Did You Get The PC You Ordered? Find Out With These System Information Tools [Windows]

Aaron Couch 22-11-2012

system information toolHave you recently purchased a PC? If yes, was it customized? By customized, I mean assembled by a local computer shop, or even just by someone you know who builds and sells computers. If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you may want to double check what is in that machine of yours.


Now, don’t get me wrong, it is likely fine, but mistakes happen and it surely couldn’t hurt to make sure that you got exactly what you paid for. There are several free programs that can help you identify what you have by displaying information about the different parts of your computer.

These same programs also function as excellent system information tools for technical support and troubleshooting issues, which is nice to know that they aren’t only limited to a one time use.

Belarc Advisor

system information tool

Belarc Advisor is a simple program that, when launched, gathers information (securely) about your computer and opens it up in your browser. Note that this is not stored anywhere, but the browser is simply the means of displaying the information.

system information tool free


Belarc Advisor breaks up the information into easy to understand categories and allows you to navigate to different sections of the page through hyperlinks.


system information tool free

CPU-Z, created by CPUID, is not unknown in amongst IT people to say the least. It is a small, even portable, program that breaks up an abundant amount of information into tabs to easily find what you are looking for. At first, one might be a bit overwhelmed by the vast amount of information throughout the tabs of CPU-Z, but glance at it for longer than a few seconds and you’ll begin to understand it.

The tabs are straightforward, dividing up the information into categories, which makes it very useful. CPU-Z has portable functionality through downloading the ZIP file. For more information on CPU-Z, refer to Erez’s recent coverage of it on MakeUseOf Learn Everything About Your Computer Specifications With Free, Portable CPU-Z Even if you’re not overly geeky, you probably have a rough idea of how much memory and what sort of processor your computer has. But what about its other statistics? For example, do you know... Read More .


PC Wizard 2012

system information tool free

Another product by CPUID is PC Wizard 2012. It also has an abundant amount of information and features. For a straightforward overall look at your computer, the System Summary is your best bet. It’s certainly not the only place for information though, as there is a plethora of options.

system information tool windows

Note that when starting it up you can decide which options to display. Also, PC Wizard, like CPU-Z, is portable if the ZIP file is downloaded and extracted.


Sandra Lite

There are many versions of Sandra. Sandra Lite, which Matt covered here on MakeUseOf Benchmark & Explore Your PC With SiSoft Sandra 2011 Lite Read More , is the free and slightly less featured version. It still has most of what you will probably need. However, you can check out the comparison chart to see how it stacks up to the others. My best recommendation though, would be to download it and see how it works for you.

system information tool windows

There are several tabs and several options within those tabs, but for the sake of looking at an overall view of what is in your computer, lets look at the Hardware tab and click on Computer Overview.

system information tool windows


System Information for Windows (SIW)

Like several of the other options here, SIW is stuffed full of features. Sticking to the theme of needing a basic summary though, scroll down until you find Hardware and System Summary is the first on the list. This “general” overview provides you with all of the information you need to know. For being a summary, it’s quite detailed.

Did You Get The PC You Ordered? Find Out With These System Information Tools [Windows] SIW System Summary

For more in-depth information you can explore the other sub-titles under Hardware such as CPU Info, Memory, Motherboard and more. If you’re curious about taking SIW with you on the go, it is available for Portable Apps on their website.


Speccy is brought to you by Piriform, the makers of the famous CCleaner. Speccy, covered here on MakeUseOf Speccy - An Advanced System Information Tool For Your PC Read More , follows in its path, providing an excellent, easy to follow interface, while remaining detailed.

system information tool

From the summary, each title is linked to more information about that particular part of your computer.

Speccy is available in a standalone version, as well as being portable, making it an excellent choice for IT people on the go.


As you can tell, each program has its own benefits. For my own personal use, I’ve found Speccy to suffice quite well, but that’s not saying at all that SIW, Belarc Advisor, CPU-Z or others are worse. It’s partly about user preference and partly about the depth of features offered. Sometimes less is more and sometimes more is more – it just depends on what you need out of a program.

My suggestion is that if you are purely needing a system information tool to look at your basic computer info, Speccy is simple and straightforward to use due to its clean design and a somewhat lack of features (meaning it’s not “cluttered” with a bunch of features you might not use). That said, you might prefer a program such as Sandra Lite or SIW for a more in-depth look.

What do you use? Have you ever got a PC that wasn’t what you ordered? How did that pan out for you?

Image Credit: Assembling High Performance Personal Computer via Shutterstock

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. EdmarJohn SanDiego
    January 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    CPU-Z is the best for young programmers like me.

  2. Saumyakanta Sahoo
    December 28, 2012 at 11:02 am

    SiSoft sandra is a good piece of is user friendly...and provides lot of info.

  3. druv vb
    November 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Its always good to know whats inside your system. CPU-Z, SIW and Speccy are my tools for inspecting PCs before working on the hardware and software...

  4. Micionio
    November 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    HWinfo die beste!

  5. Efi Dreyshner
    November 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I am using AIDA64.
    The most advanced program out there.

  6. Dany Bouffard
    November 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I have tried most of these program and usually use CPU-Z. I really think all of those are good, its just that I am used to CPU-Z.

  7. susendeep dutta
    November 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Speccy is best as it's simple and displays more information in a simple manner.

  8. Anonymous
    November 22, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Alternatively, you could just pop open the case and take a look, apart from the CPU (hidden by fan and covered in thermal paste) it's all incredibly easy to identify. RAM is getting easier and easier to identify it's specs, and HDD, ODD, and mainboard have always been easy.

    And if you know enough to know exactly what you were supposed to be getting, you should know enough to be able to identify it.

  9. Terafall
    November 22, 2012 at 8:09 am

    The best thing is most of them are portable

  10. syed asghar
    November 22, 2012 at 6:06 am

    This is one good information which i was searching the internet for aeons.And here it is very simple yet very powerful. You Rock.
    Keep Spreading the knowledge.

  11. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 22, 2012 at 3:45 am

    That's why it's so much better to build one yourself or buy a laptop. You always know what's in your machine.

  12. patrick
    November 22, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I've used a couple of these programs before, and it really helps identify the computer specs when troubleshooting PC's. Currently using Speccy and happy with it.

  13. Gautam Sehgal
    November 22, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Great Share... I knew About Belark Advisor,
    Thanx a ton for updating me... :)

  14. Rigoberto Garcia
    November 22, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Excellent review Aaron. Saved on my Evernote for future reference. Thanks

  15. Márcio Guerra
    November 22, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Always good to know! And some of us use the computer on an end user basis, without proper knowledge of "what's inside"! Thank you for sharing!


  16. Félix S. De Jesús
    November 22, 2012 at 2:11 am

    CPU-z Rocks, and it's very Simple~!!!