TuneUp Utilities Vs Advanced System Optimizer
What Looks Similar on the Outside might be Very Different on the Inside

Summary:  TuneUp Utilities or Advanced System Optimizer can be a good choice for those searching for Windows all in one utilities suite. But if you search toward Windows optimization program, TuneUp offers a more solid package. Only if you are short on budget and plan to install it on a netbook, the latter will become a perfect suite for you. Otherwise, stick with TuneUp Utilities.

TuneUp Utilities          

What We Like: Built from the basic toward automatic Windows optimization that can be seen in its dynamic system analysis status and simplified operation. The attention to detail on every single feature it has: from the notification that pops out after cleaning activity to ensure registry integrity, slick presentation, to the addition of small yet very functional features such as TuneUp Disk Space Explorer. Frequent product updates.

What We don't Like: Price is slightly more expensive than ASO although still justified for its superiority.

Advanced System Optimizer          

What We Like: Less Expensive than TuneUp Utilities. Its low system requirement is very suitable for netbook owners. Stuffed with more small features although not quite critical.

What We don't Like: The whole experience is just like having a collection of Windows tools and utilities in one package with no extra value. And unlike TuneUp Utilities, the operation should be more simplified in various way and we won't find any dynamic system analysis here also.

TuneUp Utilities and Systweak Advanced System Optimizer (ASO) are two very similar Windows all-in-one utilities software that give you lots of arsenals for maintenance, optimization, tweaking, and other tools to help you dig more from your Windows. From the visual interface standpoint to the features being offered, these two different packages seem to be positioned to compete each other. And that is exactly what we are going to do, testing and comparing each other to find out which comes out as the winner.

TuneUp Utilities (left) and Advanced System Optimizer (right) both have very similar graphical user interfaces. But TuneUp Utilties tempts us more by its lush texture and interactive menu.

Both Systweak and TuneUp, the publishers behind these two products, have been in the industry for more than 10 years. TuneUp Utilities apparently has been enjoying a limelight more for quite some time with so many recognitions from various big online magazines in the industry. But that does not mean ASO cannot compete well. It is just that ASO is not as popular and as high profiled as TuneUp is. And don’t turn your eyes away yet because ASO can offer what TuneUp left out. First, Systweak stuffs more tools into ASO with up to 30 available tools you can choose. While TuneUp can only handle 23 tools. Second, ASO supports Windows 98, Me, NT4, 2000, as well as XP and Vista (32 Bit Only). Lastly, hold your breath, ASO is priced at $39.95, $10 less than TuneUp Utilities. In overall operation, TuneUp offers more quick access features. In its main menu for instance, it shows you three modules under the category of ‘Maintenance’, ‘Speed’ and ‘Health’.

One click maintenance button is what you need from a Windows utilities software. Unlike ASO, TuneUp offers you this. 

With ‘Maintenance’ module, you can repair registry problems, remove invalid shortcuts, and defragment hard drive.In ‘Speed’ category, the software will give you every recommendation to speed up your computer including tweaking your Windows setting that all can be done manually or automatically. In the ‘Health’ category, the software will advise you on every problem that relates to security and system health. All of this information is actual and dynamic. You will be presented with quick recommendations of your current PC condition as well as quick access to fix it all. From our experience, different system will get different kind of recommendation. It is very helpful and way more advanced than all of its competitors.

Different from TuneUp, Advanced System optimizer only gives you separated ‘Cleaner’ and ‘Optimizer’ functions that should be run individually. There is no 1-click Maintenance magic button here like in TuneUp Utilities. Although all modules inside ASO can give you easy access of Windows optimization, like covering dozens of startup programs that you do not need or are even aware of, but it is TuneUp Utilities who steps up more with its ease of use and more integrated function. What astounds us more is that in repairing and cleaning ability, TuneUp offers more dynamic method. This can be seen when running “Registry Cleaner” module. If it deletes invalid file types or ActiveX/COM entries, it will advise us to conduct a second scan to make sure that the deletion of these entries does not invalidate other entries. Moreover, TuneUp Utilities is not too shy to advise this “Check Again” method more than once if it finds it necessary. This will certainly bring extra safety in the process and will keep your registry integrity. Unfortunately, the same mechanism cannot be said exist in ASO. In spite of that, ASO still perform a solid cleaning and optimization activity. Our system is stable after run several scanning and optimizing module with it.


