HWiNFO32 is a freeware hardware information and diagnostic tool. The information it provides goes far beyond the built-in Windows tools. To get an idea of how detailed the information is, please have a look at the screenshot, which displays data about the CPU. The Windows Device Manager basically only tells you the brand name, whereas HWiNFO32 has information about more than 100 different CPU parameters. Such detailed information can be useful if you have to fight with device driver problems, because you can use it to search on the Internet. These details are also helpful if you are planning to buy new computers and have to compare different PC models.
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HWiNFO32 has a useful summary view, which gives you a quick overview of a PC’s hardware capabilities. Since the tool is also available as a standalone version, you can fire it up easily on a new machine, just to know with what you are actually dealing with.
The reporting feature enables you to export all information in different formats (HTML, XML, comma delimited etc.). It is also possible to only export specific data. HWiNFO32 comes with basic benchmarking features, allowing you to compare CPU, memory, and disk performance with other systems. The system health monitoring (thermal, voltage, fan, power) capabilities complete HWiNFO32.
It is important that any system information tool be up-to-date, because the hardware landscape is changing every day. Thus far, this is the case for HWiNFO32. There also is a commercial DOS-based version (HWiNFO), which starts at $25 for corporate use and $12 for home users. I tested HWiNFO32 v3.25.
What is your favorite system info utility?