech. But that’s still pleasant money-saving thingies, considering you don’t really use such a piece of software more than a few times a year unless you are some kind of hardware freak ;). For those who don’t know it, Everest is a benchmarking and system information tool developed by Lavalys. It used to be (one of?) the most famous of its kind, notably because it used to be distributed as a freeware. But in December 2005, development and distribution of the freeware version stopped.

I managed to find 4 seemingly big equivalents to this Everest, both distributed as freeware for personal use:

  • HWiNFO32: they seem to have been around for a while, particularly for their HWiNFO part (the equivalent to HWiNFO32 but for… DOS!), which is shareware. A visit to the WayBackMachine showed me that HWiNFO32 use to be a shareware not even 2 years ago, but it’s now freeware, both for commercial and personal use.
  • SIW (“System Information for Windows”): exists in 2 versions, one is freeware but only for personal use, and has some limited functionalities, the other currently costs $69, which is almost twice as much as Everest…
  • PC-Wizard: I just discovered that one, but they say they’ve been around since… 1996
  • Speccy: developed by Piriform (the makers of CCleaner), it’s much lighter than the 3 other programs listed above: it gives only information about hardware, and skips lots of hardly readable details to focus on the most important parts. If you don’t need information about your software and don’t want to lose yourself in details, it’s probably worth starting with that one.

Update (24 Aug 2010): added PC Wizard.
Update (13 Apr 2011): added Speccy.

Posted in hardware, software.

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