Avanquest continues to acquire a wide variety of different Windows PC utilities – Avanquest PC Speed Maximizer 3 is designed to streamline your Windows PC and squeeze extra performance from any PC or laptop. Version 3 has a number of new or improved features, such as Registry backup and restore, customised scans, removal of Adobe Flash cookies and optimisation reports.

Avanquest PC Speed Maximizer 3 is surprisingly lightweight, taking only around 20MB, and downloads and installs in seconds. The main control screen is a simple, five-tabbed dialogue, offering Home, Registry, Clean Up, Optimise and Settings. For many people, the big, green button on the Home tab, marked Start Scan, will be all they need. See also: Does PC speed boost software work?

A full scan of our test PC took 32 seconds and PC Speed Maximiser 3 reported on the improvements it said could be made. These included fixes for 807 Registry errors, 1087 temporary register values, 238 temporary internet files, 56 cookies, 524 residual files and 11 invalid shortcuts.

Avanquest PC Speed Maximizer 3 took 1 min 7 sec to fix them all, but didn't keep a log, so you can't check back on what it's actuallty done.

The figures look impressive, but you need to bear in mind that some ‘problems' may actually aid with your use of a PC. Cookies, for example, are generally have their uses if you visit the same internet sites regularly. But they rapidly become a problem when they track your actions: cookies – sometimes good for you, tracking cookies – good for other people spying on you. See also: What's the best PC optimisation software?

The other tabs break down the one-click fix option so, for instance, Registry issues can be dealt with separately from other performance tweaks. The Registry tab also enables you to customise the Registry scan, excluding areas you don't want examined.

It can back up the Registry, too, so if changes prove to be damaging, it can be restored to its previous state.

The Clean-up tab offers several of the options included in the one-fix solution, but also enables the Windows start-up list to be modified. This determines which applications and utilities are started when Windows boots up; removing entries for programs you no longer need can speed the time to the desktop. Unlike the Registry function, though, there appears to be no way to undo deletions made to the start-up list.

Once we'd run the scan and fix cycle, we tried three different tests to measure the performance increase. The start-up time for Windows reduced from 3 min 30 sec to 2 min 36 sec, a reduction of 35 percent, which is worth having. The shutdown time was identical to before, though, so no advantage there.

A quick AV scan using F-Secure, this author's IS suite du jour, dropped from 1 min 15 sec to 1 min 01 sec, a performance increase of 23 percent. These results show the software can make a difference, but not by huge amounts. See all software downloads.

It's slightly odd that searching for PC Speed Maximizer brings up some forums querying if the program is suspicious and saying it's hard to remove. These refer to version 2.2, but could still be a concern. However, we have rarely seen a program with a lighter footprint than version 3, or one easier to uninstall.

Using the supplied uninstaller appeared to remove the application completely, with no obvious traces left that we could find.

Avanquest PC Speed Maximizer 3: test results

No Avanquest PC Speed Maximizer 3

Start Up time (min:sec): 3:30

Shut Down time (min:sec): 2:03

Quick Scan time (min:sec): 1:15

With PC Speed Maximizer 3

Start Up time (min:sec): 2:36 (54 seconds faster)

Shut Down time (min:sec): 2:03 (the same)

Quick Scan time (min:sec): 1:01 (14 seconds)

Avanquest PC Speed Maximizer 3: Specs

  • Windows XP/Vista/7, 32/64-bit
  • 64MB RAM
  • 10MB drive space
  • Windows XP/Vista/7, 32/64-bit
  • 64MB RAM
  • 10MB drive space


Avanquest PC Speed Maximizer 3 can get rid of Registry and file clutter on a Windows PC and increases its speed. But it many cases it doesn't increase it very much. but then to be fair, neither do its competitors that we've tested. If your PC is very chugged up, you may notice more of an improvement, but £25 still seems a lot for a single-PC licence, when the results are indeterminate.