A Full Review of HWiNFO, a Free System Information Tool
HWiNFO is a free system information tool for Windows that gives a quick overview, as well as a detailed look, at hardware components.
There are several handy free utilities out there that will tell you what hardware’s inside your PC, and one of the best I’ve ever used is HWiNFO.
Like Speccy, HWiNFO is a free program that provides tons of details about your system’s CPU, motherboard, memory and such.
But HWiNFO also provides a live snapshot of the CPU temperature and various system voltages, great information to have if you’re a computer tech or system builder.
You can save full or custom reports, use HWiNFO on a portable device, and monitor various hardware pieces in real-time.
This review is of HWiNFO version 7.02, which was released on April 6, 2021. Please let us know if there’s a newer version we need to review.
While some system information tools also gather software information, HWiNFO focuses on hardware alone. It does so by categorizing all the information it gathers into ten sections: CPU, motherboard, memory, bus, video adapter, monitor, drives, audio, network, and ports.
HWiNFO works with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available.
Download the 64-bit version of HWiNFO only if you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows. See Am I Running a 32-bit or 64-bit Version of Windows? to learn more.
See the What HWiNFO Identifies section at the bottom of this review for all the details on the hardware and operating system information you can expect to learn about your computer using HWiNFO.
HWiNFO Pros & Cons
There’s much to like about this comprehensive tool.
- View a one-page summary
- Easy to read and navigate through
- Detailed results
- Create a full report of everything
- Export a report of select devices
- Copy specific results out of the program
- Can do more with optional HWiNFO extensions
- DOS version available
- Portable version available
- Releases program updates often
- Doesn’t include as much detail as similar programs
Thoughts on HWiNFO
HWiNFO reminds us of the system information tool Speccy but combined with something a bit more detailed like SIW. In other words, while it’s super easy to use and navigate around in, it’s also pretty detailed.
Most of the system information tools we’ve used included network information like the subnet mask and IP address. Unfortunately, HWiNFO simply shows the MAC address. This is a bit surprising considering the tons of detail it goes into with other sections.
We tried both the installable and portable version of HWiNFO and they both seemed identical. There were no slow performance or hiccups in the portable edition. We also like that the portable version is so small—it produces three files, that together are less than 10 MB, which is perfect for something like a flash drive.
What HWiNFO Identifies
- Processor brand name, frequency, number of cores and logical CPUs, platform, thermal design power, MTRRs, bus type, maximum and current clock speed, and the L1 and L2 cache size; also shown is supported features, such as MMX technology, physical address extension, self-snoop, and many others
- Number of open and used motherboard slots, the motherboard’s brand name and model number, the supported USB version number (like v3.0), its chipset, and a list of ACPI devices
- BIOS information, such as the manufacturer, release date, and version number. Also shows BIOS features, like ISA/MCA/EISA/PCI support and if you can boot from a disc or USB device
- Processor manufacturer, version, current and maximum clock speed, voltage, and socket designation
- General information and driver details for serial, parallel, and USB ports
- The number of open memory slots left on the motherboard, the maximum supported size/speed/voltage of a memory module, maximum and installed cache speed, current SRAM type, serial number, module width and SPD revision number, a module’s supported burst lengths, and the number of module banks
- Video chipset information, such as the codename and memory; video card details, like its bus, BIOS version, and chipset revision number; performance information, such as processor and memory speed, bus width, and number of unified shaders; and driver information, such as its manufacturer, version number, date, and instance ID
- Live activity and/or temperature monitor for the CPU, hard drive, motherboard, network card, graphics card, and RAM. Can also actively log this data to a CSV file
- Detailed monitor information, including general data, like the name, serial number, date of manufacture, and hardware ID; screen information, like the maximum vertical and horizontal size and frequency, and the maximum pixel clock; as well as the supported video modes and DPMS modes
- Floppy, internal, external, and disc drive information, like model numbers, serial numbers, capacities, drive geometry, transfer modes, and features; disc drive information details the type of discs they can read and write to, like CD-R, DVD+R, etc.
- Audio adapter and driver details, such as the hardware id, codec, and driver version
- General network information, including the MAC address, driver details, and vendor description; also included is the adapter’s capabilities, like its maximum speed and buffer size