Don’t Waste Your Money or Time!
You shouldn’t break the bank for negligible performance gains
With all of the benchmarking completed, we find it rather suspicious that disk defragmentation did nothing to improve the performance of our machine. However, we must note that our test drive was not terribly fragmented to begin with due to Vista’s auto-defragger running on our test bed. Even the paid-for programs were unable to yield any positive gains—quite the opposite, in some instances.
We had high hopes for Diskeeper at first. Given the relatively high level of fragmentation it quoted compared to Vista’s built-in app, we assumed the program’s analysis routines were seeing fragmentation that Vista couldn’t. In turn, we expected Diskeeper to do a better job of moving files around and ultimately give us better benchmark numbers than the Vista client.
That was wishful thinking on our part, as Diskeeper didn’t trump the Vista defragmentation routine at all. While it did beat PerfectDisk by 150 points in our PCMark Vantage test, we hardly consider this a trouncing. We even fired up both programs’ boot-time defragmentation options to see if these additional features would make any difference on our benchmarks. Zilch.
We like the Vista defragmentation program for the simple fact that it’s, well, there. It comes with Vista and is enabled by default and runs its defragmentation routines during the wee hours of the morning. And even if you alter this time or run your own manual defragmentation, the program runs at a low processor priority, so you can easily multitask without hampering your computing experience.
That said, we hate that Vista gives you no estimated time of completion. You also get no way to see what the application is doing, any graphical representation of how fragmented your drive is, or any of the other features we’ve come to expect in even the most entry-level of defragmentation applications. Even if the pretty moving colored blocks don’t correspond to the actual data on our drives, at least they give us something to look at during the interminable two-hour-plus defrag process. You even have to run a command-line version of the application just to see an analysis of your drive’s fragmentation level.
If you don’t mind manually running your defragger and you can’t live without a visual representation of the fragmentation level of your drive, try Auslogics’s Disk Defrag. It doesn’t outperform Vista in our tests, but it runs faster than the operating system’s built-in defragger, and it displays a pretty picture to let you know that it’s working. Even if disk defragmentation ultimately does nothing for your computer—as our benchmark numbers would have us believe—you don’t need to spend money on a third-party program when Auslogics’s Disk Defrag is a serviceable free solution.