The True Image interface is similar to that of Norton Ghost 9.0: Both present orderly main screens with large, colorful icons, as well as wizards that whisk you through major tasks. Dig deeper, though, and True Image's superiority becomes apparent. Its Create Image Wizard, for instance, estimates the time it'll take to image your drive and gives you a ballpark figure for the backup file's size. Ghost, by comparison, makes you search the help file or the manual for this information.
Unfortunately, some True Image terminology is a tad geeky. For example, the title bar of the backup dialog box reads Commit Pending Operations. Say what? Similarly, one menu item, Create Bootable Rescue Media, is bound to baffle more than a few neophytes. And the Image Archive Splitting screen in the Create Image Wizard warns, "FAT32 does not support files larger than 4GB." That's good to know, but how do you find out which file system you're actually using (FAT32 or NTFS)? The wizard doesn't say. On the plus side, Acronis automatically breaks large backup jobs into smaller chunks for removable media such as CD-R discs.Acronis True Image 8.0, like Norton Ghost 9.0, performs backup/restore operations in Windows. That means you can use your computer normally while Acronis toils in the background. True Image exacts a slight performance hit, naturally, but nothing near the performance loss you get when using Ghost. In our tests, for instance, Microsoft Word took about 8 seconds to load during a True Image backup, some 2 seconds longer than normal. By comparison, during a Norton Ghost backup, Word took a leisurely 13 seconds to load. True Image proved faster than Ghost at running backups, too. It archived our 11GB partition in just 16 minutes--more than 2.5 times faster than Ghost.