HARDiNFO is a comprehensive system information tool which can also benchmark your CPU, hard drive, optical drive, display, network and memory cards.

Your first problem may be in getting it to launch, though, as on one test system the program would repeatedly crash during its initiation. We could prevent this just by clicking "Cancel", so stopping HARDiNFO from scanning our PC, but this didn't inspire much confidence.

If you can avoid that issue, though, there's plenty to like here. HARDiNFO organises its tests into various categories - System, Devices, Peripherals, Mobile PC Info, System Monitor and Network, and each of these contains further sections. So choosing "System" will display icons for System Overview, Operating System, CPU, Motherboard, Memory, Controllers and Resources, and clicking any of these will tell you more about it.

The amount of detail in these reports is a little variable. The Memory section contains less than we've seen elsewhere, for instance (there's no DIMM type, model or memory timings here). But on the other hand, the Motherboard section does provide lots of information on the BIOS: manufacturer, part and serial number, version, features and more.

And when you want to access the performance of your PC then the program's benchmarks do a reasonably thorough job of rating the system for you.

If you can avoid the technical issues, then, HARDiNFO can provide a great deal of useful information about your PC and its setup. And if you need more, HARDiNFO Professional adds a notebook battery monitor, the ability to export HTML and TXT reports, a host of network features, and more. It's yours for $79 and you can find out more at the developer's site.

What's new in HARDiNFO 8? See the news release for more.

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HARDiNFO provides plenty of useful hardware and software-related information, but technical issues and a lack of detail in some reports mean we still prefer competitors like SiSoft Sandra