How To Find Out What Is Inside Your Computer

Need to find out the specification of your computer (what’s inside it) – without having to open it up? There are several utility programs that can provide this information but our favorite is Speccy – a cross between Specifications and Spectacles, geddit?

Speccy is a free System Information tool from Piriform – the company behind the equally good Ccleaner utility which we have recommended before as the best way to delete temporary files from a computer.

It provides detailed information about what’s inside your computer – and how it’s performing. This can be really useful for several reasons:

  • If you want to upgrade your computer you need to know what is inside it to ensure you buy components that are compatible – and are actually an upgrade, not a downgrade ;-)
  • If you want to sell your computer you will probably get more interest if you provide a detailed spec – a ‘working XP PC, runs well’ ad will not generate many offers as people will assume that the spec is really poor!
  • If you suspect your computer is overheating, Speccy includes some basic heat monitoring info which can highlight which component is overheating.
  • If you are just interested in knowing what’s inside your computer or want to compare it with a new one.

How To Use Speccy – We recommend downloading the Portable version in a zip file from the offical site here. This does not need to be installed – just download to your computer and unzip (extract) the file to a folder – by default it will be called spsetup12x where x is the latest version number. Rename the folder to Speccy if you like.

Within the folder you will find a 32bit version of the program called Speccy.exe and a 64bit version called Speccy64.exe – run the program that matches your version of Windows. If you don’t know which version of Windows you have, see ‘how to tell if Windows is 32bit or 64bit‘.

Speccy will open at the Summary tab and will take a minute to capture all the specs of your computer – see the example below.

Speccy – Summary screen

What Else Does It Show?

As the example above shows, the information is split into a basic Summary tab and 10 component tabs. Temperatures of components (e.g. processor/hard drive) will be displayed if there is any information available.

  • Click on any of the 10 component tabs to see more detailed info about that component e.g. the RAM (Memory) tab will display how many RAM slots are free/used, the type/speed of RAM and memory/swapfile usage.
  • To drill down even further, navigate each detailed info page like you would with files and folders e.g on the RAM tab, – click on a sideways pointing arrow to display more info such as the manufacturer of your RAM, the part number, the voltage and even the date of manufacture.

Tip: you can save all the information (including the extended info for every component tab) into a text file – in the menu bar choose ‘File’ and ‘Save As Text File’ then choose a location to save it.

Speccy does not change any of the hardware in your computer so feel free to browse around the info on all the tabs – you won’t break anything but could learn a lot about what is in your computer.