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Review: PerfectDisk 11 Professional

PerfectDisk's newly released version 11 builds upons previous versions to deliver a highly configurable disk defragging product.

PerfectDisk's newly released version 11 builds upons previous versions to deliver a highly configurable disk defragging product. But is it enough to justify the relatively high price?

Note: This review was performed with a "not for resale" version of the application which the vendor provided to TechRepublic for review purposes.

Specifications

  • Product: PerfectDisk 11 Professional
  • Cost: $39.99
  • Free Trial: 30 days
  • Hardware Requirements: 64MB RAM (128MB recommended)
  • Supported Operating Systems: 2000, XP, Vista, W7
  • Additional Information: Product Web site
  • TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

PerfectDisk 11 Professional markets itself towards IT departments. There is a home version without some of the high end features such as duplicate file removal, and server-oriented products in the lineup as well. That being said, the Professional edition combines many of the features that hobbyists and enthusiasts often use a variety of other products for, so it may be worth a look for them as well.

What problems does it solve?

PerfectDisk Professional addresses all of the standard defragging duties, and adds a bevy of features such as space management that other solutions do not have. In addition, it has a number of graphs, reports, and configuration settings that other products do not have.

Standout features

  • Background Defragging Configuration: Unlike the other products on the market, PerfectDisk's background defragger ("StealPatrol") allows you to fine tune its performance profile.
  • Customizable Optimization: For the folks who like ultimate control, the SMARTPlacement system allows you to really dial in how you want your disk to be optimized.
  • Value Added Features: PerfectDisk adds on functionality such as duplicate file finding, and a drive space explorer, which replaces other utilities you may be using (or in need of) quite well.

What's wrong?

  • Cost: At $39.99, PerfectDisk is about twice what Auslogics Disk Defrags runs, and $39.99 more than most of the other solutions on the market (yet still less expensive than Diskeeper). There are also upgrade charges.
  • Difficult UI: Because of all of the additional functionality, graphs, charts, etc. that PerfectDisk has, the UI really loses much of its focus on defragging. In addition, much of the advanced configuration takes a high level of knowledge to use to the best advantage.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

PerfectDisk Professional occupies a unique middle ground between the truly expensive Diskeeper and less expensive options from Auslogics Disk Defrag ($19.95 for business use, free for home users) and other free options like Smart Defrag and Defraggler. Diskeeper has central management functionality (which you may very well not need), and the less expensive options forgo some of the configurability (particularly for the background defragging and the SMARTPlacement algorithm) while being much easier to use.

Working with PerfectDisk, the people who will really like it best are the enthusiasts and professionals who want or need the ultimate control over their system, which only PerfectDisk gives users. Is that enough to get you to open your wallet up to the tune of $39.99? Quite possibly no, it does not.

For standard, business usage defragging purposes, it is hard to see why the extra configurability is worth paying extra for compared to other options. Sure, PerfectDisk Professional has a number of extra utilities built into it, but in all honesty, you can get that functionality in other applications for free. And while the graphs and reports may appeal to those looking to eke out every last drop of performance, the typical IT professional does not have the time to pore over them looking for ways to give a business user that last 5% of speed.

Overall, PerfectDisk Professional is a great product for those looking for ultimate defragging tuning and performance, and is definitely the best product that I have seen so far from that perspective. IT professionals in a high-performance situation (such as workstation users) will probably like it a lot. For typical defragging, you are probably better off with a less expensive option, unless you require central management, in which case Diskeeper is your only real choice.

User rating

Have you encountered or used PerfectDisk Professional? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

12 comments
jabusamra
jabusamra

A perspective from another third-party (Computerworld, PC World, NetworkWorld) and whether or not it is worth paying for, over "free": http://tinyurl.com/ycgx7fk

jeslurkin
jeslurkin

Too expensive, with little advantage for a 'homey' like me. :)

aandruli
aandruli

Lots of fluff in the description --can fine tune. How? Increase performance. How? Is it just saying thatbecause defragged is better than not defragged? What makes it any better than the built-in defrag -- graphs? Purdy colors?

aphorist
aphorist

Defrag can help your PCs performance. With Perfect Disk, setting it up can sensibly be a one time exercise. The neccessary options StealthPatrol, Boot-time Defrag etc are fairly self-explanatory and accessible. You can watch little squares leap about whilst changing colour as usual in these apps (it is cheaper than other mind altering alternatives). Perfect Disk does the job efficiently and effectively resulting in as responsive a system at all times as what you load onto it will allow. My opinion, its the best.