What do you want from a registry cleaner? A safe registry cleaning operation? Check! With its rigorous checkup, TuneUp Utilities won't ruin your delicate registry entries.


In feature-rich aspect, the two offer more arsenals than the other Windows all-in-one utilities that we have reviewed, Iolo System Mechanic and Ashampoo WinOptimizer. All these software are exactly the ones that can help you to fine-tune your system and optimize your Windows to the level beyond your expectation. They achieve this by utilizing a combination of tools and utilities instead of just throwing you with a single function similar to those of a registry cleaner software. Specifically speaking, ASO has more features than TuneUp. For instance, ASO has automatic wallpaper changer, zip compressor, minimize-to-tray module, damaged zip files repairer, appointment planner, sticky notes, media file organizer, and spyware detective. Worth to mention is the inclusion of Advanced System Protector personal edition into the updated Spyware Detective module. This is Systweak brand new antivirus product that is quite good in eliminating any malicious software. It is a perfect combination if you have not had any antivirus yet.

TuneUp in the other hand only has TuneUp Undelete and a more advanced Windows desktop customization in its TuneUp Styler. TuneUp compensates this inadequacy by presenting more solid tools just like the one we have shown before in optimization and repairing module. That is not the only one. TuneUp Disk Space Explorer, for instance, will supply you with information such as top space-wasting programs and files, dominant and most common file types, and detailed information on file population. Although ASO also offers this function under its Files and Folders Information, but it seems unfinished and less intuitive than its competitors’. In TuneUp, all of the information is beautifully presented with graphical presentation. With the chart, you can focus your attention to the folders, files, or programs which take up a lot of space and decide the next move.

TuneUp Disk Space Explorer (left) and TuneUp Styler  (right) are two additional modules that although exist in its competitors' product but exceeds their individual qualities by its more customized aspects and small attention to details.

Between the two, Advanced System Optimizer gives the lightest impact on your system. Yes, both of them can run well in system with CPU speed under 500 MHz But ASO only needs 64 MB of RAM, far less demanding than TuneUp which needs 256 Megabytes. TuneUp Utilities also needs around 50 Megabytes more hard drive space than ASO. This system requirement should be a concern if you got inadequate PC or laptop. Thus, if you have system with 512 MB of RAM, ASO should meet your need more because if you choose TuneUp Utilities, you will only be left with 256 MB of RAM. Load other programs like antivirus software, Windows system files, Ms Office, media players, and web browsers, you will leave your system under pressure there. In real time, put to tests performed on my old laptop running on Intel Celeron 2 GHz, 1GB of RAM, and 160GB of HDD, both can run very well. But TuneUp loads way longer than ASO. After fully loaded, TuneUp operates as fast as ASO though. There are no noticeable hiccups or lags.


From the user interface point of view, TuneUp Utilities and Advanced System Optimizer give a quite similar GUI experience. They leave you with two window panes. The left pane is the menu list, while the right pane contains information or sub menus for the respective menus. From the visual quality, although both of them give us a visual feat, but TuneUp Utilities give more lush, clean, and colorful textures than ASO. The menu systems from both of them are easy to navigate. Although sometimes due to abundance of features and confusing menu presentation, we are still forced to scroll all of the menus if we want to find individual modules. For this individual placement inside the menu scheme, Ashampoo WinOptimizer works better.


As a summary, TuneUp Utilities performs better with the optimizing and cleaning method it offers. It simply impresses us by the high quality of each of its individual tool. It also has bested ASO in the way the interface incorporates and integrates all of its tools and utilities seamlessly. ASO in the other hand has advantages over low system impact, more additional features, and support more versions of Windows. With price tag $39.95, $10 less than TuneUp Utilities, ASO could be your better choice if you are looking for an affordable package.





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