Well it would seem that buying any of these utilities are pointless, as i've always thought. To shave a couple of percent off a couple things will make no difference to me, and the fact that they actually decrease performance in some areas really defeats the point in these utilities.
I wonder why reg hardware didn't do a test with games on high detail. Thats what i'd like to see, a state of the art game running at full settings, and see if these utilities make any difference at all. I can almost guarantee that a ram upgrade in this situation would make loads more difference than any tune up utility can offer.
I personally like to tweak my own system. I run a very minimal OS, and have disabled anything that i don't need. It frees up ram, and also makes the system more secure. I also know exactly what i have done, and can easily undo each of the changes. Some people will agree, some won't, but i like the way my system runs. The things i have changed are:
Disabled indexing service, i'm using a laptop and don't want the hard drive constantly thrashing.
Disabled any unneeded services. This will vary from system to system, depending on what you use your pc for. I've
Disabled any junk from starting at windows logon.
Disabled 8.3 name creation, i don't care aboud DOS, we're in 2009, i'd rather have the faster read/write times.
Disabled page file, i have 4gb of ram, easily enough to run any 32bit program, as they can only use a maximum of 2gb anyway.
Got rid of system restore, i have never needed to use it and don't want it taking up any cpu cycles.
Disabled superfetch, i shall decide what programs to load into my memory when i decide to load them, thanks very much microsoft.
Optimised system performance for background services, as i use my laptop for a lot of audio tasks.
I also schedule a defrag to run every week and make sure my drivers are up to date. I don't use any antivirus, mainly because i don't download garbage off limewire or anything. I'm careful what i run on my system. I don't run a firewall on my laptop either, as my router has a hardware firewall and theres little point in running two.
I've probably done various other tweaks, just can't remember them all at the moment.
One thing i have learned over the years, is that its probably better to save up my money and buy a completely new system when the old one feels slow. I don't even like going down the upgrade route anymore, as i did that to my old dell and it was still slow. Started with 512mb ram, 1.7ghz p4, 40gb hdd and geforce 3 graphics. Upgraded it to the max i could at the time, 120gb hdd, 2gb ram, geforce 7600 and 2.4ghz p4. At the end of that the cpu still wasn't powerful enough to run modern games, pentium 4's sucked. And it was an agp system, which is now obsolete. I bought a new dell laptop with 4gb ram, geforce 8 and core 2 duo t9300, and it annihilates my old dell in almost every area. Seems like the upgrades were a waste of money.
I do agree with what someone else posted, that if these utilities were used on a novice users pc, which is cluttered up with spyware and hundreds of system tray utilities and toolbars, then they may well make a lot of difference. But for an experienced tweaker like myself, i bet they'll make little to no difference.