I've been following the sync tool threads with some interest since I realised my usual app SecondCopy does not copy file comments which I've started using extensively with Xplorer2.
Tried about 10 tools briefly and just three of them handle comments correctly: SyncBackSE, SuperFlexible and DirSync.
Two tools that impressed me but didn't handle comments were MirrorFolder (powerful but usable because of a splendid interface) and SyncToy (excellent choice for basic sync needs).
I'm trying to decide between these three, unfortunately none of them is just right - they all have something I like and dislike.
DirSync: A lightweight compared to the other two but a competent app nonetheless.
What I like: Familiar, user-friendly interface, lacks a bazillion unnecessary (for my requirements) options and is yet reasonably powerful and takes care of the major aspects.
What I dislike: No inbuilt log viewer, notepad is the default viewer
Very basic simulation preview unlike the other two.
Ugly tray icon (while it's syncing)
SuperFlexible: A mammoth in its category, a plethora of options which can kill the usability for the casual user.
What I like: It'll probably wake up at 6 AM sharp, do my laundry, prepare my breakfast & give my dog a bath if I configure it right.
What I dislike: I'd say something insightful at this point but my eyes are bleeding from wading through its interface! I'm surprised Oliver Stone didn't flash screenshots of this monstrosity during those crazy edits in Natural Born Killers.
SyncBackSE: A great balance between power and usability. Great deal of options that don't seem overwhelming.
What I like: Usable interface, I love the graphic representation of the differences.
What I dislike (nay, hate!): Does not have its own scheduler, relies on Windows Task Scheduler for running tasks at specific times - the only other way to automate is to run background tasks which is not true scheduling. I cannot pinpoint the reason but I've always hated Windows Task Scheduler, it's just been something vaguely unpleasant MS has thrust into my system that stays disabled, in the background and invisible. Maybe it's time to open my mind a little but I really feel an app should handle its scheduling without relying on 3rd party services that they have no control over.
I have to admit, I don't think I could ever get comfortable with SuperFlexible's GUI, I can see myself getting over the learning curve and coming back to the app two months down the line and wondering once again about what x or y does. If I was in charge of the backups of an entire I.T department and needed to mess with a syncing app on a daily basis I _may_ have considered this app, even then it would be very easy to get one option wrong in its marshland of an interface.
So, I'm going to input all my backup profiles into Syncback and DirSync and do a speed comparison.
I'll also do a CPU benchmark during backup - if any of these chokes my system it's out!
Will offset that against the other major pros/cons and decide which one stays.
DirSync it is! They both guzzle about 50% of the CPU (on normal priority), I'm pretty certain SyncBack uses a bit more. The time difference is huge though, I'm sure I haven't tweaked SyncBack right as it takes a lot longer. But when DirSync breezes through 7GB of data in that many seconds there's no point in looking elsewhere. Also, no making peace with Task Scheduler- big plus, people!