jabusamra
jabusamra

PerfectDisk, like Diskeeper, does have central management. It is provided in the PerfectDisk Enterprise Console. Thousands of enterprises, including many of the world's largest (Fortune 500, Global 1000) use PerfectDisk on their desktops, servers and virtual environments, and completely manage it all with PerfectDisk's enterprise console. Joe Abusamra Vice President of Operations Raxco Software, Inc. www.perfectdisk.com www.perfectdiskblog.com

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

We have covered almost a dozen defragging applications over the past month, which indicates to me there is a market for these products. But, I still wonder - Do you spend much time and energy defragging hard drives in your workplace? Has defragging become more of an enthusiast's activity?

Justin James
Justin James

Due to the format of these articles, it is sometimes hard to give full and complete details for everything; often, some of them will be in the photo gallery if you didn't see it. To answer your questions: * Fine Tuning - Perfect Disk allows you to choose things like how much CPU to be grabbing for the "StealthPatrol" feature which is what the article was talking about "fine tuning". * Performance - Nowhere in the article did it state that PerfectDisk "performs better" than anything else. That's a statement that I won't make for a product unless I sat down and collected some numbers to back it up with. That being said, what the article *did* say was that the graphs and other information that it provides, combined with the level of control it gives you over the defragging process, allows the user to tweak the defragging process to their needs, in order to get their system to perform at its best. J.Ja

Justin James
Justin James

Joe - Thanks for those details! I took a look at the "Professional" product and did not see the provisions for that, but it is good to know that they are available for those customers that require them. J.Ja

Another Canadian
Another Canadian

I have Windows Home Server and for $99 it covers the server itself and protection for VSS and 10 PC Perfect Disk Professional. So my real cost per PC as we have 4 Desktop and 2 Laptop is $16.50 plus tax if applicable in your case or not as it depend, anyway the cost could be under $10 if you have 10 PC for a home user and a server for a total of 11 in that case. I have see definitively good effect on my Server the first time I decided to use it after the initial transfer of all the original data from the 4 PC and 2 Laptop ranging from Video file to Audio(mpeg, mts, mkv, divx etc, WMV, WMA, MP3)in addition to an everyday incremental backup and full backup of all the PC, my server after almost at that time 2.5TB in one shot over a day had make my server unresponsive to a point that I was tempted to just ditch the wole adventure and go back to individual file management on each PC but that defrager saved my bet an after trial between Diskeeper and Perfectdisk and don't charge me extra for the management of TB_+ of my HD on the PC and Server that turn in a JBOD all my different size HD in one giant disk and Perfect disk has no problem with any of them. I use classic for all the pool drive and performance for the OS Server itself and never have to tune it again and it offer exclusion and time exclusion also so that it wont interfere with the demigrator driver or backup of the PC. Do I look like I am sold to that idea, well you bet. :) Have a great day PS you could use one Perfectdisk Pro directly to connect to another Perfectdisk Pro w/o the need of the Enterprise console if wanted as I do from time to time between PC and server also.

TomasF
TomasF

In my previous job I implemented Diskeeper for all client systems under my control, and was very happy with the result. In general, we saw a longer time between retanking of systems, overall better performance even on newer systems, and a longer life in production for laptops especially. Today client systems is no longer my business, but if it was up to me, I'd do it again. I'd probably try to go for Perfectdisk instead though. I switched to PerfectDisk Pro for VMWare (because of my extensive use of virtual machines for testing) at home, and we've purchased PerfectDisk for Exchange at work. I'd say the features in general are comparative between Diskeeper and PerfectDisk, with PD leading on advanced tuning and DK leading on userfriendliness, but some business decisions of DK over the last few years made me weary of them.

Ocie3
Ocie3

but I let Perfect Disk 11 defragment the HDD, which is the point of using it, of course. ;-) It does take some time to learn the features and how to use them for the most benefit, but once you do that, there is usually no reason to change the configuration. That said, I am not an expert, just a reasonably satisfied customer. My only complaint is that I really do not like some aspects of the way that Raxcoe does business. In particular, if you do not purchase "upgrade protection", then you must pay the full purchase price for the next version, and the "protection" expires upon expiration of your license because of the passage of time. So that encourages people to pay for a multi-year license as well as for "upgrade protection". Consequently, the prospect of an improved product becomes a "threat" instead of something to welcome. The cost is more than $39.99 and it is not easy to say whether the software is really worth that much. Then again, it seems to me that the results deserve the name, "Perfect Disk".

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