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VIA Grease Monkey Patch-Tracking Software Review

VIA Grease Monkey Patch-Tracking Software Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: PC gamers are often forced to acquire multiple patches for a single game over the few months that it is 'in play', and this activity can get tedious.
Filed under: Software Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: VIA Technologies Mar 11 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Software > VIA Technologies Grease Monkey

Installation and Setup

After downloading the full 10.7MB install file (a 2.4MB web install is also available) we proceed to install the VIA Grease Monkey application on our Windows XP test system, stuffed to the PS/2 slots with 12 games ranging from brand new, to old news, to completely obscure. Here's a listing of the games I've been playing on this system:

  • Doom 3
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Thief: The Dark Project
  • Neverwinter Nights (with Shadows of Undrentide expansion pack)
  • Gunmetal
  • Arx Fatalis
  • Yager (somewhat obscure shooter, better known in Europe and on the X-Box)
  • Operation Flashpoint
  • MoonBase Commander (obscure strategy game, but fairly recent)
  • NBA Live 2000
  • Black and White
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War

As you can see, it's quite an eclectic set. We thought that using the obvious games (like half-life 2) would be a little too straightforward, so we tried some lesser-known titles to see how the service handled them. Of course, we also had Doom 3, which we heard was kind of popular...

The somewhat poorly written EULA (with a backend by Aardwork software) contains no nasty surprises or gotchas.

In its current iteration, the Grease Monkey software is fairly resource hungry. The program itself ate up almost 75MB of memory when open, and each download window used another 15MB in addition to eating about 15% of CPU time. Fortunately the program itself used no CPU when idle. This is not an application you want to keep on while actually playing your games. Grease Monkey does not stay resident in the system tray though, so it's either 'on' or it's not.

As you'd expect from a commercial product, Grease Monkey appears to be spyware and adware free. Scans run with the latest updates of both Microsoft Antispyware and Ad-Aware SE turned up no new traces associated with the program.

Logging in and scanning your system for games

Once VIA Grease Monkey is installed, the first order of business is to login to the Grease Monkey server. You can create a user ID at this point to register for an evaluation period, or if you've purchased the software you can enter your full details here.

Once you've logged in, you need to allow Grease Monkey to search your drive for games.

Hitting the 'Search for my games' button will bring up a dialog box asking you which hard drive locations you wish to have the program search.

Obviously, narrowing things down here will speed the searching process up. We just fed it all three partitions in our test system and let the program chew away. The first full system search took less than three minutes and scanned our system not only for games but also for video card drivers (our test system was using an Nvidia Geforce FX 5950 Ultra card with the most recent drivers) and Direct X versions (we were fully up to date here too).

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Contents of Article: VIA Technologies Grease Monkey
 Pg 1.  VIA Grease Monkey Patch-Tracking Software Review
 Pg 2.  — Installation and Setup
 Pg 3.  Game Search Results
 Pg 4.  Available Downloads
 Pg 5.  Tracking Drivers and Direct X
 Pg 6.  Demo's and Expansions
 Pg 7.  Unsupported Game Issues

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