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BenchMe Build 906

A small but capable drive benchmarking tool

by Mike Williams

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Based on 0 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 09 October 2013
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 414
Developer: ReclaiMe
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BenchMe Build 906
A small but capable drive benchmarking tool

BenchMe is a compact free application for benchmarking storage devices (hard drives, USB keys, memory cards and more).

The program has a very basic interface. All you can really do is click the arrow to the right of the Start button, choose the physical device or drive you'd like to benchmark, and then wait for the results.

There's still a fair amount of functionality here, though. So BenchMe highlights drive capabilities, for instance, letting you see whether the device supports S.M.A.R.T., acoustic management, native command queuing, tagged queuing, and more. The program also measures the device's I/O Operations per second (IOPS) and device access times. And, perhaps most usefully, BenchMe plots read speed for data blocks across the device, as well as highlighting the minimum and maximum speed.

You can view all these results in the program window (see the screen grab for an example). There's also a Print button, or you can opt to copy the image to the clipboard, in various sizes.

We did have one problem with BenchMe. For some reason it was unable to detect our drive capabilities, and so they were all greyed out on the report screen.

We're not sure whether that's a general issue, though, or just something specific to our hardware setup. And otherwise BenchMe proved a capable benchmarking tool, straightforward and easy to use.

Verdict:

A quick and easy tool for checking a drive's performance, comparing drive speeds and so on

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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